In this project George De Decker portrays musicians by ‘mapping’ their respective talents & temperaments. For the first instalment, he invited his ‘fetish musician’ – clarinettist Raf De Keninck – to go for a drive. The unsuspecting De Keninck was then driven to his childhood village and confronted with his roots.
They visited the house where De Keninck was born, the baptismal font of the village church, his father’s grave, the living room of his mother’s house, the woods where he played as a child… And in each of these locations, the composer asked the musician to perform improvisations, inspired by the surroundings. And all of this was thoroughly documented in sound and image.
De Decker edited the resulting recordings – more than six hours – into a thirty-minute soundscape. He then composed a score for clarinet solo. This composition was performed together with the soundscape, in the older sense of polyphony: the harmonising of independent parts. The result is a wonderful symbiosis between dismantled, almost abstracted instrumental and location sounds on the one hand, and the solo part composed for a virtuoso clarinettist, who performs together with his own taped source material, on the other.
A musical (self)portrait.
text: Guido De Bruyn, translation: Stephen Smith
ES IST WINTER! (2016) is a trip to the vast white landscapes of the North. George de Decker has in recent years become increasingly captivated by the eternal white. He himself has never travelled – but doesn’t that just entice the imagination?
It started with ØRNEN 1897, a prestigious creation around a 35 meter long and 4.5 meter in diameter zeppelin. In November 2012, the artists George De Decker, Guido De Bruyn and Peter Maschke conceived this multidisciplinary project based on the true story of the North Pole expedition by the Swedish scientist S.A. Andrée, which took place in 1897. In a hydrogen balloon, he departed with two companions from Spitsbergen, to fly over the North Pole, but the expedition failed. ØRNEN 1897 paid homage to these balloonists, by means of a combination of visual arts, music and film. The première took place in Eindhoven, in 2013.
1 CARNETS DE VOYAGE I (2010 – 2014 31’09
On tape: Aline Hopchet (recorder), Els Van Laethem (voice),
Ensor string quartet, George De Decker (organ, harmonium),
Loes Dooren (violin), Pieterjan Vranckx (percussion),Berlinde Deman (bass tuba)
Recorded at The Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp (October 2014)
2 ES IST WINTER (2016) 10’50
On tape: Berlinde Deman (bass tuba), Filip Vandebril & Ben Faes (double bass),
Els Van Laethem, Herlinde Ghekiere, Annemarie Honggokoesoemo (voices),
Erwin Deleux (piano)
Recorded at De Decker’s home (November 2016)
3 WE MUST SAY NO! (2008) 09’58
On tape: Els Van Laethem, Annemarie Honggokoesoemo,
Herlinde Ghekiere (voices), Roger Rogiers (vocals)
Recorded at the Gallery Van Campen & Rochtus (September 2008)
Music, editing, mixing, and recording by George De Decker
Music and recording engineer, Ward Weis
Mastering by Raf De Clercq
Photos: George De Decker, Guido De Bruyn, Corry Heesterbeek, Ward Weis
Text & interview: Guido De Bruyn
Production: Paul van der Krieken