What a year!

It’s been a while since my last post, so this may be longer than usual. It has been quite the spring and I have a lot to cover!

(c) Wim Hierbaut

First off – Nadar Ensemble – what an amazing and crazy whirlwind of concerts, trips, and composer’s schools in no less than 8 cities in 6 countries across 2 continents. We first went to Keil, Germany to play our now well-routined Doppelgänger program at the Frequenz festival. This program includes Jodlowski’s solo trombone piece, OUTERSPACE in which I got to play really close to the public – I mean audience-nervously-thinking-about-holding-their-ears-close!
Our band then made is US debut as the 2022 Fromm residents at Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts. We were invited to work closely with the PhD-composition students on new pieces written especially for our ensemble. Personally this concert was quite touching because not only did I learn how to use a CD-mute (it sounds wild!), my parents made the trip up to see us play. How wonderful it was wonderful to present this ensemble and my friends to my family.
After Harvard it was back to the capital city of Europe for a rock-n-roll-style concert at Das Haus followed closely on its heels by our family show at Côte Jardin in De Bijloke, Ghent.
And that was just May!
In June, we first flew to Athens, Greece to play our newest (and fanciest!) version of FITTINGinSIDE, by Stefan Prins at the annual DARIAH-EU event. Then Nadar repeated my PhD-program, HANDS ON (hands off) to an incredibly appreciative crowd at the INMM conference in Darmstadt, Germany. Afterwards we headed off to Paris, France to play Pierre Jodlowski’s thrilling and enrapturing chamber opera Alan T.) at the Philharmonie.
The last stop on our blizt across Europe was in beautiful and charming (and hot!) Plasencia, Spain. There we once again were invited as artists-in-residence for a composer’s school. This one was put on by the really hip Klexos Ensemble.

While I was in the States in May, I got the chance to work with an old school friend of my on an improvisation project, the amazing and unstoppable saxophonist, Tyrone Fredericks. He introduced me to another great musician from the Lehigh Valley, drummer Kevin Soffera. Together we spent a day in Kevin’s basement studio playing Ty’s numbers and putting together a cool little recording we hope to bring out by the end of the year. More on that later.

(c) Lotte de Voght

And lastly, I just finished off my first year as chair of the brass section at the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp. It was a year in which I felt like I was playing catch up constantly, but am grateful to my colleagues within the section and my fellow chairs for their help along the way and especially their patience. The brass group is full of great players and teachers, and most importantly, we all seem to share a collective vision.
I must be doing something right because at the end of the year, not only did the school renew my brass position, they also asked me to act as chair of the research group Performance Practice in Perspective as well as teach two courses in Artistic Research. I am very much looking forward to the challenge both functions will present and am really grateful that I can continue pursuing my own research in the arts at this institution.

One more plug before I head off on vacation. Here are links to two articles I recently got published (and am particularly proud of):
Solo-chef. Roles of the performer in Light Music by Thierry De Mey
Hide to Show: ‘Memefying’ Live Music (co-authored with Prof. Dr. Pascal Gielen)

(c) Jennifer Walshe

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