This summer, Lunalia Festival asked me to record Calliope Tsoupaki’s brand new ‘Think air’ as part of the international Festivals for Compassion. And to my surprise and delight, the Belgian news organisation, the VRT, published this nice write up about it this week:
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Doublespeak | Doublethink, a new program has two new dates in two months in two cities in two countries:
“You do not exist,” George Orwell 1984
In the iconic book, 1984, Orwell defines Doublethink as the ability to hold two contradictory thoughts in one’s head and to believe them both simultaneously. In this program we will walk the edge between two thoughts, doubling and negating the original, both the sound of the trombone and the physical performance itself. The soloist, Thomas Moore will take on a split personality, be pre-recorded, live-manipulated, duplicated and nullified.
Marino, Jessie: Commitment :: Ritual :: BiiM (2011) for solo performer, lights and tape – 4′
Beyer, Stefan: Strandung (2016, rev 2020) for trombone and electronics – 12’
Maierhof, Michael: Splitting 53* (2016-18) for trombone, amplified splitter and tape – 9’
Bark, Jan & Rabe, Folke: Ach Chamberlin (1965) tape – 6’
Henderickx, Wim: Akasha*, from VOID (2020) for trombone/voice and live electronics – 10’
Ivičević, Mirela: Orgy of References (2012, rev. 2019) for speaker/singer and live electronics – 8’
This Wednesday, the 7th of October I am going to play a solo-recital in a small castle in the Ardennes that, due to COVID19, the organizer also is going to live stream. It is a benefit concert for Music Fund and the concert can be viewed via Facebook live at this link: www.facebook.com/MusicFund. The concert starts at 7 pm (Brussels time, GMT +2).
Music Fund does wonderful work, collecting and repairing second-hand instruments to then distribute to musicians and music schools in conflict areas, including Gaza and the Congo. They also train instrument repairers and have their own studios. During my concert, the trombone specialist from the studio in Marche-en-Famenne will also talk about her work and the history of the instrument.
The concert program is very diverse, with some 20th century works by American composers and a local Belgian hero from the previous century, Lucien Goethals, a premiere by Frederik Neyrinck and even a couple snippets of Bach.
Monday evening at the TR Warszawa, the French/Polish composer Pierre Jodlowski will be featured in a monographic concert as part of the Avant Art Festival in Warsaw, Poland. Pierre invited me to come to the festival and perform his really cool piece for solo trombone + video and audio electronics: OUTERSPACE. During the piece we dive into a game-like engine, duplicate the trombonist and spook the audience.
Thank you for the very nice words Aiga Leitholde in the Lsm.lv!
At the end of the Liepāja Art Forum, the “Galactic Journey with Stockhausen” was performed by tandem – trombonist Thomas R. Moore and video artist Klaas Verpoest, continuing to introduce the audience to the classics and genius thinkers of our time. Feldmans).
The audiovisual concert consisted of two of Stockhausen’s works “Signale zur Invasion” and “Octophonie”. Although at first it is thought that the monolithic, abstract sounds and visual references to the Star Wars movie could create dissonant feelings, after a while it became clear how harmonious Stockhausen’s music is! The stone walk between the ranks of the listeners and the passionate playing made it feel as if we were sitting on a round ball.
Although I have not been to the moon myself yet, but probably the feelings would be similar.
Thank you for a very special festival, the Liepaja Art Forum 2020! We had a great time and you were gracious hosts for our Signale & Oktophonie from Karlheinz Stockhausen. Bonus: you took some great pictures!
This Sunday, the 27th of September, it’s time to suit up and once again enter the galatic trip that is Stockhausen’s Oktophonie & Signale Zur Invasion. This time we will present this immersive sound, video and trombone spectacle to the citizens of Liepaja, Latvia in their pearl of a hall, The Great Amber.
Lift off is at 17h local time, so if you are in the neighborhood, come check it out!
This summer I was invited by the Jelle Dierickx, the director of Festival van Vlaanderen Mechelen, to premiere a new piece that he commissioned from Frederik Neyrinck. The piece would be a part of a cycle that the collective Flanders Festivals had put together within the framework of the ‘Festivals for Compassion.’ Frederik did a fantastic job, composing 8 impressive pieces in an incredibly short time. I really like his trombone piece, titled Echo de Cleves E and am thrilled that they asked me to take it on.
The Festival van Vlaanderen Mechelen brought this piece to premiere via two recordings. The first was made at the Klara recording studio at the VRT tower in Brussels. That team did great work producing all 8 pieces in the cycle. Jelle and his team also took the time to produce a live video version of the piece in the beautiful St. Rumbold’s Cathedral in Mechelen.
Both recordings have been released on YouTube and I’ve embedded them below. Enjoy!
Live Video Version, Echo de Cleves E by Frederik Neyrinck
Version produced by Klara at the VRT radio tower, Echo de Cleves E, by Frederick Neyrinck
These last couple weeks have been pretty exciting. Nadar ensemble put together a few live virtual concerts (the first ever in its history) featuring Stefan Prins’ FITTINGinSIDE for trombone, video conference and walking tour. This is a piece that has been in my repertoire for at least 3 years, but I have never been able to perform for so many people participating from some many different parts of the world. We had audience members from Seattle to Tel Aviv and from Latvia to Columbia. It was wonderful to play live concerts again and we even got a nice review in the New Yorker, written by Alex Ross: The bleeding together of these experiences was grippingly disorienting.
Here is a link, if you would like to read the whole article: Musicians and Composers Respond to a Chaotic Moment.
I also was asked by Jelle Dierckx, of Lunalia Festival in Mechelen, Belgium to represent his festival in a really cool initiative called Festivals for Compassion:
“With Festivals for Compassion festivals around Europe express their solidarity in these times of Corona by presenting a new solo composition by the Greek-Dutch composer Calliope Tsoupaki. Each festival selects their own artist and instrument. The piece will be premiered on the Dutch NPO Radio 4 on 20 June, with the Flemish Klara taking over the next day. After this, like a relay race of compassion, the work will begin its journey through Europe travelling from festival to festival, and will be shared online.”
I played the piece on Euphonium and recorded it in Onze Lieve Vrouw over de Dijle, a beautiful church in Mechelen.
For the first time in its 14-year existence, Nadar has organized a virtual concert. As a member of this cool group of adventurous musicians, I not only get to help make this happen, but I once again get to perform Stefan Prins’ solo work for Trombone, Walking, Soundtrack and Conference Call, titled FITTINGinSIDE.
We will do it twice, first on the 6th of June, orgainized by deSingel and Concertgebouw Brugge and then again on the 13th of June. If you’d like to join us on the 13th, please sign up via this Google Form: Nadar Virtual Concert. The concert starts at 20:30 European Central Time.
Hope to see you there!