zaterdag 30 december 2006
We did it: we played Glazounow I and II by heart. I liked doing it, it makes you feel like you improvise. Maybe it's not necessarily better now but it's a start for something new!
Also we played through Wilson, his new piece that was written for us. That was ok, we still have rehearse some parts better.
Other than that nothing much going on. I saw Goldeneye again yesterday: good movie!
Now some more practicing and preparing for new year's eve. Happy new year!
December 30th. I have been practicing again and listening to a lot of music in a different way than I always do, at least I try. Fabian, Ailed's brother loves music too, he's a composer and we listen together, anayzing the music and talking about it. Especially Maisky is my favourite now. His Franck Sonata is so free, he plays together with Argerich. Their goal is not to play strictly together, but to make music. The tempo goes everywhere, it is so intuitive, melodic ánd harmonic. Great stuff!
Tomorrow is 'old year's day'. The day before new year's day. In the morning we have quartet rehearsal. For the first time in a long time. We are doing Glazounow I and II by memory. Hard stuff with all the chromatism and free form.
dinsdag 26 december 2006
maandag 25 december 2006
I have been trying Second Life, an internet game/chat thing, the real life being first life. It's quite funny, although for me not so addictive it seems. You can choose your own appearance and even fly. Strolling through Second Life is fun and you actually meet some friendly people (so it seems, it is still the internet). NRC Next actually has a corresondent in Second Life, that's how I encountered it.
I played again today. For a quartet rehearsal I have to memorize 10 minutes of music, with a lot of chromatism and the baritone not being the melody part, hence hard to remember (I am glad I don't play the tenor part!)
Ailed's cousin is here now, form Venezuela, his first time in Europe. He likes it a lot.
I discovered Second Life, the popular internet game. First Life being the real life of course. I have been playing itr for some hours now and it seems like fun. Although in the end it is a normal chatbox with the difference being a lot of nice graphics. And of course you can choose your own appearance, you can fly... Lots of fun, although I feel I might lose interest in some days.
I studied again today. I have to memorize 10 minutes of music for the quartet (Glazounwo Quartet) with a lot of chromatism, and I am not playing the melody, hence harder to memorize (not as hard as the tenor part I imagine!)
Ailed's cousin is here now for some weeks. It is his first time abroad and he loves Europe! Ailed is really happy to have him here.
I haven't been playing this holiday. I wanted to let go a bit and have a fresh start. I have been listening to a lot of performers, my favourites now are Horowitz, Ma, Maisky, Argerich. Well, you know the standard stuff I guess. I am looking for freedom in interpretation (that's such a pretentious word...)
zaterdag 23 december 2006
maandag 18 december 2006
dinsdag 5 december 2006
vrijdag 1 december 2006
Nobody can see my website yet, but my blog has been integrated in my new website. I felt like making a new entry but now I have to do it already here. The new website is nice. I had Christiane Smit design a new house style and Peter Grond make a website with this style. It turned out fantastic I think!
The functionality in my website is much better also. Now everything is real easy to do!
I just finished three days of teaching in Arnhem for a masterclass. We had a great time. Christer Johnsson visited us from Sweden and Johan vd Linden and I taught each others students. I think everyone learned a lot. I was real tired, still today, but it was very satisfying!
dinsdag 28 november 2006
We met the Bill Evans group in Vilnius. They were in the same hotel. That was very exciting. Rick, the bass player invited us to the concert and went to the hall in the Bill Evans Group buss! The concert was great and I am listening to the newest Cd right now: Soul Grass with one of my idols: Bela Fleck. Go check it out!
donderdag 2 november 2006
zondag 29 oktober 2006
The whole concert will compete against the other 'Young Dutchmen' in the series for the Mees Pierson Award (€10.000,-). The others are: Tjeerd Top (violin), Lavinia Meijer (harp)and Thomas Oliemans (baritone), Matthijs van de Woerd (baritone). The winners will be announced on June 3rd 2007 in the Concertgebouw.
zaterdag 28 oktober 2006
I thought the tension was over now, but in Decmeber I have another important concert! with a completely different programma. Luckily a programma which I have done many times before!
zaterdag 30 september 2006
I've been doing some thinking. The last two months there were two occassions that a Dutch classical saxophone player who I admire very much has been spreading his opinion about me. Which is his right of course. But it turns out he is not enthusiastic about my playing at all anymore. I had lessons with him in the last ten years, I went out to eat and drink with him, he wrote very good letters of recommendation for me, and now his opinion turned around. In August after my performance in the Grachtenfestival I came up to him to ask him what he thought and he said he hated it, he hated the repertory and in fact he hated everything we (me and Wijnand, the quartet) we did. It was ok sax playing, but not musical, we didn;t listen to other instruments and we were focussed on our instrument only. We had no reference. Apparantly he has been telling other people this, and via via I heard he is now saying that I can't play a straight tone, and I am winning al these prizes and I am in the media. Granted, these are rumours, but there's smoke, and somewehere a fire. I will call this guy one of these days. I did send hium my new Cd, but never got an answer. I thought our professional relation was ok, but apparantly it's not. I don;t really know what's going on.
I guess I shouldn't mind too much. It might be what happens when you're (relatively!!!) succesful...
donderdag 14 september 2006
woensdag 13 september 2006
My new Cd got some good reviews that I was really happy with. If you reached this blog, you've read them most likely on my website.
Teaching started. Tuesday is my fill teaching day in both Arnhem and Tilburg. Busy day, 4 hours travelling and 8 hours or something teaching. But it's nice, it inspires me!.
donderdag 24 augustus 2006
Very good music, it adds an extra dimension to the collaboration with Wijnand. This is a new step in our development. Sounds pretentious maybe, but that's how I feel it!
maandag 21 augustus 2006
zaterdag 19 augustus 2006
vrijdag 4 augustus 2006
zondag 16 juli 2006
On holidays. We are travaling form Denver to LA through Sedona, Las Vegas, San Francisco and whatever we finf on our way.
Yesterday we couldn't rent a car because of some bureaucratic stuff...
wheather in Denver is good, humid but not too hot yet. Let's see how it is in Arizona.
vrijdag 14 juli 2006
maandag 10 juli 2006
Sunday I'll leave for the States with Dick and Evert. 26 days in a jeep that drives 1:8! Denver, Arizona, California... Hot!
donderdag 29 juni 2006
vrijdag 16 juni 2006
Say Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy tonight. Movie's ok, wouldn't recommend it though. Book's great. I 'read' the audioversion as read by Stephen Fry.
donderdag 15 juni 2006
I never bought a new iMac. I might in the (near?) future but not as for now. The recovery of my hard disk is already very costly.
For the baritone sax I am trying out a new mouthpice. An AL3 by Vandoren. It's a nice mouthpiece, very flexible. But it has some problems form forte and louder. I have to see this week if I can fix that before going to Russia. I haven't been too happy with my Selmer D, it always has been a compromise.
dinsdag 13 juni 2006
wednesday today. Came back from a good quartet rehearsal. We're studying Keuris to play with orchestra in Russia en Glazounow for a recital there. Eveything is more or less on schedule. The Glazounow is exciting because he's Russian, of course and we're playing it there in Russia... let's see if we get it right!
Today I might buy an iMac, I am not too sure yet, we'll see, it's a lot of money, and I still have to pay for the recovery of my other HDD... expensive stuff!. On the other hand, I spend a lot of time behind my computer so it should be a good one that I feel comfortable with. My Powerbook is fine, but I need a desktop too. Bigger screen and all, you know.
In August I will play a solo with the New Cool Collective for Grachtenfesitval and some of these weeks the soloparts should be finished. Very exciting stuff! The week after I will do a solo recital with Ivo Bol (www.ivobol) also in the Grachtenfestival. I am looking forward to this very much, although it will all be right after holidays... For some reason I always play most at the opening of the season...
donderdag 1 juni 2006
Rutte won the VVD elections. I was hoping for him, but afterwards I realized that the VVD is not my party and that I don't really care. Although Verdonk could have changed the political climate in the Netherlands or at least have caused a riot.
Maastricht wanted to move some coffee shops to the Belgian border to get them out of the centre. Belgium is protesting. I wasn't sure about their side of the story, but Leers said that the problem wasn't the coffee shops at the border, but the faxt that the Belgians are not allowed to buy soft drugs (they can carry 3 grams!).
I am studying a lot these days, I have an important audition coming up in July. My standard repertoire: Denisow Sonata, Creston Sonata, Lauba Balafon, Demersseman Fantaisie, Debussy Rapsody, Schulhoff Sonata. NIce repertoire and I love to study it. Also I am studying the Rascher top tone method now. I really started to work on the first couple of pages studying long tones in many varieties. I can really recommend doing this for every saxophonist. A few pages later I will start playing high tones but not after I have mastered the first couple of pages. Especially the pages on tone imagination are very good!
I have to find out a way to avoid carrying the baritone on my back . I wasn't too fond of the baritone anyway and now it is ruining my back also! Remco had a good and simple idea: to let the bari lean on my hips with a belt like back packs. We tried it out with my own belt and it worked. Now I should get a pro to make a working system.
I also thought about buying a 'bakfiets' so I don't have to carry the instrument on my body. That's also a good option, although the bari will have to endure Amsterdam bike rides which can be bumpy at times.
zaterdag 6 mei 2006
Mexico is great! Great Weather (too warm for me this time of year) and great food *everything with chili, even fruit and candy.
zondag 30 april 2006
zaterdag 29 april 2006
dinsdag 25 april 2006
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Friday Ailed and me will go to Mexico. Holidays! I need it! The night before the quartet will play at a provate party at Martijn Sanders' place. The luxury flyer to hand out to his guests is finished. It was quite some work, but rewarding. We're proud of it!
Sunday, April 16, 2006
It's Easter today and yesterday I saw the beginneng of Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ on tv. What a bad movie, at least, the first 20 minutes, then I fell asleap. I never fall asleap during movies, not even bad ones!
Thursday, April 13, 2006
Yesterday I taught at Artez. I had a good time again, the students worked well yesterday.
Not much news today...
Saturday, April 08, 2006
Yesterday we had the presentation of the first draft of the new graphic material by artmiks (www.artmiks.nl). It will be very nice! A lot of money but I think it's worth it!
if you have nothing to do tonight, check out my good friend Ivo Bol, he's got a performance tonight in Korzo Den Haag, www.ivobol.nl.
Thursday, April 06, 2006
Also, I ad an invitation to teach in Venezuela, which will be a lot of fun I think. They can pay for my flight, that's very nice and I just love to go there. Preferably with Ailed of course! I have to find a date to go there but they urged me to come soon.
In the mean time I am teaching at the Artez Conservatory, as a regular professor of saxophone now. A steady jod, who would have thought. I love to teach, but I still have to find out a lot of things. The students are great and hard workers for the most part.
The quartet isa going well. We've had coaching to work better together as a team and I feel that has been very helpfull for us. The coach, Peter Hellema was great. We needed some input from the outside. Now musically we will explore more things also. We have made an appointment with Pieter van Dijk for a lesson in Sweelinck and Bach. Pieter is a great organplayer in Alkmaar. He also teaches at the Conservatory of Amsterdam and he has great students. We have worked with him before in his festival in Alkmaar and that was always a lot of fun.
vrijdag 31 maart 2006
vrijdag 10 maart 2006
Thursday, March 23, 2006
Wilders wants to take the anti discrimination article of our constitution and replace it by an article that confirms the Christian humanistic and Jewish dominance in our society. He wants 'us' t o be proud of our country again... My God... I can hardly belive this shit...
I am aranging a prelude and fugue by Bach for saxophone quartet, this time in major, we have too many minor pieces already and this seems to work... It's a lot of work though, 10 minutes of music.
This week Residentie Orchestra with Blood on the Floor by Turnage, very good music and excellend soloists: Peter Erskine, Jesse van Ruller and David Kweksilber.
In August I will be a soloist with the New Cool Collective, and I might just play a solo version of Grab It XXL. I'll keep everyone inofrmed, it will be exciting!
Monday, March 13, 2006
Yesterday we finally booked our trip to the US. We won't start in Atlanta and travel to LA in 22 days. That was too much we found out :-) We'll start in Denver and travel in a circle to Utah and California. We'll go to the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Frisco, La, vinyards and everything that we'll encounter in the mean time.
Saturday, March 11, 2006that was a long time ago. A lot has happened. I've been in NY with my quartet and things went well. We participated in the Concert Artists Guild Competition and we were winners of the CAG Comp. 2006! We also won the audience prize. The prize includes at least two years management in the US. We will make our debute in Carnegy Hall, NY next season. From 2007-2008 we will make some tours through the States every year like three. Really exciting.
NY was great too. Next to Amsterdam the greatest city in the world! We heard some exciting jazz concerts and walked around ther city. The best part of the city is Greenwich Village. The most European part of the town. Very young and cosy, lots of retstaurants and good athmosphere.
dinsdag 14 februari 2006
zondag 5 februari 2006
Monday, February 13, 2006
In the train to Arnhem, on my way to my new job. Sounds funny, that I've got a job. Until August I am hoofvakdocent (professor of saxophone) saxofoon at the Artez Conservatory in Arnhem. I am substituting for a sick teacher. I've always been dependent on free-lance income and starters subsidy for artists. This job is a lot of fun. There are not many students but they work hard in general. I have to get used to them and to the teaching in general. And of course they have to get used to me :-)
Today I read more about the cartoon thing. Ridiculous shit going on, excusez le mot! I almost can't believe it, it's to surreal. And it's actually happening. This morning someone said on TV that this wasn't about religion. I guess it would be about politics then?
If you have time: go check out Niels' concert in Hengelo in the Waterstaatskerk on February 17th. Niels is my good friend and colleague. A master saxophonist in every sense of the word. He will play a very interesting programme on the tenor saxophone, his favorite saxophone, and the most lyrical of all saxophones. I think he's right in that. The tenor is one of my favorites also. Maybe the most favorite. The tenor has something so typical and so seducing, almost erotic. Take the Bolero solo for example! The soprano exactly the same notes but they sound so much sexier on the tenor!
11 Feb. Saturday
We played at the Nederlandse Muziekdagen yesterday. We played well I think. There were some reviewers. Let's see what and of they'll write on Monday. The hall was sold out, that was great.
We played Andriessen's Facing Death for the first time and we did quite ok. We need to plat it more. But there's a problem. The piece is a rental, and the costs are too high for us to pay them ourselves. I am going to try to talk to the publisher to see if we can arrange something. Also, I think it is very bad system, the result is that we won't play pieces that are rentals. Contemporary music is hard enough to program already! I am also writing an open letter to Dutch organizations to tell them what us going on.
Monday, February 06, 2006Almost Nederlandse muziekdagen in Vredenburg. Exciting stuff. A very hard programme with de Man, Keuris, Andriessen and Germanus. We had a rehearsal with Andriessen in which he said some remarkable thing: he wanted us to play less loud and slower!
Go check it out if there are still tickets
zondag 29 januari 2006
zaterdag 14 januari 2006
woensdag 4 januari 2006
Saturday, January 21, 2006
I am looking for a digital delay for a solo concert this monday. I might have found one. It's a great Venezuelan piece. This Monday in Zaal 100, Amsterdam Wittenkade. I will play ter Veldhuis, maybe Berio and the delay piece!
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Sunday, January 08, 2006
I bought a piano last month, not a real one though, a Clavinova and I am actually studying a bit on it. Great stuff! The feel of a real piano is better but this is good enough for me. It's up in the attic where the wheather cannot be trusted and this one I don't have to tune.
Also I am studying Mendelsshon cello sonata with Wijnand. I am even thinking about making a short CD with one or two pieces: the cello sonata and maybe a contemporary comment on it... I have to think about it...
Thursday, January 05, 2006Best wishes everyone!
I got some mails from people who missed me in the second half of December on my blog. I am sorry for that...
I will try to post more regularly now.
What happened that is noteworthy. I joined in for a Magpie Music Dance Company Workshop and hhad great fun. I did it together with Ailed. he workshop was about improvising (or rather instant composing) for dancers and musicians. I learned a lot and want to learn more about this.
Other than that I am studying for quartet gigs, we have some importnt and very hard stuff coming up, oa Andriessen, de Man and Germanus quartet for the Nederlandse Muziekdagen on Feb 12 in Vredenburg. A great oppurtunity but lots of work.