19 janvier 2015

A Life journey in free improvisation as unsuspected vocal performer etc.. Jean Michel Van Schouwburg by himself

Some people know about  myself , Jean-Michel Van Schouwburg,  as a sort of free – music / improvised music activist and vocal improvising performer or “organizer” and critic based around Brussels. The truth is that I evolved from free-music supporter, buyer of vinyl albums of all the Incus FMP ICP Po-Torch Bead Ogun Ictus Hat-Hut Nato Black Saint ESP of the world and also wanna-be amateur  improviser in the eighties to vocal - improviser / trained singer  but completely autodidact  performing currently in 9 European Countries  as UK , Italy , France, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Germany, and both once in Madrid and Rotterdam.

This would  haven’t  happened  if :

1 / I hadn’t been exposed MASSIVELY  to the Coltrane, Ornette, Lacy, Taylor, Ayler, Art Ensemble of Chicago, Braxton, Bley, Evan Parker, Derek Bailey, Han Bennink, Fred Van Hove and Brötzmann the Paul trilogy of the Lovens Lytton and Rutherford, Barre Phillips’ Journal Violone, Gunther Christmann and Phil Wachsmann a.o… +  everything else from Ocora to Wergo, Dagar family’s Dhrupad, Pygmy or Chinese music, Varèse or Xenakis… Jimi Hendrix and Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band....Howlin'Wolf ...

2/  I hadn’t met and cooperated with some other Brussels individuals who inspired me and supported me along the years, I wouldn’t have developed my musical personnality. They were many people and, among them,  I would love to express my eternal gratefulness to some of them specifically, after quoting all their names. Guy Strale, Michael W Huon, Kris Vanderstraeten, Daniel Van Acker, Mike Goyvaerts, Jan Huib Nas, Adelheid Sieuw, Jacques Foschia, Jean Demey, José Bedeur, Peter Jacquemyn, JJDuerinckx, Willy Van Buggenhout,  Marco Loprieno, Pat Lugo, Audrey Lauro,  Peter Deprez, Marjolaine Charbin, Frans Van Isacker, people like Alain Bolle,  Jean-Louis Hennart and also in foreign countries  John Russell, Peter Strickland, Zsolt Sörès, Sabu Toyozumi,  Pascal Marzan, Lawrence Casserley, Marcello Magliocchi, Matthias Boss, Jozef Cseres and the people at Ateliers Mommen etc..

 Without the interaction, understanding and trust of most of these individuals and artists , one has to stop immediately to exist artistically. So I think interesting to present some of these individuals because they  generously worked on the Brussels scene helping to establish free improvisation in a creative  way.

The first man who introduced me to practice improvisation and connecting me to the then blossoming  improvised music scene is Guy Strale. Born 1943, explorer of the innards of the piano, builder of instruments, photographer, movie cameraman, recording engineer,  intellectual, political activist, founder of the Brussels longest living improvised music workshop ( 1975-2007)and the Inaudible association, Guy Strale welcomed so many people to try improvising on the spot, being trained classical musicians, jazz guys, poets, non-musicians, wanna-be singers and improbable sound makers. Nothing was allowed, everything could happen. If one could say that some of Inaudible’s  actions and musical moments inspired by Guy’s very generous philosophy and attitude would have been misunderstood by some people, the overall balance of the proceedings along decades helped many people to develop their music, to present their projects and to be involved in the improvisational scene, and all this was doubtless quite positive. During some seventeen years, I practiced improvised music in private sessions and workshops mainly with Guy Strale and whoever showed up.  In 1993, Mike Goyvaerts, a drummer, came into the picture and he helped to attract capable musicians.  And of course I did a lot of visits to percussionnist Kris Vanderstraeten  and multi instrumentalist Daniel Van Acker and this ended up with a duo with Kris Vanderstraeten. Both Kris and I played around some one hundred of sessions  in his successive homes. I was travelling by train around three hours go and back each time and we listened to improvised musics; jazz or traditional music  in the intermission. Kris has a large artist workshop place suitable for music practice, books reading , hi-fi listening and his great drawing and graphic works.  We were focusing on playing with very very few performances. I was playing guitar in a sort of Bailey Russell way which was documented in our DIY cassette Almost Free Fall  which cover art is a marvellous item.  My brother Luc Van Schouwburg ( an expert video and movie sound engineer) made the  duo  recording in between the local trains’ passages as Kris’house is actually the housing part of a railway station on the way to Hasselt. This years’practice build my skills as an improviser long  before my more recent staging as a performer. So when I thought that my vocals were worth enough to make gigs, I called Kris to share some concerts and one festival . Indeed,  I was sure that his “soft and dynamic” percussive conception was in sync with one singer’s requests.

If Guy hadn’t welcomed them,  offered them  space and time in our workshop and stages, and  also documented himself each  stage meeting on cassettes and CD’rs , secured funding with the art administration, and dealt with official venues etc.. , I have some doubt that the players we met  would have become interesting focused improvisors as they became since : JJ Duerinckx, Jean Demey, Kris Vanderstraeten, Jacques Foschia, Adelheid Sieuw Jan Huib Nas  etc… and  myself, Jean -Michel Van Schouwburg, My personal experience  is the living proof that Guy Strale’s belief that non-musicians or “amateurs” could be involved in free improvisation   was right from the start. The similar belief that the late and legendary John Stevens , his friends Terry Day and Maggie Nicols fondly assessed .  Among the individuals who trade with this workshop and Inaudible and morphed in authentic improvised music scene artists, I would love to quote some of the players. The pair of Jacques Foschia, a master of the bass clarinet, and percussionist Mike Goyvaerts who share the Canaries on the Pole group with Wuppertal violinist Christoph Irmer and  Köln saxophonist Georg Wissell since more than  12 years. Jacques is an outstanding clarinet master having worked in the field of classical and contemporary music such as in the Orchestre Philarmonique de la RTBF. I had introduced  into the London Improvisors Orchestra in june 2000. Jacques performed and recorded with the LIO from 2000 to 2010 and was then  considered by his peers as “the” bass clarinet player in the London scene. He has a great inspiration for very subtle intonations and pitch placement , also with the smaller clarinet in B flat (sopranino). Mike had a central position in the workshops and concerts of Inaudible from 1991 until 2000 and he helped us to grow attracting new players , while being a WIM’s member. WIM was the historic association run by Fred Van Hove , Ivo Vanderborght, André Goudbeek , etc from the early seventies to the 2000’s . They were absolutely crucial in the development in Free Music in Belgium. Two other classical formed players had a prominent role in Inaudible as improvisors of note and committee members : flute virtuoso Adelheid Sieuw and guitar maestro Jan Huib Nas both partners in life and Academy of Music teachers, like their mate Foschia. Personally as Jacques encouraged me to improve and to develop my vocals, the couple of Jan Huib and Adelheid took me very generously under their very subtle tutelage / wing for to work and perform together with Guy Strale. What could be said about these two great free spirits ? Adelheid is a real instant reflexive composer who is juggling with all parameters of free improvisation and musical construction where spontaneity and sound exploration are balanced with logic and progressive development of forms , silence and and alternative techniques. This can be said also about Jacques Foschia.  Jan Huib has a fantastic sound projection with his acoustic classical nylon stringed guitar that he doesn’t need to amplify even in front of + 100 in large rooms. Jan Huib has great sure hands to make music in various genres. Without both of them , Guy Strale and the fatherly encouragement of cellist José Bedeur, one of the great  jazz bass players and cello virtuoso in our country, who shared our enthusiasm and played in our concerts, I would have never evolved as a singer. Solo Voice performance video  
So, Lawrence Casserley, the great live signal processing wiz, called me in 2007 for to make a gig in Belgium and I secured a show in a local art school with trombone player Paul Hubweber, as my mate Adelheid couldn’t make the date. Before and after the gig, I was so fond of the proceedings that  I practiced more than ever , diving daily in my own vocal sounds  and reaching a quite euphoric cathartic state. Focusing with a better concentration, I was  trying to achieve diphonic singing (à la Mongolian) and shaping the low  voice in the throat (C sharp 2)… resonating in my mouth cavity. During a duo concert  with John Russell in Adam Bohman’s Bonnington place in 2005, I kept the ululating high falsetto on the spot (Mercelis Concert cd). John had offered me my very first solo performance in his Mopomoso serie in june 2001 which is issued in my first solo  CD Orynx,  the ending of the performance being  included in the soundtrack of Peter Strickland’s Berberian Sound Studio . Timo Van Luyck recorded the first tracks of this CD in 1997 in his flat and it was on the basis of these first recordings that I was hired here and there a little.

During the weeks after the Casserley gig in late spring and early summer 2007, I was  practicing hardly and I miraculously got a clear distinct falsetto moving on all intervals with the greatest ease, like I would have passed through Alice’s Mirror to  Voiceland  Strangely all the registers of my voice took place unexpectedly and my falsetto range shifted in unexpected twists and colours. I ignored completely how it happened. Invited by free – music mecene /supporter John Rottiers to perform the A’pen Festival for the Radio Centraal in Antwerpen in august 2007, I called my dear friend percussionist and poster artist Kris Vanderstraeten, because both Adelheid and Jan Huib couldn’t make the date. We had to perform in an open air space by a summer afternoon on a strange stage bandstand close to the river. A larger crowd than usual  was spread between the stage area and the bar. As our friend and bass player Jean Demey found himself alone as his colleague didn’t show up, Kris and I proposed Jean to play together as an impromptu ad-hoc trio. Jean and Kris were part of Guy ‘s workshop, Kris during the eighties - early nineties and Jean since 1999, but they never met musically. As Kris lives far away from Brussels , he stopped to come. But I travelled regularly to his home along the years to play as a duo or as a trio with multi - instrumentalist Daniel Van Acker. Since the beginning of our relationship around 1985, Kris and I became friends- in – the- music, sharing our love for jazz and improvised music as buyers – listeners – supporters. We did a guitar- percussion duo and after we recorded a self-produced cassette, I took the resolution to focus on voice around 1996. This shift was under the questionment of Kris who, like the other workshopgoers , couldn’t believe me as becoming  a vocalist… as he liked my guitar work.

Anyway, on the Antwerpen stage, our ad-hoc trio  delighted the audience who liked my personal mad man antics, Kris’ crazy DIY drum set-up and Jean Demey's musicianship. It was the first time of my life I actually sung jodels with falsetto , sounds almost unbeknownst to me until I stepped on this memorable stage. So as two famous musicians in the audience congratulated both of us three and my vocals, Jean proposed us to continue as a trio. But he said :  “Man don’t stay always on this staccato endless. You have to sing in different ways ! “ Jean’s  stature as a performing musician is so impressive and he is so experienced that he literally “engueule” dilettantes like myself as a father would have done with a schoolboy’s bad report. As John Russell says : “Sometimes I feel like being an idiot”. I have to trust in Jean’s musical instinct and experience as a blindman does with his guide. Not only he is a very competent bass player loving the wooden acoustic quality of his double bass Aldegonde,  Jean is a master derbouka player, a skill he honed while working with master lutist Hasan Erraji with whom he toured endlessly in the nineties with the Arabesque trio. More recently, he became a nice bass clarinet player. In his youth , Jean Demey  opened for Brötzmann /Van Hove /Bennink and the Schlippenbach quartet w Lovens, Parker and Kowald during the WIM 1973 and 1974 festivals in Anterpen and Ghent. He was the bass player in the trio of the legendary saxophone player Kris Wanders, the brother-in- law of Peter Kowald. Wanders, a strong Dutch carachter vanished in Australia around 1975. Wanders was listed in the first Globe Unity recording and Fred Van Hove’s Requiem on MPS. He reemerged recently in the company of our friend Peter Jacquemyn, bass player and spiritual heir of the late PK . Peter, an autodidact like me, sawed his bass frenetically as early in 1985, while I was organising the concerts which surfaced as Waterloo 1985 on EMANEM 4030 of Evan Parker Paul Rutherford Hans Schneider and Paul Lytton and as some tracks of the recent 5cd box of The Recedents, the trio of Lol Coxhill Roger Turner and Mike Cooper, issued by Free Form Association. These concerts were remarkably recorded by Michael W Huon, an exceptional recording engineer and dedicated lover of improvised music since the early seventies. Michaël supported us since the very start, recording spontaneously many gigs and festivals. This  1985 Waterloo thing poster was already made by Kris Vanderstraeten and this Waterloo festival was my first step as one free-music- involved.

Since 1999, my work in the collective was mainly focused on the concert organization of the funded INaudible series in Théâtre Mercelis, ULB concert hall and the recent cooperation with Ateliers Mommen’s artists residence and, until then, I was considered more as an organizer than as an artist. I am not a foolish guy .  I was first an improvised music listener and I couldn’t be interested of my own music , only if the listener in me and some experienced practicioners would have been interested and wanting for more. When I came back from my well appreciated 2001  Red Rose solo gig to Veryan Weston ‘s home in  Welwyn Garden City  in the late train,  I said to him that I was feeling to be far of actually being successful  musically and that I have to achieve my skills in a more musical way. How to find out a way to relate all the sounds that I could produce to each other with developments and pathways uniting them in one original universe. I didn’t know yet. In 2001, my reputation as “an organizer” grew a little bit because Jean- Louis Hennart agreed to welcome some improvised music concerts in his  bar L’Archiduc, an authentic Art Deco place in the heart of Brussels , where Jimmy Smith , Nat King Cole, Barbara performed after WWII. Jean Louis  got the place from Stan Brenders ‘s widow, Stan being a famous jazz pianist and Belgian bandleader from the thirties to the fifties. Also we organized interesting performances though the Inaudible association.

Our cooperation with Hennart & L’Archiduc  worked very  well also because Kris Vanderstraeten offered to draw the posters, Michael Huon recorded all the gigs,  and because we dealt with advertising and accommodating the musicians (thanks to Joëlle and Marjolaine). We begun with the duos of John Butcher and John Edwards , Veryan Weston and Lol Coxhill, and the recordings of these gigs were issued by Emanem label : Optic and Worms Organising Archdukes.  Along the years , we had among others  Fred Van Hove, Paul Lytton & Michel Doneda, André Goudbeeck, Han Bennink & Peter Jacquemyn, John Russell, Paul Dunmall & Paul Rogers ,  Evan Parker, Paul Lovens  &  Alex von Schlippenbach twice, Paul Hubweber and Phil Zoubek ( Emanem L’Archiduc Concert CD) Damon Smith & Peter Jacquemyn with Van Hove, John Russell again with Stefan Keune, Thomas Lehn, Trevor Watts, Jim Denley , Gail Brand, Ulli Böttcher and one of the very first European gig of Peter Evans and Tom Blancarte . Not only I booked some famous improvisors, but I arranged that the local players could meet their visiting friends from abroad.  So Mike Goyvaerts and Jacques Foschia met Butcher &  Edwards for this first Archiduc gig and later with Georg Wissell and Christoph Irmer. Alto saxist  Audrey Lauro and pianist Veryan Weston duetted, Kris Vanderstraeten played with John Russell and Stefan Keune - who missed the first memorable John Russell gig. For John’s early gig, we all played with him in a Qua-qua like meeting with short duos and trios. Our trio Sureau ( J-M VS , Kris and Jean Demey ) opened our most attended concert with the Alex von Schlippenbach trio with Lovens and Parker. Personally, I sung also with Paul Dunmall, pianist Marjolaine  Charbin and Jean Demey and met there Sabu Toyozumi  for the first time with both Audrey and Marjolaine. This led me to invite Sabu Toyozumi in our festival Sons Libérés 2011 and to sing with him in a friendly peanuts tour from Paris to Brussels, Provence and Toulouse. The label Improvising Beings of Julien Palomo issued a double cd Kosai Yujyo (Enjoy friendship) documenting Sabu performing with a little help  from MY friends.... There is now a cd duo project with Sabu and trio with drummer Luc Bouquet recorded in Provence on the pipeline. Sabu is an amazing drummer having performed and recorded with Mingus, Roscoe Mitchell and Joseph Jarman (in Chicago), Brötz, Bailey, Barre Phillips, Leo Smith, John Zorn, Misha Mengelberg and John Russell in lengthy tours of Japan. He counts among the main pioneers of free music in his country, having played and shared the lives of the late Kaoru Abe, Masayuki Takayanagi, Mototeru Takagi, Motoharu Yoshikawa and his guru Masahiko Togashi, all idealists and revolutionaries who created the Japanese free scene. He is also one of the less egotic and selfish – “business” performer I ever met. Sons Libérés took place regularly  in the Ateliers Mommen, the gallery space of a Cité d’artistes with appartments and workshops in central Brussels . Besides these two more established places, we set up gigs in various locations among them the friendly loft of  Patrizia Lugo and Marco Loprieno who experimented with wind instruments finding more recently his way on the tenor and sopranino sax and a metallic Turkish clarinet.

Importantly as our workshop vanished because of the increasing renting price of the famed La Vénerie Cultural Center, which was our main spot during our neglected years between 1986 and 2000, I proposed around 2011 to the Loprieno’s to hold permanently a voice workshop at their place. Fortunately, the first members stayed and became enthusiasts attracting other people and more female voices. In this workshop I try to transmit some basics of the voice development and the discovery of its possibilities creating pieces out of simple exercises like singing one sustained note without loosing the pitch until out of breath and making all sorts of mouth sounds without the vocal chords ! 
In October 2007, our trio with Kris, Jean and myself met in Michaël Huon’s recording studio and begun spontaneously to play  42 minutes without stop but with some silences  just after the red light went. We edited some noisy bits and put that on our first CD Sureau on Creative Sources, this title because my then tired voice needed “sureau” or elder tree fruit ‘s juice to be protected. Since then we perform together about twice a year, making only one date in Germany at Essen Free Festival 2009 and in some fringe concerts organized by artists like in the Werkhuys in Antwerpen, the Useum.be of poet and sculptor Peter Deprez in Ghent’s Botanic garden, Rinus De Vos for this summer 2014 Gentse Feesten or Leuven Oratorienhof in 2009. This latter gig was issued on Setola di Maiale as” the Leuven concert” with Enzo Rocco and Gianni Mimmo duet on half the CD . We recorded also concert sets in the Pianos Maene concert hall and in Michael W Huon ‘s Odeon studio in Brussels, this time with saxist Audrey Lauro.

Among the interesting collaborations which fortunately happened, there was a recording  session with Gianni Mimmo John Russell Andrea Serrapiglio and Angelo Contini as Five Rooms for Gianni’s Amirani label in February 2008. This was issued as Five Rooms : No Room for Doubt on Amirani amrn 020. The session took place in Paolo Falascone famous Mu-Rec studio (ex Barigozzi studios) in Milano. Mu rec was home for Cecil Taylor, Bill Dixon, Tony Oxley, Paul Bley, Steve Lacy, Chet Baker, Mal Waldron recordings since the mid-seventies. Around the same time, I went to Bristol to record with the great saxophone hero Paul Dunmall, guitar wizard Phil Gibbs and a sympathetic bass player, Peter Brandt, in a session which surfaced as Bionic Beings Beginnings on Paul Dunmall’s Duns Limited Edition. Paul played mainly soprano and there was a dangerous track with his bagpipes. I have a fond memory of an ad hoc trio with sax player Heddy Boubeker and bass supremo Simon H Fell during a small festival in Paris run by Pascal Marzan who himself was invited in Brussels to meet  violinist Christoph Irmer.  Along the years, I went to share the stage with some quite interesting friends like Lawrence Casserley  in our MouthWind project (MouthWind Cd on Jozef Cseres’s heyemears label) : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IriH7fyIrZE  
Lawrence was a Professor in the Royal College of Music having developed electronic music and musical instruments. His ever evolving live signal processing is among the most complex system existing and his skills as technical expert in the Evan Parker Electro Acoustic Ensemble is unmissable. We did very interesting concerts as a duo and with other musicians like pianist Marjolaine CharbinPhil Wachsmann and pianist Yoko Miura. The main task for a singer working with Lawrence’s live signal processing is to use different approaches simultaneously : to feed the system with interesting or catacteristic sounds (even a snippet), to solo like in a concerto situation, to interact with or against the processed sounds of your own vocal sound. When a third instrumentalist goes in the proceedings it becomes more complex. So this kind of performance with Lawrence is a fantastic experience improving my skills. If people love it , good ! I am considering to perform  improvised music firstly as an attempt to create something and I am not fetichising “my” project. One other great experience I had was improvising frequently in 2008 with pianist Marjolaine Charbin, a strong personality sincerely searching to explore both sides of the piano, the keys and the strings and carcasse/ sound box. We begin to work on free patterns and fluid lines and this challenge makes evolve my singing as I had to meet all twists and turns from two hands and twenty fingers on  a keyboard and to develop sounds inside my throat and mouth in order to match the piano frame's sonic universe. We did some gigs together and a concert with composer Dario Palermo in Norwich UEA. Dario wrote Trance : Five Stations for Voice and Electronics using my alternative techniques. 

Another great experience came when I met Zsolt Sörès, a Budapest viola player , in march 2000 when Peter Strickland made his first essays of shooting his much awarded  cult movie Berberian Sound Studio. As Adam Bohman and I were invited in Budapest to be involved in  the teaser of BSS, Zsolt put a gig with both of us and the British vibist Oliver Mayne, since then a BP resident. It happens that I witnessed firstly Oliver in London’s Freedom of The City 2002 when he throwed his vibraphone two meters in the air above the stage as a kind of reaction about the presence in  Eddie Prévost’s workshop of some musicians. This ad-hoc gig in a remote squat inside a Budapest wrecked industrial area went fine and since we perform from time to time in Hungary.  The quartet, enchristened as “I Belong To The Band” is among the strangest band I ever met . Crazy amplified objects’s capharnaum  on a table were  handled by Adam Bohman , the jazz tinged vibraphone of Oliver Mayne and his electronic effects, Zsolt Sörès’s electronic toys and bending circuitry circumventing a viola “on the table approach” and my vocals with microphone could be tagged as transdanubian electro noise psych improv. We recorded some of the concerts and in a studio and its is quite impossible to say what is our specific musical area. We don’t focus on a specific focused esthetic : we just play sincerely, hating esthetic  narrowed “cup of tea” labelling whatever one hears following what he thinks that he has in mind. Music is actually a collective experience.  Fortunately, artists and listeners in Budapest enjoy what they hear in a very open minded attitude , because they know the price of freedom. I have also the pleasure to be accommodated in BP by the great painter and drawer Sàndor Gyorffy in his flat full of artworks of dozens of his friends. These hungarian trips made me inviting Zsolt  Sörès with Slovakian composer, pianist and teacher Julius Fujak and Austrian trumpet hero Franz Hautzinger in Brussels at Michaël Huon ‘s Odeon 120 studio. The recording went issued as The Brussels Concert by the Slovak Hevhetia label.  My work as free improviser is also concerned by making other people / friends working together in a creative way. So when pianist Yoko Miura asked me where she could perform in Brussels, it was absolutely impossible for me to organize myself again with a visiting musician in a venue where I map only two or three concerts a year. So Yoko performed with bass and contrabass clarinets virtuoso Ove Volquartz and Jean Demey in the Archiduc bar and this memorable concert went issued on Stefano Giust ‘s Setola di Maiale as the TAG trio “Discovery of Mysteries”.  On the same batch of Setola’s cd was also issued a duo with alto saxist Audrey Lauro tagged as the Systers. We rehearsed often together and I appreciate her sensitivity and her well  connected sound resources. Our best concert went in Michael’s studio as did also our trio Sureau with Audrey as a guest. This trio augmented meets my conception of improvised music where you are trying to mix personalities on the same moment without any rehearsal and succeeding in the whole concert. This challenge of meeting people who you never met made me singing in Germany with a dynamic reed player now focusing on flute , Nils Gerold. We performed once with acoustic  guitarist and zheng player Mano Kinze in Bremen and then with Berlin based Klaus Kürvers, a retired scholar in Archtecture History who is actually a great contrabass player, a longlife supporter of our music and huge jazz vinyle collector. Mano performed for the first time abroad in our Sons Libérés festival 2012 and I put Nils in connection with Nicolà Guazzaloca and Stefano Giust in Bologna. They performed  and recorded together as a trio for Setola di Maiale, surely one of the safest and largest “musician’s” label.

The last and very fruitful collaboration came recently meeting and sharing with percussion master Marcello Magliocchi, a veteran drummer of the Italian jazz scene, percussion and music teacher and metallic plates percussion designer etc.. and violin wizard Matthias Bosshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spHYKS4nb-0   .  Matthias is the violinist I hear with the strongest sound projection –still full of nuances after the boss himself , the Australian maverick composer and Violin total art visionary Jon Rose. Thanks to Jon Rose, I was introduced in the East to semiotician composer and Professor Julius Fujak and  Professor in Esthetics Jozef Cseres and consequently I met Peter Strickland who himself was interested in my vocal performances and proposed me to appear in his Berberian Sound Studio. Jozef was very instrumental in presenting western alternative avant-garde composers performers in his country and Czech Repulic creating a fantastic following with the students of the Universities where he is teaching. Jozef is the Director of the Rozenberg Museum , once located in the Slovakian village of Violin, and myself a somewhat Ambassor of the R.M with the E.U. Also, I helped to organize the concerts , sessions and recordings of the duo Temperaments of Jon Rose and Veryan Weston in Brussels (Temperaments  double CD on Emanem and Tunes and Tunings on Jozef Cseres' Hermes – heyeremears label).  Veryan is the musician who was invited by me in Brussels the more often and I will do it again when a nice piano will be available. The list of the best Rosenbergian appreciated strings – improvised music recordings is by now the most read page of this blog. So all this interest for the Violin art à la Rosenberg is a very good introduction to sing with a violinist like Matthias Boss. Matthias can follow the intricacy of the ornament of the voice in a very fantastic and authentic way.  Also, only one thing counts for Matthias : to play music with good friends – like minded enthusiasts without any consideration for status, career, business and so on. We decided  to found our trio after  the two first gigs with the very creative and master of percussion, Marcello Magliocchi who thought about reuniting all three in his very nice Puglia region in  South Italy.  https://soundcloud.com/jean-michelvanschouwburg/marcello-magliocchi-matthias-boss-jean-michel-van-schouwburg  Marcello was instrumental in establishing free music in the very south of Italy, touring with Steve Lacy at the age of 19. Since then, Marcello learnt to play classical percussion, jazz drumming, composing, becoming a teacher of note and a musician in demand. His designed metallic percussion plates (cymbals, gongs etc) and seven  tuned incredible resonating bells (unlike anything else) in collaboration with the renowned U.F.I.P company.  For me working with Marcello is going back to the time period when the percussion sounds and free – drumming fascinated me the most decades ago : discovering Bennink, Lovens, Lytton, Oxley, Jamie Muir, Roger Turner, John Stevens, Andrea Centazzo, Barry Altschul, Andrew Cyrille and Milford Graves on head phones was one of the main inspirations of my musical life. During a small tour in December 2014, we three ( trio 876) take profit of a free day to make a recording in the above mentioned Mu-Rec studio in Milano.  But I was very touched by this very kind and friendly guy who held an electric bass during our jam-meeting in Milano after our trio set : Roberto Del Piano, a veteran of the pianist and Italian pioneer  Gaetano Liguori’s trios and groups.  The electric bass is among the less revered instrument inside the improvising community, but Roberto is a very sensitive instrumentalist and a guy-committed-to-the group. As his left hand is much disabled by two fingers , Roberto invented his own electric bass fingerings with a fretless custom Fender Precision. So, this special quartet made fine short vignettes and some lengthier sound explorations very well focused. Improvising Beings has issued the CD of trio 876+ of the Boss/ Magliocchi/Van Schouwburg  plus Del Piano quartet selecting the tracks with an addition of recording engineer Paolo Falascone playing the innards of the grand piano on two tracks.  We never thought this trio with electric bass could happen and succeed, but it worked actually and this challenge and the music recorded enthused Julien Palomo, one of the most sincere and respectful producer existing not unlike the great Martin Davidson. So trio 876+'s Otto Sette Sei is now issued by Improvising beings label (ib 33). https://julienpalomo.bandcamp.com/track/bread-and-tomato  

A new connection by now is the trio made by the guitar player Daniel Thompson , violist Benedict Taylor and clarinettist Tom Jackson. We have just made a recording with Lawrence Casserley and some concerts together with other friends like pianist Yoko Miura, Jean Demey, Mike Goyvaerts. A new quartet happened with Adam Bohman, sax player Adrian Northover and Daniel Thompson . Adam and myself did a three dates National Coach mini tour in april 2014 in Edinburgh, Newcastle and Brighton and Mark Wastell's Confront label issued an Oxo Tower studio recording of this particular duo : Bagpipes and Blackberries. There is also a duo and trio with Phil Gibbs + Matthias Boss in the pipeline. So Marcello and Matthias went performing with Adrian, Daniel Thompson, Marcio Mattos in London and then, we will all meet in Puglia or elsewhere in Italy or Brussels creating a sort of sincere bridge between communities.

As Lawrence Casserley wanted to perform with both Yoko Miura and myself and as they had barely one gig , Yoko suggested to make a trio in the Mopomoso /Vortex in 2014. This went fine and we planned to do more in London, Oxford, Leuven and Brussels.
The duo of MouthWind (LC + JMVS) in the Foley Street 7th march 2015 was magic if I believe fellow organizer Daniel Thompson, Tom Jackson, Bened Taylor and the trio Casserley Miura Van Schouwburg stunned ourselves in Oxford : we didn't expect such marvelous and miraculous three way journey through weird sounds, polymodal piano haïkus and vocal utterances. I had the rare feeling of time stopped in heaven. It was hard for me.
Unfortunately and incredibly, Lawrence's expensive electronic gear was stolen in the Eurostar London to brussels and he returned the day after in UK without having performed the Belgian leg of the tour. Thus Yoko Miura and i played for the first time in duo in Leuven at the inviation of Kris and we did a three way sensitive conversation with Tom Jackson , plus vocal improvisor Pierre Michel Zaleski.  Then in 2016 a new duo concert and a duo recording made in Paris by  J-M Foussat which is one of the nicest stuff I did with an artist quite different of my own music path.

Finally, I am now practically out of business with Inaudible collective as my own ethos and involvement railed me on a different way after 30 years of sometimes hard work.

 To end up :
I am also working with singers – non singers in vocal workshops based on various focus. To discover the possibilities of human voice in relationship of his / her personality and capability using basic exercises (crescendo), my phonoetry concept and off the wall proceedings. To work collectively of various sound areas from one note everchanging drones to invented languages and mouth sounds. To lead the choir with hand signs and symbols in order to create collectively ensemble an individual pieces of music. Not far from to be a therapy or a serious glimpse about the voice and the singing. My workshops were held in Brussels,  Nitra  in Slovakia, Budapest, BariLiverpool and Torino and we performed publicly.

Now our Brussels circle members and related  friends who  are still active here is : Kris Vanderstraeten, Jean Demey, Jacques Foschia, Mike Goyvaerts, Jiji Duerinckx, sopranino and baritone sax, Pierre-Michel Zaleski , voice, Kostas Tatsakis, percussion, Sofia Kakouri, dance, Willy Van Buggenhout,  analog synth, Jean Philippe Burg, photos, Audrey Lauro alto sax, Frans Van Isacker, alto sax, Jan Pillaert tuba,  sopranino and baritone sax, Fred Leroux, guitar, Peter Deprez , poetry while Guy Strale, Marco Loprieno saxophone and clarinets & Pat Lugo, multimedia artist are focusing on amore multimedia and artivist approach. My main interest in Belgium is now to introduce my foreign friends to my Brussels buddies in order to extend and improve the musical relationships and perspectives individually and collectively.

All drawings and posters : Kris Vanderstraeten. Photos : Lieve Boussauw , Cedric Craps, Pat Lugo.

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Bonne lecture Good read ! don't hesitate to post commentaries and suggestions or interesting news to this......