Read about my adventure with the Summer Orchestra, the Dutch Brass Band Championships, and the story behind Eilean Nan Gobhar . You can find the links to the music in the post.
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A summer with the Summer Orchestra
Last summer I was allowed to conduct the Netherlands Summer Orchestra together with colleague Vincent Verhage. A week full of rehearsing, having fun and learning with young musicians. It was a new and strange experience: standing in front of a concert band, sleeping badly and having enormous self-doubt. A nice cocktail that caused the necessary stress, but also development. During the week we worked towards a CD recording and live stream. Fortunately everything fell into place and I was able to relax and enjoy myself, something that of course has an impact on the musicians. An orchestra is therefore a large mirror that gives back what you put into it.
All in all it was a fantastic week, in which I met a lot of new people, learned a lot, and was able to make music again. The result of the recordings has yet to appear on Spotify, so keep an eye on the Summer Orchestra on Facebook.
The Dutch Brass Band Championships
Saturday 30 October it was finally time: the NBK went ahead! So, there we were again with Soli Brass on stage. The preparation was good and we were in a flow. That was rewarded, we became Dutch champions! Our performance can be seen and heard via Brasspasstv .
The NBK was also special this year for another reason. Four Dutch premieres were played. Including The Final Frontier , the work that I was commissioned to write by the NBK. It was an honor to listen in the hall of Tivoli/Vredenburg to the third division bands that had put so much energy into the preparation. The reactions were positive, both from the bands, audience and conductors.
It was a weekend to remember. For people who would like to hear the work I refer to the recordings on Brasspasstv or to the recording we made with Soli.
The story behind Eilean Nan Gobhar
Another work we recorded with Soli is Eilean Nan Gobhar . A work that I was allowed to write in 2018 for a symposium on soil vitality: the so-called Symphony of Soils. Coincidentally, I went on holiday in Scotland with my family for no less than three weeks during that period. We were in a friend's family house (the same Scottish friend who played with Soli last NBK, no coincidence). The area was of unprecedented beauty and ruggedness. Here came the ideas for the work and I composed it during the holidays. From the house that stood on the coast, I had a view of a small island, the so-called Goat Island. In Gaelic it is called Eilean Nan Gobhar, hence this title.
Eilean Nan Gobhar is the 'B-side' of the single The Final Frontier. But there is another recording of the Summer Orchestra Netherlands coming up, so all the lines come together again. Listen to Eilean Nan Gobhar below.