30/06/2014

Bach and Improvisation II on "Birds, drums and signals"- nervous movements

Like in the previous post quietude for Bach and nervous excitement for my improvisation. The latter was recorded three years ago; I'm quite surprised to see the movements I make. Overdone?





J.S. Bach - Trio Sonata in e minor BWV 528, second movement and Improvisation I on "Birds, drums and signals"

Two very different types of energy: the calm, serene mood of a trio sonata's slow movement and the agitated atmosphere of a piece, which may be considered as a reflection on both my playing with African musicians in the late '90s and bird song by Messiaen.






26/06/2014

Improvisation V on "Birds, drums and signals" (Nicolaaskerk, Utrecht)

In the previous post I said that Birds, drums and signals was the result of improvisations, like in fact all my pieces. To close the circle, I often consider the composition which I wrote as a starting-point for new improvisations. In that way, the line between composition and improvisation becomes very thin, one might say -as Bruno Nettl did in his insightful article Thoughts on Improvisation in 1974- that they are different points of a continuum. The following video (recorded in March 2012, unfortunately without a view on the pedals) shows what the result may be of this approach.



25/06/2014

Birds, drums and signals (version Nicolaaskerk, Utrecht)

This is a composed piece, recorded in March 2012, as a result of an improvisation, originally played a year before at the Freytag-organ in Noordwolde. Nowadays, I play it slower than in this recording. The piece was also performed by Berry van Berkum in the Stevenskerk in Nijmegen and the Jacobikerk in Utrecht in 2013. Actually, I am creating a very different version of this piece with drummer Friso van Wijck and saxophonist Ruben Verbruggen.




24/06/2014

Electricity - Setting the keys on fire (Nicolaaskerk, Utrecht)

The secret of organ playing (at least concerning the manuals) is in the finger tips: if well-trained they allow for a rich variety of expressions, like a soft, smooth touch in the slow movement of a trio sonata by Bach or the feeling of electricity in the attached video. The piece may seem to be improvised, but is actually composed; only the cadenza at the end should be improvised. Recorded at the Marcussen-organ of the Nicolaaskerk in Utrecht, March, 2012.



P.S. 20 August 2014: this is indeed an example of pure finger-play. Actually, in particular regarding Bach interpretation, I am integrating the use of the weight of the hands, to achieve a deeper expression.