This composition is a study for a bigger work that has to be created one day. This version was composed especially for the Spectraensemble on the occasion of the opening of the Festival of Flanders on a square in the cities of Brussels (Materiaalkaai) and Ghent (Emiel Braunplein) during Ode Gand. The composition is made up of the sounds that can be produced by eight old fire engines. Just about every possible sound was used except, for organisational reasons, the spraying of water. The nice thing about this composition was that it perfectly linked the musical value to the event value. The audience could enjoy the composition, but certainly also the imposing appearance of the fearsome roaring, steaming and noisy fire engines.
Composing for fire engines
The composition process really started in the sheds of the "Privat Fire Brigade" in Aalst where about eighty retired fire engines were collected and where Michel Van der Straeten showed us the most interesting ones. This kick-started the composing process in an impressive way. I also had the new and pleasant musical experience of composing at the computer together with Filip Rathé in an intense musical togetherness.
During the performance, the musicians take their seats in the trucks and perform the first bars of the composition by slamming their doors shut. The two percussionists finish the intro by very precisely slamming all the other standing doors. The rest of the score is performed under the direction of conductor Filip Rathé who, by his appearance, suddenly transforms the machines into impressive musical instruments for eight minutes. The recording was made during the final rehearsal in the garage of the Privat Fire Brigade in Aalst.
With special thanks to the Privat Fire Brigade
Saturday, September 2, 2006 - 13.45
Festival of Flanders, Brussels
Start KLara Festival - Happening
Saturday, September 16, 2006 - 14.00
Flanders Festival, Ghent
Ode Gand - Happening
In the video on this page, Filip Rathé has given a nice impression of how this composition was worked out and performed.
laatste update: 2022.11.09
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