Maybe it’s time to let you know I’m actually working on s
omething which nobody asked me to do, but which is nevertheless in some ways the realization of a dream tucked away for many years in one of the furthest corners of my brain.
Frank Debruyne, the acclaimed saxophone player of the Hardscore band, mentally hit hard times this year. He’s of my age, and he felt for the first time a bit left out. It’s perfectly normal that young people get noticed. But these old geeks, like we both are, don’t feel the need to be labeled already ‘retired musician’. We don’t dream at night about our well- or less well- deserved gold watch. 🙂
He started as a classical recorder player, jumped to classical saxophone, dived into jazz and funk, composes and plays incidental for the theatre, and handles ethnic wind instruments with a grace not often heard on amplified stages…). We know each other for more than forty years. We regularly visit together exhibitions of contemporary paintings, or have long talks about music, books or whatever products of other people’s imagination, mostly while sipping thee or coffee lounging on a terrace…
It was during one of these discussions that Frank told me he recently performed with jazz pianist Bas Bultheel In Ostend, presenting one of his own compositions too: the joy he felt then and there stoked the fire of his longing to form a quartet with the rhythm section of Hardscore (Ronald Dhaene on drums and Stijn Deldaele playing the bass) and me, on marimba.
This means, going back to the roots of playing: no electronics, not necessarily amplification, and… no extensive use of harmony, for the marimba is a too ‘weak’ instrument to be able to replace a guitar or a stage piano. This formation means that rehearsals and concerts are not restricted to halls and venues with a piano… And something clicked in me too.
I started playing on my marimba after a time out of about six years only for hardscore. Though bit by bit a kind of fondness for performing live is growing again. This quartet idea struck me like a bolt in a blue sky (Belgian style, streaked with the contrails of a zillion planes 🙂
In the beginning of november I started to think about this line-up and I’m very proud to say that I now have composed already about 20 minutes: four pieces of the planned six.
I’ll call the set ‘Beat Love Oracle’, which might become the name of the band too.
You can listen to a couple of bars of the score accompanying this blog post.
Meanwhile rehearsals with Hardscore started again for real. In February, in the venue ‘De Vieze Gasten’, we’ll do a try-out concert with the first six songs of Carbon Fixation, together with 4 songs of the old repertoire.
Yesterday (8 December) we rehearsed for the first time with new female vocalist Annelies Van Hijfte, who only weeks ago starred in my chamber operas ‘paternel’ and ‘chut! Many people might be greatly surprised by the versatility of her talent: don’t think she’ll sing with her operatic voice!
Tomas Hendriks is busy shooting his videos, which also will have their first outing in February. Annique Burms will do a photoshoot of the band on 23 December…