The whole music of Ennemi Public is yet written and recorded, and will be mixed next month. More to say about this big adventure very soon, stay tuned. In the between, I wrote another arrangement of the Star Spangled Banner, a version for four french horns and strings. I also had to refresh some of "my" Christmas songs (Marche des rois, O Tannenbaum, Have yourself a merry little Christmas, I believe, Deck the hall, Little drummer boy), to be played on December 20 in Brussels by our National Orchestra conducted by Dirk Brossé. Work, work, work.
Omg, it's been such a long time since I haven’t been here... Last months, I must say, were seriously agitated on all levels, personal and professional.
Regarding the composition, the big project already mentioned in earlier posts is right now in progress: I’m currently composing the original music for a Belgian TV series, Ennemi Public, a mix of crime and thriller with a touch of fantasy. The first episode will be broadcasted on February or March 2016. The first season will count 10 episodes. About five hours of music are needed to cover the entire soundtrack.
I’ve conceived a mosaic score, consisting of multiple modules which can be combined or superposed, in order to enable a flexible and easily variable sound editing. The musicians involved in this exciting adventure are the string quartet Tana, the bass Natasha Save, horn player David Foiche and percussionist Stephan Pougin. I’m as happy as proud to be surrounded by these wonderful artists, and fully supported in my work by the production team of the series, more peculiarly one of the authors, Matthieu Frances, which is my direct interlocutor and an authentic music connoisseur.
There’s also another major project: I’m commissioned to write an original score based on the very famous Moore’s tale: Twas the night before Christmas. Two versions have to be provided: a fully symphonic one, plus an arrangement for a chamber ensemble of 8 to 10 musicians. I’ll also have to finalize (August) my cello concerto which I unfortunately had to leave out, because of the urgency and broadness of the project Ennemi Public. In addition, some new symphonic arrangements are also planned as future activities. Boredom is clearly not on the agenda.
The whole bunch of arrangements of french songs is over. As already explained before, 5 more songs were added: Boum!, C’est nous les p’tites musiciennes, Le chef d’orchestre est amoureux, Les trois orfèvres, and Pour acheter l’entrecôte. The program is also enhanced by special versions of my own Tango and Habanera. All of this took more time than expected, and once again, my poor cello concerto was delayed (I work intensely on it right now!). A series of three concerts wil run the french songs program, under the funny name of « Méli-mélo mon Dieu ». The premiere is on February 27, at the Studio 4 in Flagey, Brussels, followed by a concert in Hasselt (March 4) and a last one in Bruges (march 6). Other project : I’m asked to write down an orchestral version of the Star Spangled Banner for the opening concert of the season 2015-2016 of the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra. But there is much more to come... Don’t worry, detailed infos in no time.
Great news to share, today.
First of all, The 13th letter was beautifully premiered by the Tana Quartet on November 19. The intimate setting of the small concert hall (auditorium Jongen) was perfect, and the audience could appreciate from very close the extraordinary technical and artistic qualities of this enthusiastic young string quartet. I look forward to working with them again, major projects are underway ...
My arrangements of french songs are going well. At the time of this writing, 12 of them have been realized: Plaisir d’amour, La bicyclette, Tous les hommes sont idiots..., Que reste-t-il de nos amours?, Auprès de la marmite, La Marie-Joseph, La vie parisienne (excerpts), Mamzelle Nitouche (excerpt), La violoncelliste, C’est si bon, Je te veux, and Amours en 19 ponts. For more details, see this page. Five more songs are remaining, and I intend to put the final bar before December 15, in order to immerse myself in the finalization of my cello concerto. More about that in my next post, in the first days of 2015.
Work done! The 13th letter, my new composition, will be premiered by the Tana String Quartet at the Conservatoire of Brussels on 19 November. Have a look at my music page 2014 for more details about the piece. My next step, as foreseen, is a series of 17 arrangements, including Plaisir d’amour, La bicyclette, Boum!, C’est si bon and other musts from this traditional repertoire of french popular songs. A long and pleasant work in view, before to resume and finish my cello concerto. Stay tuned.
My string quartet is almost done. The final double bar should be written around the 15th of this month. I'll follow immediately with a long series of 17 arrangements for mixed choir, violin, clarinet, piano and bass, commissioned by the Vlaams Omroeporkest en Kamerkoor, to realize before the end of 2014. As foreseen, I will also be pursuing the composition of my cello concerto. That would be work enough to reach the end of this year, but they are other ongoing projects, whose deadlines have not been set. Pressure, pressure...
Since my last post, I have had to realize another symphonic arrangement, an orchestral suite of themes from the Sound of music. It was a great pleasure to work on Rodgers and Hammerstein’s music, but it delayed once more my first intention to continue my cello concerto. Nevertheless, I keep my main objective as it was: to write down the final bar of this concerto before the end of 2014! For now, I work on my string quartet, which is to be finished around 10 October. More details about the many and heavy coming projects very soon.
The versions for piano and voice of Deck the halls, In the bleak midwinter and Marche des rois are now written. Also the scores of the zarzuelas (El tambor de granaderos, Preludio de la Revoltosa and La legenda del beso) are ready, plus I have slightly revisited (and encoded on Sibelius) former arrangements of other spanish tunes (Danza india, Soy un rayito de luna, and El baile de Luis Alonzo). In the between, I wrote an arrangement for woodwind quintet of John Stafford Smith’s Star Spangled Banner. Until the end of the month, I will continue to work on my cello concerto. Thats it for my... holidays.
The agenda 2014 of my musical activities is still growing. In addition to the cello concerto in progress, and all the projects already mentioned (arrangements, piano solo piece, string quartet, arrangements, soundtrack), new arrangements were added: versions for piano and voice of Deck the halls, In the bleak midwinter and Marche des rois, and three symphonic arrangements of zarzuelas, commissioned by Walter Proost for his orchestra, and to be premiered in september. Work enough to be busy without break until the end of december, and beyond.
The trailer project is changed in a whole series, to be started in the winter. I have to stay silent about details for a few more months, but keep tuned, and I will reveal the whole thing as soon as possible. The concertant piece for cello and orchestra was a little delayed, because of external reasons, but I’m about to focus all my forces on it, and the final result is to be expected before the start of the coming season, anyway. All the other projects (arrangements, piano piece, quartet) are unchanged, and another one – a very big one – is appearing at the close horizon of 2015... Suspense!