woensdag 24 december 2008

Ties Mellema explains why the saxophone don't play half of the American in Paris for NedPho tv and more.

dinsdag 16 december 2008

So I hung up curtains in the living room so we could sleep there and w...

So I hung up curtains in the living room so we could sleep there and we decided today, after moving the bed to the living room that we are not going to sleep there. We moved back to our bed room and decided to put the computer/administrration studio in the living room, which works acually. I am writinng this entry in the living room/studio...!

Oh, and: http://www

Oh, and: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRFMG5C2PPA&feature=rec-HM-fresh+div
The Amsterdam Grachtenfestival wishes you a merry christmas and a happy new year!

maandag 15 december 2008

Wow, what a weekend, two concerts with new repertoire

Wow, what a weekend, two concerts with new repertoire. Sunday night with 5 premieres (!) and Saturday Renaissance and Baroque music, some new arrangements as well. It all went well. The composers were happy as well.
Now I am relaxing and enjoying some free time. I went to the new bar at the library Vapiano or something. Capuccino tasted like latte. I don't like Illy coffee so much I think. The Chocolate Death cake wasn't great either. The athmosphere, hm, bad music in the back ground. Nice interior design though. But the chairs were not so comfortable. And you have to pay with a card that they hand out at entrance to which they charge the comsumptions. You pay when you leave. Maybe efficient for them but I didn't like it so much. I think it's aimed towards hipness mainly....
Form in stead of substance. It happens in music as well. Hip music, so called 'innovative' music is considered 'better' than 'other' music. Music that is honest, integer, but 'old fashioned'. Who cares? Well, enough people.... I think it's important for the individual to keep searching, the renew oneself!

vrijdag 12 december 2008

Almost off to some concerts in Den Bosch, our own liittle festival wit...

Almost off to some concerts in Den Bosch, our own liittle festival with the Amstel Quartet. A concert with old music and one with new music on Sunday. We put a lot of effort into it. New arrangements and 5 (!) worldpremieres...

zondag 30 november 2008

Not even teaching today

Not even teaching today. Being bored at home...
Tomorrow my students have their technical exams. I hope I'll be fit enough to be there. A whole day of etudes and scales!

Ties Mellema/Gustavo Dudamel and the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra play JacobTV's Tallahatchie Concerto.

JacobTV - Tallahatchie Concerto, with Gustavo Dudamel and the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra, LIVE in Caracas, Teatro Teresa Carreno, Venezuela. First Movement: 2nd Movement:

On the Other Hand', 23 August 2008, NEW VIDEOS ADDED 1 DEC 08. Grachtenfestival, Amsterdam Conservatory. David Dramm - Hangman (Premier) and Rossini's Ave Maria su Due Note.

On the Other Hand, 23 August 2008, Grachtenfestival, Conservatory of Amsterdam, Blue Note Hall and the Amsterdam Uitmarkt August 2008, Amsterdam Conservatory, Haitink Hall. New videos added 01-12-08


 

Online version of the December 2008 news letter

New videos uploaded, a.o. JacobTV's Tallahatchie Concerto in the video section of this site

zaterdag 29 november 2008

Still sick, even had to cancel a date with good friends in Emmen

Still sick, even had to cancel a date with good friends in Emmen. We are taking over their 'baby uitzet', i.e. a lot of baby stuff they don't need anymore.
Watched my new DVD by Kleiber and KCO with Beethoven 7 (yes still!). Great performance, although he didn't seem to be very happy at some moments. He never returned to the orchestra again...
Two concerts this week. Exciting, Mendelssohn again, and Wijnand/Bach...

donderdag 27 november 2008

The flue

The flue... can't really work focussed...
We might have a name though!

maandag 24 november 2008

19 December 2008: De Nacht at the Fontys Conservatory in Tilburg

19 December 2008: De Nacht at the Fontys Conservatory in Tilburg. The saxophone class will perform the whole Winterreise by Schubert on different saxophones with Martien Maas at the piano!

zaterdag 22 november 2008

vrijdag 21 november 2008

Gershwin's American in Paris is a great piece, a fantastic piece

Gershwin's American in Paris is a great piece, a fantastic piece!

Ok, how about this for contemporary music... We read in the news papers all of this news that the contemporary music scene in Holland is about to disappear... My Amstel Quartet has about 5 premiers this coming December and at least five more for next season. That says something at the least. But I want to ask all composers to start writing more for chammber music ensembles and less for for example opera... The Amstel Quartet will play good new pieces and take them on the road. In the end we will have more audiece for good modern pieces than one opera I think.... It's worth more the effort to invest in good pieces for smaller ensembles like ours...

dinsdag 18 november 2008

New Videos added in the video section (Grachtenfestival 2008), Ariel by Alexander Comitas

maandag 17 november 2008

Just came back from a stroll through town with my good friend Dick and...

Just came back from a stroll through town with my good friend Dick and calmed down a bnit. I was quite stressed. Dealing with starting up my practice as a saxophonist again....
Although my hand is far from good still, I am playhing and working and making the best out of it...
For those who have used the contact form on this website recenty: Your message did not arrive due to a bug in the system. Please resend. We apologize for any inconvenience.

vrijdag 14 november 2008

Chills people: http://de

Chills people: http://de.youtube.com/watch?v=fJt3qeuPdns&fmt=18
and
http://nl.youtube.com/watch?feature=related&v=gcIIkrBLUmg

Programme notes for Milhaud's 'La Creation du Monde' by Ties Mellema (Dutch only)

Darius Milhaud (1892-1974) – La Création du Monde, opus 81b (1923)

Na zijn eerste kennismaking met de échte Amerikaanse jazz, zoals die werd gespeeld door Afro-Amerikanen in de zwarte wijk Harlem in New York schreef Milhaud zijn legendarische en grootse balletmuziek, ‘La Création du Monde’, ofwel, de schepping van de wereld voor ‘Ballets Suédois’ (De Zweedse tijdgenoten van Diaghilev’s ‘Ballets Russes’). Tien jaar eerder schreef Stravinsky zijn ‘Sacre du Printemps’, geïnspireerd op Russische heidense rituelen, maar Milhaud verklankte de genesis volgens Afro-Amerikaanse legendes. En waar het begin van de wereld in de Sacre gepaard gaat met geweld, is ‘La Création’ een vreedzame gebeurtenis. Ook deze genesis schept wel degelijk orde uit chaos, maar ‘La Création’ gaat uit van de harmonie met de natuur van de Afrikanen, de aanvaarding van de krachten van de natuur, het afhankelijk zijn van de natuur. Angst en onrust ontbreken in Milhaud’s indrukwekkende werk: ‘La Création’ is primitief temperamentvol, fantasievol, onschuldig (op het naïeve af) en teder maar toch robuust.
Onder andere het feit dat in 1923 de jazz nog niet tot Europa was doorgedrongen zorgde ervoor dat de muziek bij de balletvoorstelling niet goed werd ontvangen. De enscenering door Léger (bekender van Antheil’s Ballet Mécanique, ondanks het megaspektakel van ‘La Création’) blonk uit in shockerend avant-gardisme en kundige uitwerkingen van vernieuwende concepten zoals het ontbreken van herkenbare menselijke figuren op het podium, metershoge goden van de schepping en het idee van de set als bewegend beeld: Dans in het licht van de technologische ontwikkeling. Maar de critici vonden de muziek niet schokkend genoeg. Men kende de jazz nog niet goed genoeg (het inventieve gebruik van de vroege drumkit vond men primitief en lawaaiig!) en er hing helaas een duidelijke zweem van racisme om deze kritiek heen. Er werd op de jazz neergekeken. Milhaud bleek echter voor te lopen op de tijdsgeest en dezelfde critici vonden ‘La Création’ tien jaar later zijn beste werk. Ondertussen was Milhaud zelf alweer klaar met de jazz muziek in zijn composities. Wel maakte hij nog de concertsuite opus 81a (voor jazzensemble, dezelfde bezetting als Maceo Pinkard’s opera, Liza) en 81b (voor pianokwintet).
Toen Milhaud New York bezocht en de Afro-Amerikaanse jazz hoorde vond hij dat deze muziek de diepste en meest authentieke emotie van de onderdrukte zwarte ziel uitdrukte. Waar Stravinsky de jazz muziek alleen oppervlakkig gebruikte (bepaalde ritmes bijvoorbeeld) probeerde Milhaud de geest van de muziek te assimileren in zijn eigen muziek bijvoorbeeld door middel van instrumentatie (in opus 81a gebruikt Milhaud de jazz band zoals hij hem in Harlem had gehoord) en het vloeiende gebruik van percussie. Milhaud zei over de ‘Amerikaanse zwarten’: “[Hun] formidabele gevoel voor ritme en hun diepgaande gevoel voor melodie, dat alleen mensen kunnen hebben die lang zijn onderdrukt...”, “allemaal [gospelliederen] hebben ze dezelfde tederheid, droefheid en geloofsbelijdenis...”. (Misschien voelde Milhaud zich door zijn Joodse wortels verwant aan de onderdrukte Afro-Amerikanen?)
In ‘La Création’ vinden we specifiek Afrikaanse elementen van de jazzmuziek (Milhaud hield niet van ‘entertainment jazz’): primitiviteit, intensiteit en het herhalende aspect van de ritmes en melodieën dat een tragisch en wanhopig effect produceert. Zoals Bach het menuet van een dansvorm tot een belangrijke muzikale vorm transformeerde, zo veranderde Milhaud de ragtime en de blues in plechtige en heilige muziek.
‘La Création du Monde’ is een suite in vijf delen, die alleen in opus 81b benoemd zijn. In de Prélude (I) zingen de goden (Mzamé, Mebère, Nkwa) bezweringen met afwisselende grote en kleine tertsen om zo de planten en dieren te creëren. In opus 81b verbeeldt de saxofoon de stem van de goden, in opus 81b heeft de piano dat voorrecht. De fuga (II) staat voor de chaos vóór de schepping. Wederom gebruikt Milhaud de afwisseling van mineur naar majeur, maar dit keer in de melodie zelf. Als de fuga tot rust komt in de blues (Romance, III) wordt het eerste leven verwelkomd: Bomen schieten uit de aarde, bladeren vallen en daar komen allerhande vreemde dieren uit voort. Elk wezen ontwikkelt zich individueel. De nacht gaat over in de dag. Uiteindelijk verschijnen man en vrouw tijdens de ritmische dans van de planten en dieren in het Scherzo (IV). De man en vrouw beginnen de dans van het verlangen en na een intermezzo op de melodie van de bezweringen uit het begin, die van de voldoening te dansen (met de tegenmelodie uit de fuga), Final (V) waardoor de aarde wordt wakker geschud door een grote explosie van ritmes. Alles wordt aan het eind weer rustig en de vogels proberen hun vleugels uit. Na 20 minuten het gevoel van de opkomende lente en verwachtingen te suggereren in een perfecte vorm is het eindelijk zover... Het laatste woord is aan de goden, een laatste maal de blues melodie uit de Romance als opmaat voor een tedere blues harmonie.
Het einde volgens Cendrar, de regisseur van het ballet: “Het paar is verenigd. De dans ebt weg, vertraagt en wordt beteugeld. Groep voor groep verspreiden de dansers zich, en het paar, in een innige omhelzing, zweeft van het podium alsof ze gedragen worden door een golf. Het is lente.”

woensdag 5 november 2008

Done

Done! We recorded everything, and I think it went well. I hope the CD will be released in Jan/Feb... We'll see!

zaterdag 1 november 2008

The day before the recording of my new CD 'On the Other Hand', trying ...

The day before the recording of my new CD 'On the Other Hand', trying to relax and make the final selection of my reeds.
I will record many new pieces but also Rossini, Cornelius, Bach and some impro's. I think it will be a nice programme!

donderdag 30 oktober 2008

Joshua Redman yesterday in the BIMHuis, great stuff

Joshua Redman yesterday in the BIMHuis, great stuff. He brought a trio: sax, bass, drums (Brian Blade). Great band, great atmosphere, great jazz: great concert. Redman is very sympathetic and he embraces the audience. He is also very professional: every set lasted exactly (!) 45 minutes. Yet I didn't have the feeling he wanted to leave like I had with James Carter last Sunday....

http://nl

http://nl.youtube.com/watch?v=yDA1C9FK-XI

It's a boy

It's a boy!!!

zaterdag 25 oktober 2008

Another 4tet rehearsal today

Another 4tet rehearsal today... it was great to play with the guys again, and I must say, the Mark VI bari adds a whole new dimension to 4tet playing! I can hear myself in detail, as well as the others! How strange it may sound, this was not the case on my Series II. It's a great horn... and a great 4tet!

Tonight I am going to hear James Carter. I am expecting a lot, I hope he will play up to it :-)

Next week are the CD recordings for my 'On the Other Hand' CD, more exciting stuff. A document to close this period off musically. Of course, there will be long term effects, but with the CD I have something concrete to close it off....

vrijdag 24 oktober 2008

In Dutch only: http://www

In Dutch only: http://www.kieskompas-usa.nl/

Finally: I have found a Mark VI baritone sax

Finally: I have found a Mark VI baritone sax. I was never really fond of my Series II to be honest. This is a fantastic horn. Of course there are some things I have to get used to: the tf hole is too small, which makes the sound stuffy, the mechanism is not very sophisticated (almost!), it does not have a high F# key, but I might have Saxomania make one some time. Olivier in my quartet did the same on his Mark VI alto and it worked out fine!
The other thing is: when I don't play 440, but 442, in winter (!) the octaves are way too big. I bought the thing in summer so I was not aware... but it is a problem. Right now I am finding some solutions with Saxomania. When the big end of the end has an open donut in it made out of cork and when I combine that with a AAA battery in the s bow, the octaves are great!

vrijdag 17 oktober 2008

A familiy meber pointed out to me recently that Fritzl wás for ...

A familiy meber pointed out to me recently that Fritzl wás for his actions, that was what the verdict was about. That makes him even more insane: he knew what he was doing doing and was probably aware that he was doing a bad thing....

dinsdag 14 oktober 2008

Now online, new Youtube videos: David Dramm - Hangman, world premier (followed by an improvisation) and Rossini's Ave Maria su Due Note during the Amsterdam Grachtenfestival, August 23, 2008

maandag 13 oktober 2008

I don't understand legal matters often

I don't understand legal matters often. Fritzl was mentally sane?!?!?! (see here). If you do stuff like that I would say per definition one is crazy as can be....!!!

zaterdag 11 oktober 2008

The Dutch Netherlands Bank will give me my money back

The Dutch Netherlands Bank will give me my money back! Wouter Bos arranged all of this... I am very happy with this!

And what else...? Well, I saw the Aurelia Quartet today today. Playing Andriessen, Shostakovitch, Piazolla, Bach. They played well, althoug there many things we would have done differently (of course!) but the acoustics were not as well as I thought for chamber music in the BIMHuis. Although the athmosphere for the audience is much better than the BAM-zaal.

woensdag 8 oktober 2008

donderdag 25 september 2008

So

So... what's new....?

We're expecting a baby...

Unbelievable.

What else? this is about it....

The hand, well the hand, it's getting there, little by little. It's an exercise in patience mainly...

dinsdag 9 september 2008

The Uitmarkt 2008 Concert with Hans Eijsackers is now online, with again, a new free improvisations and the 'On the Other Hand' repertoire by David Dramm, Alexander Comitas, Guillermo Lago, Peter Cornelius.

zondag 31 augustus 2008

The days after the 'On the Other Hand' concerts

The days after the 'On the Other Hand' concerts. They went well, I think. I taught again today and couldn't help integrating some Kenny Werner into it. I even did the first step with two students. I quit another school and I have plenty of time of time to teach my current students. I enjoyed and it's great to have enough space in my head!
Check out Branford Marsalis and Willie Nelson, some fot he Wynton solos I have heard!!!

zondag 24 augustus 2008

A LIVE registration of the 23-08-2008 'On the Other Hand' (click on 'concert registrations') Concert @ the Amsterdam Grachtenfestival, embedded through MOG.com

maandag 18 augustus 2008

Thursday 21 August on Volkskrant TV an interview with Ties Mellema about 'On the Other Hand'. Premier of the concert Saturday 23 August during the Amsterdam Canal Festival

zondag 17 augustus 2008

Well, back from the dead

Well, back from the dead... hardly from the dead. Back with lots of new inspiration from Kenny Werner, the author of Effortless Mastery... Studying, but trying to let go now.
Great stuff, check it out: kennywernerlive.com

zondag 10 augustus 2008

In New Jersey now after spending some days in NY

In New Jersey now after spending some days in NY. I am doing a workshop with Kenny Werner now, in Effortless Mastery. It's a great method of playing and making music. Based on detachment from music, playing and judgement.
Tonight I am going to hear my friend Ivo play in Manhattan and then tomorrow back to Jersey!

donderdag 31 juli 2008

dinsdag 29 juli 2008

Programme notes for Darius Milhaud's 'La Création du Monde' by Ties Mellema online now. Go to 'on music and saxophone'

dinsdag 8 juli 2008

About to go off on holidays to Terschelling

About to go off on holidays to Terschelling. A week rest, of which one weekend with two dear friends of ours!

I am editing the Bach prelude and Fugue BWV537 now, adding articulation, phrasings, dynamics, etc. A lot of work, much more than putting the notes in the computer!
I am listening to a lot of examples of organists and even the Elgar arrangement to pick out the things I would like to do with my quartet!

woensdag 2 juli 2008

Good news: After second opinion at the Medisch Centrum Haaglanden, the polikliniek for dancers and musicians, Dr. MacFarlane was of the opinion that Mellema's hand will be cured in one year, meaning April 2009. himself being a enthusiastic clarinettist and saxophonist claimed that the muscles one misses after an ulnar nerve lesion are not absolutely required for playing the saxophone, except for the spread muscles of the right hand pinky.
Mellema's ergotherapist detected subtle innervation in some muscles in the right hand two weeks after.

dinsdag 1 juli 2008

A good day today

A good day today. Ergotherapy for my hand: there is progress, it is very slow and she stressed that it will take a year minimum, but there is progress. I can play all the notes on my horn and with maybe 50% revalidation of the hand I expect to be up and running, maybe not with extreme virtuoso music (as in a lot of contemporary music) but most of the repertoire I expect to be playing by Christmas... I hope I am nnot being to optimistic!

Also I saw a Glenn Gould DVD today. What a fascinating musician.... (that's an understatement)

maandag 23 juni 2008

Today all day exams at the Fontys Conservatory

Today all day exams at the Fontys Conservatory. All day for hours and hours saxophone and I loved every minute of it. Most people played well and we heard some very interesting developments.... It's great to hear students change and being more expressive as time goes by.

dinsdag 17 juni 2008

About to go off to the Stedelijk Museum with a friend of mine

About to go off to the Stedelijk Museum with a friend of mine. Afterwards my last lesson to give before the holidays. My students have examens next week. Yesterday they had a try out in front of their fellow students.
This morning I had a good study: 3rd Cello Suite on alto saxophone in Db (!). What great music.... can/t get over it. There's so much to discover, so many lines to bring out, so many nuances to give...

2nd Try-Out 'On the Other Hand' Concert in the Thomaskerk here UPDATED 18 JUNE 2008

On the Other Hand, 27 May, 2008, Try-out at Thomaskerk, Amsterdam. Works by Cornelius, Lago, Wilson, Comitas, Van Klaveren.
Please check back for more of this concert periodically! UPDATED 18 JUNE 2008


Guillermo Lago - Strong Ties
Wijnand Van Klaveren - Intermezzo no. 2

Ties Mellema/Hans Eijsackers, Improvisation on no theme

zondag 15 juni 2008

3 Smart Things About Music 05

3 Smart Things About Music
05.19.08
Wired Magazine

1 The pitches in musical scales are likely derived from language. Turns out, aspects of spoken English and Mandarin correlate to the intervals between notes in a chromatic scale (the black and white piano keys in an octave). Is it music we love or the sound of our own voices?

2 When musicians improvise, the lateral prefrontal areas of their brains — responsible for planning and self-censorship — basically turn off. Meanwhile, the medial prefrontal cortex — linked to self-expression and activities like telling a story about yourself — lights up.

3 Getting "Eye of the Tiger" stuck in your head is the result of a glitch in your auditory cortex. This part of your brain processes sounds and stores them for later recall. It powers up and can start crooning uncontrollably after hearing just a few notes of a familiar tune. Want it to stop? Listen to the whole song or do some math.

Emio Greco - Pieter C

Emio Greco - Pieter C. Scholten, Holland Festival, [purgatorio] IN VISIONE

I saw some of their shows before. I like them, although he always had a somewhat bad taste in music and sound (my opinion of course!). Now he made a choreography to the Matthew Passion. And not just the 'normal' Matthew Passion. An arranger who should be forbidden to ever work in music again made the adaptation for this show. Ok, this sounds very bold. Maybe he is a very nice guy and a good composer, but yesterday's show made me feel very bad. He managed to take all of the emotion out of the piece. Incredible, Bach is a composer who is still standing strong even when performed badly. The orchestra (Amsterdam Sinfonietta) played well but the music was reduced to almost nothing I realized after watching the whole show. It hit me finally in after about 45 minutes when the arranger combined a flugelhorn and an accordeon in unison!!! I was looking around me, nobody noticed that this sounded very bad! Again, the flugel player couldn't help it, it was the instrumentation.
And the dance. Greco is a great dancer who I love to watch. But it didn't connect at all to me. I didn't see anything in the show. Well, he did a clowns act did drew my attention for some minutes, but that was it. No message, no emotion, no story.

I didn't like it.

This same day I went to Festival Classique and heard Faust/Melnikov/Swart play Brahms horntrio. What a music. And they were trying and doing it. They didn't try to shock for shock's sake. They played the music like it is. Not geniusly, but good, excellent even....

woensdag 11 juni 2008

Today was a good day

Today was a good day. I had a very inspiring lesson from Anner in the Sarabande from the 3rd Cello Suite and I think we made a great arrangement of it for solo sax in sounding Db. Afterwards I had dinner with a colleague which was also very inspiring. Talking to kindred spirits in saxophone can be great, talking about the same thing, music, reeds, mouthpieces, repertoire, etc.

woensdag 4 juni 2008

In spite of the fact that my quartet is playing with a substitue, we s...

In spite of the fact that my quartet is playing with a substitue, we still see each other as much as we can. Today we discussed our repertory for the coming 2 seasons. It will be very interesting! Debussy, Haydn, more Glass and Glazounow, new arrangements (Ravel, Franck, Bach). Good stuff to look forward to.

zondag 1 juni 2008

Ties Mellema was a guest in AVRO Radio Opium (Click for broadcast) in May 2008 (Dutch only)

zaterdag 31 mei 2008

I am learning to let go

I am learning to let go... what more can I say. My injury is life altering to say the least. But I will get something from it, something positive. I am learning to let go...

WOW

WOW!!!! http://youtube.com/watch?v=s1qAWcd4rr0&feature=related
And some info on wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlos_Kleiber
I am studying this piece right now and this one of the best performaces of this I have heard so far. His conducting is amazing I must say... Look at him, the music is in his whole body and mind, and he is liking it. Love the smile!

maandag 26 mei 2008

Dear Council for Culture

Dear Council for Culture!

STEIM is an important Dutch institution that has had and should have more influence on the Dutch music life. From my own experience in the more or less \\'traditional\\' classical and contemporary music world I can say that STEIM has influenced the Dutch contemporary music scene in general and brought forth many musicians who are masters of their acoustic instruments but expanded their sound with STEIM developed instruments.

Although STEIM has the image of sub culture, if it  would disappear from the Dutch cultural landscape, one important initiator of Dutch innovation would disappear. Holland is a front runner in contemporary music, also because of its work with new media. This would have never been like this without STEIM.

But \\'new media\\' is not finished developing yet. It\\'s a small child that needs an education. I know that STEIM is the only one that can teach Holland to deal with new media and to develop tools that are accesible for everyone. Who else can do this? Nobody!

I hope you will reconsider your decision.

Yours truly,

Ties Mellema
The Amsterdam Canal festival announces its new programme for 2008, a.o. Ties Mellema and Hans Eijsackers with 'On the Other Hand'.

zaterdag 24 mei 2008

Tokafi website reports news about Ties Mellema
Composer Martin Fondse in a 2 hour interview in Cantina. He plays a.o. his own composition 'Roots' performed  by Ties Mellema and Hans Eijsackers in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw.

vrijdag 23 mei 2008

i finished my updates to the site with help of my webmaster, Peter Gro...

i finished my updates to the site with help of my webmaster, Peter Grond, also a very gifted violinist. Now there's audio and video of my concerts. Schapenwolk will film some concerts this year and I will have all my concerts (when I can) with an Edirol R-09HR, which is great quality, even without external mic.

woensdag 21 mei 2008

Video registration of the first try-out of 'On the Other Hand', May 19, 2008. Keep checking back, videos will be uploaded periodically!


On the Other Hand, 19 May, 2008, Try-out at Huize d'Ansembourg. Works by Cornelius, Lago, Wilson, Comitas, Bach, Manneke, Rossini, Van Klaveren.
Please check back for more of this concert periodically!

On The Other Hand from joan on Vimeo.
Peter Cornelius - Ein Ton Ties Mellema - saxophone, Hans Eijsackers piano


Ties explains what happened from joan on Vimeo.

dinsdag 20 mei 2008

zaterdag 17 mei 2008

Yesterday I was a host in the radio show 'Opium' on behalf of the Amst...

Yesterday I was a host in the radio show 'Opium' on behalf of the Amstel Quartet. I was a bit nervous but I decided to just talk and see what happened. And it worked. I had a good time and I was relaxed. I played a bit to demonstrate what I can still do with my right hand (A Bach Sarabande, what a gift!!!!) and they pllayed from the new quartet CD, Sicilienne.

dinsdag 13 mei 2008

Hand therapy this morning

Hand therapy this morning. My therapist thinks there might be another nerve undamaged because I have so much feeling left in my hand. There's just a relatively small part which is completely 'deaf'.
Also, I was wondering about the tingling sensation in my hand. It doesn't spread to the thumb side of the hand, which is logical: there I have feeling so there are no sensory nerves growing there, and that's where the tingling sensation comes from!

zaterdag 10 mei 2008

Listening to Toots Thielemans and Kenny Werner now

Listening to Toots Thielemans and Kenny Werner now. I will be studying with Mr. Werner this August on his 'Effortless' Mastery'. It's something I want to learn more about. In this time I think these are worthwhile to learn about. Also Frederic Chiu's method although aimed at pianists seems to be something I want dive into.
In the mean time I am trying to get my printer to print black and not red.... Argh!

donderdag 8 mei 2008

Things are still ok

Things are still ok... the hand is functioning more or less. But if course I still have to wait for the nerve to make contact with the muscles. I am expecting this to happen in more or less 3 weeks....
I am studying mentally now a lot. It's an experiment. I hope to learn this in this period... I hope it makes the imagination stronger... because I am not making noise when I am trying to imagine the music :-)

zaterdag 3 mei 2008

What a lovely day

What a lovely day. Heading out to the centre to do some shopping with my sister. Haven't practiced yet today, but I think I can get an hour tonight. It's great to be playing again! But I am also enjoying the time without pressure of performing musically! I had a lesson with Anner Bijlsma some days ago and that was great. I played Sarabande from the Partita for Flute and everything came together. Unbelievable after 6 weeks not playing...
Yesterday Ruud Jacobs' birthday at the BIMhuis. What a great nigth. Especially Peter Beets was a discovery for me again. What a great musician, very creative and very very funky!!!!

vrijdag 2 mei 2008

News letter for Dutch programmers (Dutch language only), May '08: Here

donderdag 1 mei 2008

Not much news

Not much news. I feel some tingling in the area in the palm of the hand about two centimeters above the wound. That might be some neurones that have started trying to find their way...
I am not wearing my brace anymore during the day and next week I am totally without. I hhave started playing the left hand pieces and that works out great. Today I had a lesson with Anner Bijlsma. I found out I can also still play the Sarabande from the Partital for flute (no D# and low C and beyond).
Trying to do my exercises which is hard because they are boring, but essential!
News letter April '08, online version

woensdag 30 april 2008

Thomas Open Concert of Ties Mellema and Hans Eijsackers is concert of the week for Radio 4, 4takt, NPS. Today at 12:30, Prinses Irenestraat 36: NS Station Amsterdam Zuid WTC, just a few minute walk or GVB tram 5, metro/tram 50, 51, Connexxion 310

zondag 6 april 2008

Watch on this video how Ties keeps training his hand to keep his motoric cortex in shape while waiting for the neurones to grow back into his hand. Here (Dutch only, no subtitles)

zaterdag 5 april 2008

Joan de Ruijter of Schapenwolk made a short film with an interview with Ties Mellema talking about his injury. Watch it here.

dinsdag 1 april 2008

Comforting music : http://www

Comforting music : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNXBhmbGymY#GU5U2spHI_4

Ties Mellema injured

In a very unfortunate accident, Ties was hurt in an accident. He cut his wrist severing his ulnar nerve, a tendon and an artery. Ties' future is uncertain, he could be up and playing again in some months, but it could not work out at all. Read more

zaterdag 1 maart 2008

Together with Ties Mellema, Dutch composer Willem Breuker is working on a revision of the Glazounow Concerto for saxophone and string orchestra. Breuker will a.o. write a new Cadenza and revise the rest of the piece. The premier will be in October in Amsterdam,  with conductor/violist Gijs Kramers.

dinsdag 19 februari 2008

More Cole Porter Songs with Thomas Hampson


Recorded at the Prinsengrachtconcert, Amsterdam
Thomas Hampson, baritone/Ties Mellema, saxophone/Wilmar de Visser, Bass/Wolfram Rieger, piano/Liza Ferschtman, violin

zaterdag 16 februari 2008

“Everyone knows what attention is

“Everyone knows what attention is. It is the taking possession by the mind in clear and vivid form, of one out of what seem several simultaneously possible objects or trains of thought… It implies withdrawal from some things in order to deal effectively with others.”
— William James

So I haven't been writing much, I guess largely due to the process above. Trying to focus more. Also I have been reading Getting Things Done, a book by David Allen. A fun and very effective way to get more organisation in your life.

We gave a great concert with the quartet some days ago in Vught. Unexpectedly I might say! We didn't have so much time to prepare as we should, but everybody seemed to be 200% alert and the magic happened. Always when you expect it least...

For musicians: I have been working with an 'eierwekker' (is that egg alarm clock in English???) when studying and working behind the computer: 10 minutes of work and 2 minutes of rest. Also very effective!

donderdag 31 januari 2008

Who is this? It's

Who is this? It's ... right.... right? Joshua who...?

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zondag 20 januari 2008

Thomas Hampson, Ties Mellema, Liza Ferschtman, Wilmar de Visser, Wolfram Rieger play Cole Porter songs at the Prinsengrachtconcert


Recorded at the Prinsengrachtconcert, Amsterdam
Thomas Hampson, baritone/Ties Mellema, saxophone/Wilmar de Visser, Bass/Wolfram Rieger, piano/Liza Ferschtman, violin

zaterdag 19 januari 2008

Hans Eijsackers replaces Wijnand Van Klaveren
Due to injury of Wijnand Van Klaveren, he will be replaced by Hans Eijsackers untill further notice in concerts of Ties Mellema/Wijnand Van Klaveren. Eijsackers and Mellema first performed together on 30 December 2007 in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam (broadcast 7 February 2008 at 14:30 Dutch time, on the internet: www.radio4.nl)
Mellema and Eijsackers will perform van Klaveren newest composition 'Symphonias and Interludes' (Symphonias by Bach) at their upcomgin concerts in May 2008.

maandag 14 januari 2008

Last day in Caracas and unfortunately I got sick yesterday, a flu

Last day in Caracas and unfortunately I got sick yesterday, a flu...

Trying to get rid of it today because I am flying tomorrow. When I get back I have a lot of things to do but I will try to keep my head cool!

maandag 7 januari 2008

Na het lezen van 'Haydn', een biografie van Pierre Barbaud,vielen mij ...

Na het lezen van 'Haydn', een biografie van Pierre Barbaud,vielen mij de volgende citaten op, al was het alleen maar vanwege het mooie Nederlands (vertaald uit het Frans nota bene!):

Goethe over Haydn: "Zijn werken zijn de ideale taal der waarheid: elk van hun onderdelen is noodzakelijk voor een geheel waarvan het een integrerend deel vormt."

 "Het werk van Haydn is een monument van zuivere muziek onderworpen aan de invloeden van de operamuziek." Barbaud over de muziek van Haydn: de voorklassieken hebben zich overgegeven aan de invloed van de opera, Haydn distantieerde zich hier weer van: "De opera moest zich wijden aan het langzamerhand koloniseren van alle muzikale vormen door daar het aan hun wezen vreemde  begrip in te voeren van dramatische expressie."

"De romantici hebben om redenen van vitaal belang voor hun propaganda, zwaar de nadruk moeten leggen op het feit dat het doel van alle kunst expressie is en hebben zeer luid de voorrang van het gevoel in de kunst moeten proclameren. De geschiedenis der muziek" van de 17de en 18de eeuw is de geschiedenis van deze vreedzame verovering. De voor-klassiekers deden niets anders dan het annexatie verdrag tekenen."

Over de stereotype componistvan de romantiek: "hij staat  's nachts op, bezeten door de godheid, werpt zich op een piano of op een stuk muziekpapier en onmiddelijk componeert hij een luidruchtig deel van een symfonie."

"De voornaamste grief die de ijveraars voor het 'hartebloed' dus koesteren tegen de muziek van Haydn is dezelfde als die zij kosteren tegen moderne muziek: het zondigen door buitensporige verstandelijkheid, waardoor de expressieve waarde ontbreekt. Doordat zij verscheidene eeuwen lang gewend zijn aan de verbondenheid van de muziek met het drama, eisen zij dat zij hun het schouwspel geeft van de psychologische toestand waarin de componist op een gegeven ogenblik verkeert."

"De expressie is nooit het innerlijke bezit  der muziek geweest."

"Men kan nooit genoeg maatregelen nemen om de muziek buiten het bereik van de imbecielen te houden." (Guillaume de Van)

"Haydns zoeken naar een techniek of stijl of schrijfwijze die hem eigen is, neemt bij hem de plaats in van een metafysisch avontuur."

Een argumentatie om de strijkkwartteten op saxofoon te spelen: "Van de drie eigenschappen van de toon worden er slechts twee, die moeilijk van elkaar te scheiden zijn, in het strijkkwartet gebruikt: de toonhoogte ... en de sterkt, die het ritme te voorschijn brengt. De 'zonde' van het timbre wordt er maar weinig in betrokken... Met dezelfde minachting voor de goedkope  verleiding van de klank en omdat hij de wereld  die hij vaarwel zegt , nu zijn hoogste onderwijs wil nalaten, schirjft Bach Die Kunst der Fuge, zonder aanduiding van instrumenten. Deze tendentie in de muziek, door de eeuwen heen aanwezig, niets te willen weten van de 'aantrekkelijkheid' van de klanken verwerkelijkt zich in het kwartet (van Haydn, TM): dit biedt, het minst onderworpen aan het aardse gewicht, het beeld van een muziek welks incarnatie -omdat die tenslotte wel moet plaatsvinden- optreedt in vier instrumenten van dezelfde familie (kortom, het is eigenlijk nog beter geschikt voor saxofoon :-) TM) waardoor de kans van een op twee, dat de toehoorder door satanskunsten wordt verleid, zo veel mogelijk verminderd."

Over de strijkkwartetten (die de auteur als hoogste werken van Haydn beschouwt): "Geen zinnelijk kwelling komt in dit klooster zijn absoluut gebed, zijn wens naar ingetogenheid en levensverzaking verstoren."

"Haydn heeft slechts een beperkte wereldlijke roeping: geen aanleg voor een lieflijkheid van zoete klanken, geen 'sex-appeal'.  (Ik heb altijd gevonden dat de kwartetten van Haydn niet 'mooi' gespeeld moesten worden en niet al teveel aandacht de schoonheid van toon moesten hebben in de uitvoering maar louter de muzikale elementen zo veel recht moesten doen alsof de musicus 'spreekt', daarbij wellicht technieken gebruikend die in 'normale' muziek als lelijk worden beschouwd! TM)

zondag 6 januari 2008

Ever since my puberty I have been fascinated by the music of Haydn

Ever since my puberty I  have been fascinated by the music of Haydn.Not as much by the beauty of it, at least as we tend to view beauty nowadays usually, but by something I oculd never quite grasp. On the other hand, I was never as intrigued by the symphonies of the same composer. I was never sure why. I am finishing up the reading of a French bio of this genius composer, whom I hold in higher esteem than Mozart in certain respects, and although the bio is very old and I am reading a translation in old Dutch, the book is fascinating. Also because of the beautiful translation, it read like poetry sometimes. All my suspicions and observations about Haydn are talked about in this book. I willgive some quotes next time! (I am sorry, they will be in Dutch)