Princes (2016)

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“Princes” is a cycle of pieces arranged for an electric quartet. The music is a product of several years of analyzing my personal musical influences, and each piece represents my take on a specific set of models. The investigative listener can find hidden tributes to composers such as (among others) Wayne Shorter, Henri Dutilleux, Trey Anastasio, Maurice Ravel, Frank Zappa and David Shea. Taken together, all of the models constitute what, on a basic level, I understand about musical form. At the same time, I used the composing process as a way of working out a personal approach to harmonic and modal theory, which has been a focus of mine for many years.

In arranging the music, I decided on a stripped down approach inspired by the classic IMG_1886popular instrumental groups of the 60’s and 70’s, as well as later developments of this format.   The elegant and earthy sound of Booker T. and the M.G.’s was definitely a touchstone in this regard. I was also inspired in this direction by acquiring a vintage Philips Philicorda electric organ, which I used throughout the composition and recording of this music. I was very lucky to be joined on the recording by an intensely talented and versatile group of musicians: Dutch new music stalwart Wiek Hijmans (guitar), jazz guitar heavyweight Kurt Rosenwinkel (in an appearance on bass), and the gifted and powerful young drummer Théo Lanau. The result is a kind of personal testimony about my experiences in the world of creative music, but also an organic whole which has a personality beyond the influences that contributed to it.