The next Fokker organ concert is a special one… no organ player is scheduled to pay, but two guitarists are instead. Bram Stadhouders and I take turns in triggering the organ in our own distinctive ways. Bram has an extended MIDI-rig which he has used to trigger all sorts of instruments in the past, including organs in the Orgelpark, the Logos Robot Orchestra and the Big Barrel Organ. This will be a unique chance to hear his style on another one-of-a-kind-instrument, the microtonal Fokker organ!
I have played the Fokker-organ before with my guitars: in ‘quatre mains’ together with Guus Janssen at our concert MicroBlues in 2014 and solo at the concert ‘Pimp my Organ 4Ever!’ in 2016. Another special project was my composition ‘de Stuiter-variaties’ (‘the Bouncing-variations’), an interactive theatrical piece for two Wii-controllers based on the theory and chord progressions of A.D. Fokker himself. His writings continue to be an inspiration for me. My new piece ‘No Strings Attached’ is based on his idea of addition chords. An addition chord (Dutch: ‘optelakkoord’) is a chord in which a ratio number is the sum of the next two lower ratio numbers. The most well known sequence is of course the Fibonacci series:
Musically, the 1 is the root, the 2 is the octave, the 3 is the fifth (plus 1 octave), the 5 is the third (plus 2 octaves), the 8 is another octave and the 13 is a lowered sixth above. This last note is definitely outside of 12-equal borders and that is where the magic begins… There are many other interesting sounding sequences to be found. And besides harmonic versions there are also subharmonic versions available with their own character. In ‘No Strings Attached’ I will present many of these sounds in an adventurous and improvisational piece.
Also on the program are a new version of the Meantone Blues (with lyrics this time!), a 20 minute set from Bram as well as a joint improvisation with him on the Fokker organ and myself on 31-tone guitar. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear something new!
Zondag 26 november 2017, 11 uur in de Kleine Zaal van het Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ
Once I was a jazzguitarist. Later I became a microtonalist. Now I’m a singer, too. Yesterday, I performed a new arrangement of ‘My Funny Valentine’ in septimal meantone (with an occasional 11-limit chord as well!) at the Vocalisten Podium Amsterdam. In the back of the photo you see my friend and vocal coach Anne Brattinga from the Singing Circle. Thank you for helping me finding my own voice over the last two years!
Still reverberating after last sunday’s concert, courtesy of Teo Joling!
In the program MicroBlues (September 28, 2014, Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ), guitarist Melle Weijters and keyboardist Guus Janssen explored new possibilities for the blues in the 31-tone tuning. For this concert, two extraordinary instruments were used: an 31-tone electric guitar and the Fokker-organ. The meantone, which sits comfortably in the division of the octave in 31 equal parts, played an important role.
At the invitation of the Grote Kerk Oosthuizen we now present a follow-up: MeantoneBlues. For this concert, a special guitar neck in meantone tuning was built. The instruments must be fully explored to reproduce the real character of the blue note. The original ‘forbidden’ intervals are hereby given a whole new meaning…
when: Sunday July the 5th, 2015
where: Grote Kerk Oosthuizen, Raadhuisstraat 61 1474 HJ Oosthuizen
Read more about the wonderful meantone organ here or watch the video below:
I’m glad to announce that I will be joining the Bohlen-Pierce Clarinet Project for a concert on sunday February 15, 2015 in Hamburg, Germany.
The Bohlen-Pierce scale uses the twelfth (octave plus fifth) as its harmonic frame, dividing it into 13 steps, according to various mathematical considerations. The result is an alternative harmonic system that opens new possibilities to contemporary and futuristic music.
The 41-tone system is a very good match to the BP scale as its perfect twelfth (spanning 65 steps) is also divisible by 13: a single BP step equals 5 frets on this guitar. It even provides ‘microtonal inflections’ from the strict BP pitches by shifting one or two frets up/down.
The following text is from their Facebookpage.
Here comes the Bohlen-Pierce Clarinet Project with quite a bunch of brandnew works! The BP family keeps growing, and we are proud to present an ensemble of nine BP musicians, including three BP clarinets.
Nora-Louisa Müller, Akos Hoffmann and Carola Schaal – BP clarinets
Andrej Koroliov – BP keys
Melle Weijters – 41-tone guitar
Manfred Stahnke – BP/JI viola
Yu-Ching Chao – BP alto recorder
Lin Chen – BP kalimba
Tair Turganov – double bass.
Todd Harrop, Benjamin Helmer, Georg Hajdu, Mandfred Stahnke, Goran Lazarevic, Nora-Louisa Müller, Akos Hoffmann
New to this scale? Read the Very Short Introduction to the Bohlen-Pierce Clarinet below!
It’s exactly three months after MicroBlues and it feels about time to share a track from that memorable concert. It took a while before I dared to listen back to this concert because it can be confrontational: what if the recording is not inline with my feeling about the concert? But this week, between Christmas and the New Year, it was time to not only look back but also to listen back to my most significant concert of 2014!
I am happy to present my solo arrangement of the piece Nuages by Django Reinhardt in extended meantone, played on my 31-tone guitar.
Weijters took charge of the bellows with, first, a MIDI guitar controller then, later, a pair of Wii game controllers as he and Janssen acted out a game of table tennis, their gestures being interpreted by computer to play the organ pipes.
Read more from Todd Harrop’s MicroBlues concert impression here!
I am happy to announce that I will be playing a concert at the Huygens-Fokker Foundation (Centre for Microtonal Music) on September 28 together with Guus Janssen.
The point of focus during the concert ‘MicroBlues’ is improvised music within the meantone and 31-tone tuning system. Guus Janssen and Melle Weijters jointly explore what kind of new opportunities these systems offers for improvised music, especially the blues. As a regular performer on the Fokker organ musician and leading composer Guus Janssen has already ample experience with ‘light music’ on this 31-tone organ. Jazz Guitarist Melle Weijters dedicated many years to fretless and microtonal guitars and is a specialist in this field. The varied styles of improvisation and themes are supported by the use of the latest computer technologies that will lead to a surprising result.