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NEW BLUES FOR PIANO
Marcel Worms is a Dutch pianist, classically trained but also with a strong interest in jazz. In 1996 year he asked nine well-known Dutch composers to write him a Blues. He was curious to know what the Blues, one of the roots of jazz music and still in important point of departure and point of reference for many jazzmusicians, meant for the contemporary composer either with a classical background or classically educated. He premiered these Blues in January 1997 in Amsterdam (as well as a Blues written for him by Michael Finnissy) in the BIMHUIS, Amsterdams foremost jazzstage. At the end of 1997 again 12 new Dutch and foreign Blues were ready and were premiered at the Icebreaker, Centre for Contemporary Music in Amsterdam. Since then many other premieres took place, which were mostly recorded by Dutch radio.
Marcel Worms has laid contacts with composers in the countries where he will give or have allready given recitals recently. This has resulted in about 140 new compositions until now originating from over 35 different countries e.g. many European countries, Argentina, Brazil, China, Cuba, Malaysia, Russia, Singapore, South-Africa, South-America, the Ukraine and the USA. The repertory is still growing.
The Blues proves to be a quite universal musical form where composers from different countries and different cultural backgrounds have their ideas about. The differences in cultural backgrounds of the different composers can be heard quite clearly in the different contributions to this project. The artist is worried about the increasing tendency of globalisation in contemporary music and this project could help to make make cultural differences in new music more clear.
Most of the Blues on this program last between 3 and 5 minutes. Of course 12- or 16-bars schemes, blue notes or I-IV-V chord changes are absolutely not a prerequisite. The pianist is only interested in Blues as a 'state of mind' so to speak. As Michael Finnissy expressed it: 'to be able to feel the Blues is necessary to survive in this world.....'.
Marcel Worms has played his Bluesprogram among others in the Netherlands, Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, China, Cuba, the Czech Republic, Israël, Italy, Malaysia, Poland, Russia, Singapore, South-Africa, Spain, Uruguay, the Ukraïne and the U.S.A. In 1999 he has played it at the North Sea Jazz Festival in the Hague. In 2000 and 2001 concerts were given in South-Africa and Mozambique, in several European countries, in South America, China and the United States. In the fall of 2000 he toured the Balkan with his Bluesprogram and has played in Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Kosovo, Macedonia and Bosnia, performing new Blues from all of these countries.
In 2001 he played the program in Warsaw at the Warsaw Autumn Festival and toured (in combination with a Tango program) through Argentina and China.
In 2002 he played it at the EU Jazz Festival in Mexico City , at the Festival 'Nuovi Spazi Musicali' in Rome and at the Audio Art Festiva in Cracow (Poland) and in 2003 he toured on Cuba.
The program has recently been recorded on CD and has been released in 2000 on the Dutch NM EXTRA label. A second CD with new Blues has been released in 2001.
REPERTORYLIST 'BLUES FOR PIANO' - MARCEL WORMS
September 2003- Blues composed (or to be composed) for Marcel Worms
SIX CONTINENTS - CULTURE IDENTITY VERSUS GLOBALISATION
Marcel Worms - www.marcelworms.com
We live in an age in which borders are fading. The world is getting smaller thanks to the blessings of increased mobility and the internet, and communication is easier than ever. With these blessings also comes the dangers of decreased diversification and of losing our cultural identity. Interchangeable shopping malls sprout up all over the world and MacDonalds is everywhere.
In the meantime, rare languages and dialects disappear and most people prefer listening to mass-produced pop rather than to the music of their own culture. Will there still be room for the intimacy of ones own culture in this age of globalisation? This project was conceived in order to place this antithesis in a broader perspective by way of commissioning composers, giving musical performances and instigating discussions and publications.
New Compositions across Six Continents
For this project Eleonore Pameijer and Marcel Worms have asked composers from six continents (Europe, North and South America, Africa, Asia and Australia) to compose a work for flute and piano including elements that the composer considers essential to his or her culture in the broadest sense. One may consider him or herself culturally part of a region, a country, or even, for instance, part of a broader European or African culture. The borders of the culture to which one belongs are constantly shifting.
The composers will be asked to consider their own cultural identity and how that relates to the environment and the time in which we live. Consequently, the composer wil be asked to give shape to this "monologue intérieur" in a composition.
It is often said that if all the tango's ever composed were to be lost except for Stravinsky's "Tango" that everyone in the future would know exactly what a tango is. Stravinsky's "Tango" is apparently an archetypical ur-Tango in which everything that is essential to the genre can be heard. Similarly, we hope to be able to hear the essential aspects of the composer's musical culture in their compositions.
* Concert Presentation including a discussion/conversation between the participating composers.
* Broadcast on Radio of the première concerts.
* The process will be able to be followed on the internet. Theproject will have its own interactive site. The première concerts will be live on the internet via a webcam.
*The results will be performed in all participating countries.
*The compositions will be recorded for CD
*All compositions as well as a summary of the discussions will be published as far as possible.
*A documentary will be made about the entire project.
*The project will extend over several years.
*The project will begin in the 2003-4 season, Premieres will be heard at the Royal Institute for the Tropics in Amsterdam on October 25, 2003 and on April 2, 2004 in coöperation with the Icebreaker,
*The following composers have agreed to participate so far:
Outside of Holland:
Martin Scherzinger (South Africa)
Alon Nechushtan (USA/Israël)
Gao Ping (China)
Ross Edwards (Australia)
Gilberto Mendes (South America)
Jalalu Kalvert Nelson (Switzerland/North America)
Dusan Bavdek (Slovenia)
Discussions are being held with diverse composers in-and outside of Europe at the moment.
Current state of the project:
*The IJsbreker has adopted, the project. This Dutch Modern Music Center will host the premieres.
* The VPRO, Radio 4, via group editor Aad van Nieuwkerk, has shown interest in being associated with the project.
* Gaudeamus (Henk Heuvelmans) will support the project via publicity and assisting with contacts outside of the Netherlands.
* Funding: diverse foundations and sponsors are currently being approached in order to help (co) finance the project. Already three of them have promised a grant.
*During each series of concerts 4 new composers and their works will be introduced. The first two premiere concerts are scheduled for October 25, 2003 and April 2, 2004 respectively at the Royal Institute for the Tropics in Amsterdam in coöperation with Music Centre 'de IJsbreker'.
Updated information can be found on Marcel Worms' website at www.marcelworms.com
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