Each of the 50 Splendor Amsterdam artists gives a concert once a year specifically for our club members. This time I assembled and arranged music that had something directly or abstractly to do with Winter Songs with some serious help from David Dramm and astounding performing from Jan Willem Baljet, Diamanda LBD, Nina Hitz and Nora Mulder. We were SOLD OUT!
From 16 – 19 February I had a job to do. One hour a day. It was to play in Martijn Tellinga’s
_during, lasting . . ., an installation/performance that lasts 5 consecutive days for 6 hours daily where 9 players enter the space for one hour (unannounced & uncoordinated) and the audience comes and goes.
For me it was paradise.
Shackle had two romping and stomping performances in the beginning of February that included our full set up plus guests.
We were in Deventer on 8 February at the Kunstlab as guests of ~DIF where we played with silent film fragments and tried out all the new stuff we’ve been working on so that we can find more new stuff to do.
Robert van Heumen organized and produced Local Stop Revisited on February 15 in STEIM. STEIM will be moving location at the end of 2015. It’s a place where many of us were able to use space and facilities to research and create some of our most significant work in the last years. Shackle Affair made an appearance with guests Semay Wu and Han Buhrs. We’re into guests!
The 5 month long, 27 performances tour of My Private Odyssey with with Club Guy and Roni ended on 5 February. That was a monumental run of a sensational work with a big team of performers and makers that I grew to appreciate and love deeply. I never found Ithaca. In my role as Telemachus, I was left looking for my father over and over again. Still am.
The concerts that I found myself in were rich in performer diversity inclucing ages, sizes, disciplines, instruments, body parts and locations.
On 5 January I played on the monthly Monday Match at the BIMhuis in Amsterdam. The special guest was a musician playing sewing machine. Eventually I was inspired to tell my own sewing machine story where my Mom sewed through her finger.
Zebra was the guest band for the monthly ImproJam at MEZRAB on 17 January. That was my first authentic jam session ever in my life! Got to hear some magical moments and some misfires too. That’s jamming.
The Oorsprong Curators Series has a complex set of rules regarding when one is allowed to play on the concert. Basically one can only play once in the concert season and only with artists one has never played with before. At my age those stipulations are hard to follow. We had a fantastic performance on 26 January with a collective spirit that rendered our improvisation into compositional magic. Many thanks to Electra Kouloumpi for putting us together. We’ll see one another again on local stages soon.
This year we made a band called the Splendororkestra and played pieces by fellow Splendor composers. We filled in the rest of the program with duos, trios and quartets that represented the scope of styles and artistic personalities housed by Splendor. We gave this big event to thank the contributing members of our club and to open our doors to the ears of others.
My last gig of 2014 was with Shackle in Rotterdam at Vroom. Shackle has been testing the waters by playing in combinations with others in our Shackle Affair, playing with film in our Shackle Bits and playing other composer’s works made for us in SlowHZ.
This time Robert and I just played as a duo with our Shackle System. This is my favorite Shackle configuration. Fast moving, musical, theatrical, noisy, quiet, funny, tragic.
Zebra! played a long and intense set for the Instant Music Day on Friday 12 December at the Martin Luther King Church in Amsterdam. We’re still into our original trio concept of moving in and out of one another’s sustained sounds and patterns as if we are one instrument.
Next appearance of Zebra! will be at the Splendor Parade in the Muziekgebouw on 3 January 2015.
The big adventure in this project was playing with the shadow puppet team Mind of a Snail. Working with them was a tasty voyage into visual magic.
My piece was called Bugs.
Lori’s piece was called Codence. It was inspired by codes. Lisa’ piece was called Alea Jacta Est. It dealt with some gnarly feminist politics and the audience was invited to eat chocolate!
Wonderful premiere last night in Mainz with ten wizardly dancers and the compelling musical forces Monica Germino and Tomoko Mukaiyama.
Bravo choreographer Guy Weizman and composer David Dramm and costume designer Slavna Martinovic and set designer Ascon de Nijs and light designer Wil Frikken for taking us on this journey.
27 more to go!