On December 16th I performed on a boat during Winterwelvaart festival in Groningen together with three singer-songwriters.
I was exited to be invited to play one of my songs with a string orchestra (JOG). Charles Belfor, a composer & cellist, made an arrangement for a string orchestra from one of my songs Rainforest Light. I was a bit nervous at first, because musically I’m not so well trained to be able to lead or guide an orchestra ;-). But luckily this wasn’t my job for this collaboration. Charles told me he was going to arrange everything, and I could let myself be surprised by the result. Which was really nice, I was curious what he would make from it. And when I got together with the orchestra, I noticed it turned out beautifully.
Me and the songwriters performed in a small space on a boat. It was a nice and cosy place. But even though the atmosphere was very nice and wintery, during the sound check and final rehearsal I got a bit into a stressful and worrisome state, because my own (electronic) music didn’t sound good. It appeared that the speakers had no (or very little) bass frequencies. For the songwriters who played with guitars and pianos these speakers were sufficient. But I felt like my music sounded like a mobile phone tune. I make use of a lot of deep basses, so without the bass frequencies, my music sounds like something completely different. So just before the performances were about to start we arranged some extra speakers, and I was happy that this problem was solved.
Maybe my worrisome reaction to the speaker situation beforehand contributed to this, but when I started playing my electronic music, I felt a bit out of place. The atmosphere was cosy, warm, some guitar tunes, singer-songwriters, children, which was nice, but it didn’t feel right to come in with my experimental stuff. I find it hard to explain but it feels like this setting didn’t suit my music. Based on this feeling and my speaker situation, I think I should select more carefully where I would like to perform.
The last song of my set was Rainforest Light with the orchestra. I was happy that I did this song after my electronic music, because it felt more fitting in the cosy setting. It was a special experience to rehearse and perform with an orchestra behind me, a nice and succeeded experiment. I will post the recording soon.
Lately I have been performing a lot with my table with my midi devices etc. But I feel like I’m a bit done with it now. I don’t feel entirely comfortable standing still and rather passively behind my table of knobs and faders. I feel even more urge and enthusiasm to work further on my “body & movement to music” project! So my focus from now on will be more on working with the Kinect and other sensors…