It’s been a while. I agree.
There was a lot to do once we got back from our trip in Australia, where Roland Peelman, although being the musical director of the Canberra International Music Festival, managed to play a very well received premiere of the 20th Sonata. And not only that: for the first performance of The Middle East Songs, in a version for bass singer (sung by Clive Birch) he enchanted the audience again.
Last Saturday Iris played with Dirk Opstaele a very warmly received performance of our ‘Arabian Night’.
And yesterday, after a flurry of rehearsals, Hardscore had a second try-out concert with the Carbon Fixation program. Eight songs were performed, meaning, two new ones played for the first time in front of real audience.
Michiel de Malssche, one of the chief engineers of the independent cultural centre BLEEK in Sint Niklaas invited us. It definitely was a very nice concert. Mirek conceived a a new concept for the amplification of our notoriously difficult line up, with the best results. The new visuals of Tomas Hendriks very much pleased the audience.
On the other hand, very slowly emerges the biggest question of all for a composer: how to proceed. More than three hours of music is ready to be performed, but I guess a new way of making it leave my room and ‘going public’ becomes an urgent necessity.
Michiel told me yesterday the same: being ‘independent’ is a very fulfilling personal feeling. But one always depends on someone or something in order to be able to continue to be ‘independent’. Be it an audience. Or in my case, ánd an audience ánd a biggish institution ready to support my not entirely conventional products.
Nowadays, most heads of cultural institutions constantly need to defend their choices. No people in the hall, no money from the government. But people tend to go to things they already know. Hence the wave of VIPs occupying the stages. But Hardscore is not exactly a ‘trendy’ band. Our product is ambiguous. As diverse as the players. Young and old join ranks in a display of sheer virtuosity not always associated with the kind of instruments in our band. Hardscore is many things at the same time. Like I want my music to be.
Conceiving a ‘label’ is difficult. Hence a certain reluctance to hire us.
More and more I feel that also my ‘normal’ classical music differs too much from the mainstream. Not in the modernist sense. It’s adventurous in ways not always perceived as such.
My problem. Which I have to solve soon.
The clock ticks.The Hardscore’s players and all those musicians who have invested so much time in learning my scores deserve a stage. Maybe it’s time to fire the second stage of my rocket. Or invent a new one. Though leaving no contrails in a clear blue sky. There’s already enough carbon in the air.