woensdag 31 januari 2007

Many things to think about

Many things to think about. How to make my music better, how to deal with the busy time that will come up in March (untill June) with all of the concerts? I enjoy my profession, but there's a lot to do. I especially look forward to the quartet tours to the States (Carnegie Debute!), Latvia and the Untied Arabic Emirates and my study for the Netherlands Music Prize... Exciting stuff!
Ties Mellema was admitted to the study trajectory of the Netherlands Music Prize.
Mellema gets the possibility to follow a study programme with expert advice by the NMP committee about the contents of the programme. This will be financially supported. In this period, Mellema gets the oppurtunity to broaden his musical horizon for example by taking lessons and masterclasses over the whole world, having conversations with international top musicians or by focusing on new possibilities in his own field of expertise.

maandag 29 januari 2007

Tuesday evening

Tuesday evening. My two teaching days are over for this week. I enjoy them, it's inspiring. Yesterday I had the lesson with Brian Pollard which was very interesting as well. A lot about story telling through your instrument. Which is a lesson I have heard many times before of course. But this time Pollard had some very concrete tips. I hope I can inegrate his tips into my playing. Already I am experimenting with more types of vibrato.

Oh ad I am back ideed to the A3 mouthpiece. It worked well during the lesso with Mr. Pollard. I oticed today that there are two damages on the tip. It plays well, eve when comparing to the one of one of my students.


zondag 28 januari 2007

Now off to Arnhem to teach and then I have a lesson from Brian Pollard...

Now off to Arnhem to teach and then I have a lesson from Brian Pollard in the evening at his house. I had a lesson with him ten years ago. At that time I didn't get too much from it but now I hope to be able to translate his things better. 10 years ago I was just starting and drowning myself in Arno's lessons.

zaterdag 27 januari 2007


Tired! Yesterday Michiel gave a party and apparently I stayed untill 3:00! The next morning we moved Jurgen and Kim to Westerpark at 10:00. Now I am tired :-)
I practiced a bit today, again on the AL3, the new necks I will send back. The AL3 might not sound the best, but it is easier to do things on that I am learning right now. Can't exactly explain. It has to do with clearity of the vibrato, legato and phrasing.

vrijdag 26 januari 2007

Good rehearsal with Wijnand today

Good rehearsal with Wijnand today. I tried out some new necks but it was heavily out of tune. That was a shame. Other that we worked on Brahms clarinet sonata and Mendelssohn cello sonata. That was good work! We tried to really get into the notes. We try to play the Brahms light in stead of heavy sostenuto like you normally hear it. Maybe we'll change but it's a nice experiment!

donderdag 25 januari 2007

Back home

Back home. Still doubting mouthpieces... Don't know what to do. The AL3 plays great but is too monochromatic. The new C* is too sharp for my taste. Although it plays easy. And still has some more colours than the AL3... We'll see

Now at Wijnand's to have dinner. We're gonna rehearse Brahms clarinet sonata and Mendelssohn Cello Sonata after dinner. I bought a new C* mouthpiece today at Harry Bakker. This is a good oppurtunity to try it out. I am in a mouthpiece crisis I believe.... What can you do?

woensdag 24 januari 2007

My parents got a dog: 'Kanjer'

My parents got a dog: 'Kanjer'. She is nine years old and very quiet. She can stand saxophone playing although in the beginning she 'sings' with us. Very funny!

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maandag 22 januari 2007

22:00 Back from Tilburg

22:00 Back from Tilburg. Teaching was good. Mouthpiece... hm, I don't know (see previous post). I am going to try out c*'s again tomorrow. The AL3 behaves like I knew it would. It is very easy but boring. What can you do.... All my students sound better than I did today!

9:30 now. Still have to shower. Doing some work that I was behind with. Listening to the radio. Burning some cd's, editing some audio. After this shower and practice. Then off to Tilburg. I enjoy the relatively long train ride every week!

zondag 21 januari 2007

Today I taught in Arnhem

Today I taught in Arnhem. I am getting used to teaching two days and having the rest of the week off for my own things. Also, more and more, teaching seems to do something with my music as a musician.

On the way back I had a long conversation with a good friend who is having problems with love. I feel bad for him, but he can work it out.

Yesterday I heard great Winterreise with Wijnand Van Klaveren and Henk Smit at Han De Vries' house. Beautiful house as well!

zaterdag 20 januari 2007

Keep an eye open for the Amstel Quartet CD with works by Faure, Glazou...

Keep an eye open for the Amstel Quartet CD with works by Faure, Glazounow and Glass. We are in the process of editing Faure and it sounds wonderfull. We recorded it in a studio and it didn't feel comfortable but it sounds great. Add some acoustics and we're done!

vrijdag 19 januari 2007

Dinner at Evert's was great

Dinner at Evert's was great. We met some new people, friends of his. Reliving the US trip all over with Victor Wooten's Good People!

donderdag 18 januari 2007

Today I met with Bram van Sambeek (bassoonist)

Today I met with Bram van Sambeek (bassoonist). He tried to explain to me how diaphragm vibrato works and that it should work for saxophone. I am not completely sure yet, but I am trying to learn it. Then I will see (hear) if I can use it in my practice.

woensdag 17 januari 2007

Evening now

Evening now. It took me all day to start studying. I started earlier this evening and I couldn't get into it. Then I took a break (Dharma and Greg on tv) and studied again, now with a MD recorder. I studied really efficient this time. I really worked on some things and I feel really satisfied with what I did. Sometimes I just don't know what to work on. With the MD recorder I can teach myself like I teach my students! Sometimes I just have to reinvent things for the 100th time  /><br /><br />Earlier this morning:<br />My iPod is still not fixed. I send it away to have the screen fixed and at the same they replaced the battery which was getting old. The new battery only plays for two hours so I had to send it back.... I miss it. I am listening to a lot of music again.<br /><div align= src=
Check out my friends' Myspace page, featuring their band, the Boogie Tree.

dinsdag 16 januari 2007

I just realised today that I wrote an article about my influences just...

I just realised today that I wrote an article about my influences just a week ago (read here) where I state that Brecker was one of my main inspirations, that was before I knew he was going to die this past Saturday! How ironic!
Today I had an appointment with Martijn Sanders who had some great advice for me about my carreer and the quartet.
I have been playing on a different mouthpiece for a week now: Vandoren again, an AL3. The sound is very good, almost too good. The legato is great and the sound is quite dark. Low notes speak easy. But hte colouring is quite hard. I need some more time to judge whether it works.What I do know for sure is that I really enjoy playing it. I remember the feeling from when I started playing on my C* in Sweden, 6 years ago.

maandag 15 januari 2007

Today we had exams in Tilburg

Today we had exams in Tilburg. Everyone passed. Some playing better than others. I was proud of my students, they did well. Still we have to work on things, but that's logical.
Other than that quite tired today. Still haven't recovered from the weekend with our two concerts in the south of Holland.
I received the Amy Winehouse Cd today. It's good. Especially the song Rehab that I heard on MTV. Also I am still listening to Mischa Maisky and Rostropovitsch playing Apreggione. Fascinating how different they play. I like Benjamin Britten's piano playing a lot!

zondag 14 januari 2007

Michael Brecker passed away last Saturday

Michael Brecker passed away last Saturday. One of my biggest heroes. He struggled with his leukemia for some time now and finally had to give in. Apparantly a compatible donor for bonne marrow was never found. Michael Brecker was one of my childhood heroes. Some people were into Madonna, Michael Jackson. I was into Brecker. He could do anything on his instrument. And he was always looking for new ways. On his EWI, saxophone, as a composer. Students around the world tried to imitate his sound, even more than Coltrane (Brecker's biggest influence). We lost a great musician.

Michael Brecker

Michael Brecker passed away Saturday. Michaelbrecker.com posted this message: JANUARY 13, 2007 - Following a two and a half year battle with MDS and then leukemia, Michael passed away. A memorial service is now being planned and details regarding the same will be posted here this coming Wednesday or Thursday. In lieu of flowers, we ask that donations be made to The Marrow Foundation's TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE FUND. Many lives have been saved as a result of those who joined the National Marrow Donor Program at donor drives on behalf of Michael---and who were perfectly matching donors for others in need.  There is much work to do, and we ask you to please join us in this effort.  Thank you for all of your support.

zaterdag 13 januari 2007

We premiered out new programme Ghosts of the Amstel this weekend in De...

We premiered out new programme Ghosts of the Amstel this weekend in Den Bosch and Maastricht. lots of travel but very rewarding! We had two full houses and the crowd was very enthusiatic. I felt very good about the two concerts. it was an exciting project to invent. The programmers themselves like it too. If you have tha chance, check us out in the Noorderkerk in Amsterdam on March 3rd (view agenda).
I listened to Maisky and Rostropovitsj playing Arpeggione on my iPod in the car. (plenty of time!) Wijnand and me are going to play it as well, so I needed some inspiration.

Oh, and, the site you are viewing right now is ONLINE!!!

zaterdag 6 januari 2007

Ties Mellema Management opened a myspace.com page for saxophonist Ties Mellema: http://myspace.com/tiesmellema. Here you can download mp3's from his latest Cd's and read more about Ties Mellema and his music.

donderdag 4 januari 2007

Today another session with my personal coach

Today another session with my personal coach. The sessions always make me think about what I do and stimulate me to take life in my own hand and not let life live me. It works very well, I work more efficient, I think more about what I want and act like it. We will see where it takes me. In the end, my career is not important but to be happy in my live in general is what really matters. However cheesy it may sound!

woensdag 3 januari 2007

Trying to find a book on Glazunov to get more inspiration about this c...

Trying to find a book on Glazunov to get more inspiration about this composer when playing and rehearsing the quartet. I didnt find it... there's a book with ISBN# 0963545108.... The Glazunov quartet is so hard to grasp that maybe when I get to know the composer better I will have more insight in the piece. Besides that, I am making a brief analysis (harmonic) of the peice to see and hear (!) where the harmonic line takes us.

dinsdag 2 januari 2007

Normal life started again

Normal life started again. We had rehearsals with the quartet and Rene (Ailed's cousin) left. Everything is back to 'normal'. We cleaned the house tonight. These two months will be relatively quiet and I will have some time to study and think about how I want to sound. I am inspired again. That always happens when I didn't play for some time. It's a great feeling!