A slow moving sound enters the senses. People join a march by following their ears. A spontaneous tableau forms. A scene that could be part of a local tradition. Yet something is off. A Roy Anderson-like eeriness fills the space, the smell of burned gasoline slowly adds its flavor to the piece. Is this a funeral parade - in major chords? Or are we waiting for the arrival of something yet to be determined?
In October 2022 Musica Impulscentrum invited Amber Meulenijzer to make a composition in collaboration with the local fanfare bands of Pelt, a small municipality in the green east of Belgium.
These fanfare bands are deeply rooted in Belgian culture.
Even in the tiniest villages one finds at least one or several of these ensembles.
The result of this confluence: a procession, a slow paced moving composition for brass instruments, performed both live and played back through twelve speakers mounted on top of an old Saab 900. Alex Vandersanden played horn, Elise Verdonk played trombone, Louis Trippaers played trumpet and Tijs Vroman played cornet.
The composition was presented during the bi-annual OORtreders festival for sound art.
Starting at 9am, the happening meandered through Pelt, ending at Dommelhof, the local cultural centre where the festival took place.
During the procession the musicians improvised in the same tonalities as the continuous chord played trough the speakers mounted on the slow-moving Saab car. Notes are stretched, music is slowed down and habits are broken in search of the possibilities of each instrument and player. An organic moving soundpiece, breathing in and out through the morning fog.
Many thanks to Frederic Vandevelde & alle Musica's team for the hospitailty and support, to Lukas De Clerck for the recording and to Lieven Martens for keeping it alive as a cassette release on Edições.
Album available via this link