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Vuurruiter – Concerts with Aquarius12

Last Sunday Aquarius12, under the inspired baton of Marc Michael De Smet, began a series of concerts in Flanders. The programme combines Hugo Distler works for chorus with violin duets by Bela Bartok and poetry by the late, great Paul Van Ostaijen.

Next up is the Lakenhal on the Grote Markt in Herentals: this Friday April 20th at 8pm. And if that doesn’t work out for you, there will be another chance to come: in Gent on Wednesday May 2nd at 8pm at the Cultuurkapel.

Here’s a taster – and yes, the tableau will be there as well 😉 (and the grapes are real…)

“En Chemin” in Arlon, Belgium

Last weekend La Noeva, a medieval ensemble of women’s voices with whom I sing, took part in “En Chemin”. This extraordinary, impressive show was put together by Sacred Places to celebrate 10 years since the founding of Open Churches Belgium.

It was an amazing, unforgettable experience! We shared the stage with pilgrims, Japanese drummers, dancers, an organ, a string quartet, other singers, and a flame thrower.

Here’s a taster to give you an idea!

Arlon, église St-Martin : grand spectacle "En Chemin"

Plus de 70 artistes en fête pour célébrer les 10 ans du réseau Eglises Ouvertes à l'église Saint-Martin d'Arlon, les 23 et 24 mars 2018 !Quelques extraits de la première du spectacle "En Chemin", à la fois intime et grandiose, qui rassemble musiciens, danseurs, solistes, acrobates, choristes et pèlerins, d'Arlon et d'ailleurs. Une aventure partagée autour d'une église particulièrement vivante !http://www.eglisesouvertes.beArlon City Diocèse de Namur Arlon Tourisme CDD Arlon – librairie diocésaine René Collin François-Xavier Rémion L'Avenir Luxembourg TV Lux CathoBel Frh Europe Province De Luxembourg News

Slået op af Open Churches Belgium i 24. marts 2018

Upcoming CD: KSL and friends interpret Weill

In September, Kurt and the Sophisticated Lady (Andrew Wise and I) recorded our first CD, working together with some impressive, high caliber friends – Raphaël D’Agostino on cornet and flügelhorn, Hendrik Vanattenhoven on double bass, and Peter Ploegaerts on drums. It was an intense 3 days. More news on the release soon.

I have a long history with Kurt Weill. Thanks to an inscription on a fly-leaf, I know that I owned my very first Brecht/Weill songbook when I was only 14 years old.

What is it that touches me in this music? In essence, it’s the bittersweet mix of clever, acerbic, punchy texts with melodies that touch the heart. Even in the songs that have the hardest edge – I’m thinking of Pirate Jenny, or Sailors’ Tango – the harsh, biting elements are offset by moments of beautiful lyricism. And take Mackie Messer – what an intriguing mixture: a swinging, happy tune (impossible not to move to that beat!) setting a gruesome, horrible text.

These are songs that exemplify the time when they were written: the swinging high life running at full tilt on top of an unstable society doomed by inequality, prejudice and hardship. And at the same time, they remain relevant today, reflecting as they do the rough and smooth of life.

 

Photos from W/A/R with Kamerkoor Koriolis

An inspired programme of music on the theme of war, including choral works from contemporary composers Ešenvalds, Swerts and the multi-talented Andrew Wise; The Voice by Stefaan Vanheertum for choir and soloist; and duets by Kurt Weill performed by Andrew and myself appearing as Kurt and the Sophisticated Lady. With thanks to Joris Derder for his excellent leadership.

Photos copyright © Johan De Lannoy

New article about Organum Duplum published

My article The Need for Artistic Experimentation when Preparing Organum Duplum for Performance has been published in Experimental Encounters in Music and Beyond, ed. Kathleen Coessens (2017) by Leuven University Press as part of the Orpheus Institute Series. You can get a copy of this volume here.

For more info about this ecstatic, wonderful music (pretty much the first polyphony to have developed in Western musical culture) see my Notre Dame School page.