Circus these days has become something totally different than most people think. Circus acts in Belgium are very disperse, modern and always a bit surreal. No wonder most of these companies play shows all over the world. In coöperation with Circuscentrum Vlaanderen we're creating videos to show what circus in Flanders is all about.
Cameraman Jakob Rosseel and I created 10 one-minute films that show each circus company in an outside setting somewhere in Flanders. Location hunting was an interesting part. We used deserted harbor areas, roundabouts, train tunnels, graveyards, strange houses, rooftops. In some cases the collective played a part of the act they are touring with. Sometimes it was just improvisation.
For every film I composed a custom soundtrack to go along with the vibe of the act.
I'm currently working on the live performance of different Suntapes tunes. Over the last year I've done different one-offs and improvisation sessions each time with different acoustic and analogue instruments. My ideal is to have all my instruments on stage and use them all to create a complete concert with soundscapes and melodies. Since it's hard to handle so many instruments on stage, I have to make a selection. So I'm going for piano, harmonium, Chinese lute, Thai pin, slide guitar, mellotron sounds, Hofner bass, Korg minilogue and possibly the Chinese guhzeng (harp). This should be quite enough to perform 10 to 12 songs. More or less the instruments on this picture:
Another crucial part of the performance from now on will be the visuals. I've done a few try-outs the last few months without visuals, but it's not the same. VJ Kasper Jordaens will use the imagery I've shot on different travels and process it live. The result should be a compelling audio-visual trip through different places in the world. After all a "one-man soundtrack orchestra" is nothing without the films the music is meant for.
Leeroy New is a renowned contemporary artist from Manilla in the Philippines. Kapow Movement invited him to Belgium. I was happy to do a very special performance with him and the filipino dancer Ea Torrado.
I played improvised music for a 30 minute dance performance. The act built up slowly with the attaching of the latex. I used my Chinese lute to build a first sound loop. After that I used the analog Korg Minilogue synthesizer to simulate the stretching of latex and to create some kind of weird dance vibe that Ea then moved to. A very hypnotic performance! It was great fun to do.
Check out a short video impression of the experience:
I hooked up with Kasper from Kaosbeat to bring this video performance on #byob Ghent. The soundtracks to the images was played live with keyboard, slide guitar and my looping set up with Ableton. The live visual effects are done by Kasper. It was our first collaboration but definitely not our last. The whole evening was great fun for us. The public seemed to dig it since we won the public crowdfunding price that evening.
Check out one of the takes we recorded:
My view on the visuals:
During the exposition "Rauw" I played the live soundtrack for a short film. An experience for 2 people at a time. It's all very direct and raw, without any effects. I build up and break down different loops straight from the microphone into the headphones of the people watching. For this set I used my Thai Pin for different melodies, the Morrocan Gnawa with lovely bass sound and the slide guitar for the opening sound.
I probably played it about 80 times over the course of the 2 weekends. I recorded the last take and made a youtube film about it. Check it out:
"Rauw" is an exposition by Suntapes, sculptor Christoph Annys and photographer Kris Goubert.
Suntapes will set up a video installation. During the exposition, several videos will bring visitors to different places in the world. I want people to really get immersed in these places. Enjoy places with your eyes and ears. I have composed a soundtrack to go with each video.
As usual, I used exotic music instruments to record the compositions. Not too much editing, mixing and mastering. "Raw" is how we like it.
Join the event on facebook