As Aphrodite, goddess of love, beauty, pleasure and procreation floated ashore on the island Cyprus like a pearl in a shell, so did the music commission by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment.
Would I write and perform a piece for the opening show of Making Waves, a conference that helps innovative ideas to get past the ‘promising stage’ by connecting them to investors, organizations and policy and decision makers during a unique one-day event on the Dutch Afsluitdijk?
So far, I had always stayed clear of composing music myself. My late grandfather had once questioned the need of composing himself as there was already so much good music out there. Somehow, that stopped me from writing music, even though I have always enjoyed improvising and ‘creatively structuring’ events.
As a DJ, I’m very grateful that there is indeed so much good music out there, but why on earth should that stop me from writing the occasional piece of ear candy myself? Secretly I had been jotting down quite a few musical ideas already which I could use in my DJ-sets or for arrangements of songs that my choir like to sing.
What better reason to finally open the floodgates of my musical soul than for an event called Making Waves?
So I found 6 other musicians to join me in this endeavour and started writing the music for what has become the first commission for me as a composer… within 48 hours.
My opus no. 1, titled , is written for soprano, oboe, 3 violas, cello and percussion. It’s short but sweet and also had to work as a soundtrack for a relatively abstract video of fresh water and sea water mixing.
I consider myself very lucky to swim in a pool of extremely talented musicians and I’m sure the première would not have been such a success if it weren’t for the sparkling voice of Laetitia Gerards, the enchanting sound of Marlies van Gangelen and her oboe, the mesmerising tones of 3Violas and grinding grooves of Roël Calister.
The positive feedback was overwhelming. From an audience of more than 500 people included entrepreneurs, investors, scientists, politicians, even the Netherlands Chief of Defence, the most memorable compliment came from the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan… who simply said: “Beautiful music”.
Have a look ‘n listen and please let me know what you think. It’s also worth scrolling back a bit to hear our more music we interpreted and improvised.
A big thank you goes to Nathan Wiersma of SVP Sfeerbefeer who made this all possible and created an unforgettable event.
On to the next composition. There’s a lot more music to be made from those waves!