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yesterday’s concert

augustus 15, 2010

Yesterday, I played the carillon of the Oude Kerk (OK) in Amsterdam twice. From 16.00 – 17.00 o’clock I did a so called market-recital. Before the recital, I had coffee with my friend and collegue Gideon Bodden who is the carillonneur of the OK. He had to go to Germany that same afternoon so he could not stay. He gave me the keys and explained how to turn of the automatic. I am grateful he gave me this opportunity. It is always delightful to perform in the Capitol.
Because the keyboard of the OK is really different (sizes of the batons and the pedalkeys are bent) I decided to start with as easy as possible music. Therefore, I started with four pieces from Gerard Hengeveld followed by little songs from my own book ‘Voorslag.’ The pieces by Hengeveld have ostinato fifths in the pedals. Voorslag is a method, made for the novice carillon player.
It went fine so I felt encouraged enough to do some improvisations. One of them is on the song ‘I wanna be loved by you’ by Marilyn Monroe. I love the sound and rhythm of that song indeed. Because my concert fell on a Saturday, music for Shabbat should be present. Probably, it almost never happened Oseh Shalom was sounding on this location! I hope the men who visited the hookers (The Oude Kerk is in the middle of the red zone) did not feel ashamed about themselves hearing sacred music while doing their ‘jobs.’
After the market-recital, I went in town to eat something. It is remarkable how my hands started to shiver in the last five minutes of the recital. Although my mind was not at all set to food and drink there was no other way. In the OK there is a practice keyboard. It is an exact copy of the tower instrument but the bells are replaced by metal plates making it sound not louder than a xylophone. Once somebody turned the light of and when I went downstairs to turn it on, the door was closed. These little obstacles are absolutely not welcome since nerves for the evening concert are quite active. Anyway, it turned out to open more easily than expected. Outside, I ran into Henk Verhoef, teacher of the carillon school in Amersfoort and organist of the OK. He said he would listen. As audience I had three listeners. This seems shocking for other musicians but for carillonneurs this is normal. From my mother (one of the three) I heard many people on the street looked up and stayed a while to listen.
The program for the evening concert was fixed. It went very fine!
Some notes: I think I will not put in a block with songs/improvisations in official concerts anymore. It takes out thematic energy. Moreover, one piece did not sound well on meantone. I could have seen that before. For the rest it was a fine concert with pieces of Dutch composers.


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4 reacties
  1. Bob Newmark permalink

    Hoi Mathieu, so sorry I missed your carillon concert. I looked everywhere on Friday but could not find any mention of the time 16-17 uur. Otherwise I would have been there, since I couldn’t make it in the evening. Would have loved to hear Oseh Shalom and I wanna be loved by you.
    Anyway, I am sure you had more listeners than you think. We always have more influence in the world than we know about. My faith is in all of us affecting each other in good and unknown ways.
    Keep it up, on truckin’ and the faith,
    X Bob

  2. Thanks Bob for your kind reply! See you next time. Best greetings, Mathieu

  3. ’t kan daarboven in het beiaardiershok misschien eenzaam zijn, mathieu, maar je hebt natuurlijk altijd meer publiek dan de weinige luisteraars die speciaal voor je concert zijn gekomen. dat is ook het bijzondere van beiaardconcerten, het is luchtmuziek die veel toevallige luisteraars bereikt en die, zoals bob hierboven zegt, iets bij hen teweeg kan brengen ook al merkt de beiaardier daar niets van tijdens zijn of haar spel. ik kan me overigens wel voorstellen dat het lastig kan zijn om zo zelden feedback op je concerten te krijgen – voordat je die toren uit bent en weer beneden op straat staat, is je publiek alweer doorgelopen.

  4. Hoi Bertie,
    Daarin heb je beslist gelijk. Ik heb ook echt wel genoten van de klokken en het spelen in Amsterdam. Waarschijnlijk had ik nog iets meer publiciteit kunnen maken voor het concert, dat scheelt in het aantal bezoekers. Maar ik hoorde wel dat verschillende toeristen een tijdje bleven luisteren. Dat is natuurlijk fijn om te weten. Met hartelijke groeten, Mathieu

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