BL!NDMAN Akenkaai 2, B-1000 Brussels +32 (0)2 201 59 47
 
 

line-up

eric sleichim > artistic direction, concept, transcriptions and arrangements

BL!NDMAN [sax]
koen maas > soprano saxophone
roeland vanhoorne > alto saxophone
piet rebel > tenor saxophone
raf minten > baritone saxophone

CREW
françois deppe > musical advise
peter missotten > scenography
jo thielemans > sound technician
veerle vaes > production management

BL!NDMAN plays Bach is a BL!NDMAN-production in co-production with Happy New Ears,
Vooruit and Ufafabrik Berlin (Artists in Residence programme).

BL!NDMAN is supported by the Arts Administration of the Ministry of the Flemish Community and the Flemish Community Commission of the Brussels-Capital Region. BL!NDMAN [sax] play Selmer Paris Saxophones. BL!NDMAN [drums] is supported by Muremo, distributor of Bergerault Percusssion Instruments.

BL!NDMAN PLAYS BACH

saxophones sound like an organ in BL!NDMAN’s much-praised interpretation of J.S. Bach’s “Chorale Partitas”

The BL!NDMAN saxophone quartet hitches baroque scores onto contemporary compositions that handle polyphony in a highly individual way. These works run through the Chorale Partitas – little-known organ works by J.S. Bach – and give, together with BL!NDMAN’s visual approach, a kaleidoscopic dimension to the musical material.

In Polyphonic Variations, the BL!NDMAN saxophone quartet hitches baroque scores onto contemporary compositions that handle polyphony in a highly individual way. These works run through the Chorale Partitas – little-known organ works by J.S. Bach – and give, together with BL!NDMAN’s visual approach, a kaleidoscopic dimension to the musical material.
In the 4 Chorale Partitas the young Bach (he was not even 15 years old when he wrote the first one) employs repeatedly the same pattern: he develops variations on the basis of a four-voice chorale, moulding the initial theme by means of a variety of techniques such as inventio, cantus firmus, canon, ostinato, chromaticism and others. Each Choral Partita has its own atmosphere, and by way of its variations, demonstrates Bach’s inventiveness and innovative view of the German polyphonic tradition. Few youthful works, even those of J.S. Bach, have achieved such a high level of beauty and expression.
BL!NDMAN will be confronting this authentic baroque style while performing on its modern instruments. The extraordinary range of sounds produced by the saxophone is every bit as evocative of the harsh sound of certain baroque organs.
The organic saxophones of BL!NDMAN make this 300 years old scores meet with the sounds of the last decades, and come to a fascinating balance between the known and the surprising. A sparkling start for a new century of all possibilities.

audio

http://www.blindman.be/assets/sounds/32_Partita_I_BWV770_5.mp3 bwv770 > partita 1
http://www.blindman.be/assets/sounds/34_Partita_III_BWV770_7.mp3 bwv770 > partita 3
http://www.blindman.be/assets/sounds/36_Partita_V_BWV770_9.mp3 bwv770 > partita 5
http://www.blindman.be/assets/sounds/38_Partita_VII_BWV770_11.mp3 bwv770 > partita 7
http://www.blindman.be/assets/sounds/39_Partita_VIII_BWV770_12.mp3 bwv770 > partita 8
http://www.blindman.be/assets/sounds/41_Partita_X_BWV770_14.mp3 bwv770 > partita 10
http://www.blindman.be/assets/sounds/13_Partita_IV_BWV767_6.mp3 bwv767 > partita 4
http://www.blindman.be/assets/sounds/18_Partita_IX_BWV768_2.mp3 bwv768 > partita 9
http://www.blindman.be/assets/sounds/04_Partita_III_BWV766_4.mp3 bwv766 > partita 3
http://www.blindman.be/assets/sounds/08_Partita_VII_BWV767_1.mp3 bwv766 > partita 7
http://www.blindman.be/assets/sounds/21_Partita_II_BWV768_5.mp3 bwv768 > partita 2
http://www.blindman.be/assets/sounds/28_Partita_IX_BWV770_1.mp3 bwv770 > partita 9

http://www.blindman.be/assets/sounds/storm_bij_laagtij.mp3 storm at low tide (live) > eric sleichim

programme

Louis Andriessen > Workers Union (5 minutes)
Very energetic rhythmical piece in which every musician has the obligation to follow the drawing of the melody, but has the freedom to choose his notes.

Johann Sebastian Bach > BWV 766: Christ, der du bist der helle Tag (11 minutes)
Arrangement for saxophone quartet by Eric Sleichim – Cantus Firmus (alto saxophone) + a selection of Partitas
This work dates from the time that the young musician studies at the lyceum of Lüneburg (between 1700 and 1703). The BWV 766 is less complex than the 3 other Choral Partitas, but illustrates beautifully Bach’s ability to brighten up each variation with a different composition technique.

Johann Sebastian Bach > BWV 770: Ach, was soll ich Sünder machen (13 minutes)
Arrangement for saxophone quartet by Eric Sleichim – Cantus Firmus (baritone saxophone) + a selection of Partitas
Bach wrote these first Choral Partitas when he was not even 15 years old. The melodical freshness already witnesses of his genius.

Eric Sleichim > Storm at low Tide (12 minutes)
Promenade for percussive quartet
This tribute to the Black Virgin of Seville is inspired on the rehearsals for the annual procession in Seville Arabic-Western melting pot, amalgam of sound , odour, rhythm and colour. Repetitive percussion cells are the bedrock of the theme. According to specific codes the protagonists give each other orders. Through different panels, this piece tries to portray the energy and emotions of the 24-hour lasting procession.

John Cage > Five (5 minutes)
Five poetic minutes of floating tones, joining and diverging
One hears in Five that every sound played is like the material of a Japanese Haiku – measured, needing to be exactly where it is played. It is vintage Cage: sounds and silences.

Johann Sebastian Bach > BWV 767: O Gott, du frommer Gott (10 minutes)
Arrangement for saxophone quartet by Eric Sleichim – Cantus Firmus (tenor saxophone) + a selection of Partitas
A musical poem on life, death and resurrection, illustrating the text from the hymn as a series of miniatures.

Johann Sebastian Bach > BWV 768: Sei gegrüßet, Jesu gütig (11 minutes)
Arrangement for saxophone quartet by Eric Sleichim – Cantus Firmus (soprano saxophone) + a selection of Partitas
Bach’s most mature Choral Partitas. During his career he adapted this work which he started writing at the age of 25. Partita 10 is known as one of the most emotional highlights of J.S. Bach’s work. His polyphonical skills lead here once more to a great mystical moment.

Steve Reich > New York Counterpoint (12 minutes)
Adaptation for saxophone quartet by Susan Fancher
Piece for 11 clarinets (version for saxophone quartet and tape) in three movements that build up to a gigantic climax. The well-known repetitive style of Steve Reich performed by multiplied saxophone quartet hypnotises the listener by ways of melodical cut-ups.

cd

BL!NDMAN PLAYS BACH
Universal Music / Emarcy Records, 2000 (Catalogue: 157675 2)

press

‘The way the Belgian BL!NDMAN quartet plays Johann Sebastian Bach’s music is as characteristic as it is original. Nothing of Bach’s texture is altered. Bach is simply performed in a new, different way, often with an unusual, fresh phrasing free of any historicism, and with great musical sensitivity.’ – Frankfurter Rundschau

‘More than 250 years ago sound and space were already being changed in a comparable way by J.S.Bach. To this extent the transcription for saxophone of choral variations for organ was legitimate. The exceptional aspect of this evening, which revolved round the theme of ‘Polyphonic Variations’, was the fact that the four Belgian musicians also played in exquisite tones and with perfect fingering.’ – Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

‘There have already been made a lot of transsriptions of Bach’s music, in different degrees of disrespectfulness. That it is in fact possible to arrange the music of the great composer in a way that is at the same time original and respectful, is now proved by BL!NDMAN… Classical music is in a way an unexpected choise from the man who treats his sax in such a different way that sometimes the sound of air and the keys is the music itself. But the result finally became a beautiful cd, which will appeal to a large public.’ – Hans-Maarten Post, Het Nieuwsblad

‘This cd is a relief in a time of numerous arrangements brought to us in this remembrance year of Bach. Instead of delivering us yet another version of the most famous Bach highlights, BL!NDMAN has chosen the little known partita’s for organ… The themes of the four partita’s are repeatedly presented by one of the solo saxophones, a moment at which nothing really announces the heavenly beauty which is to come: the four-part arrangement of the thomascantor, which, by the total harmony of the wind instruments sound as if played on organ. All that is required for the devotee of classical music, is an ear free of prejudices. For those who want to be convinced immediately: listen to the chorale ‘Sei gegrüsset, Jesu gutig’ and hear that it’s really, really good.’ – De Morgen/Metro, 28-06-2000


BL!NDMAN PLAYS BACH played among others on the following locations:

2017
GENT / GAND - miryzaal conservatorium
2016
BOUSSU-EN-FAGNE (Festival de l'Eté Mosan)
2012
MORTSEL - Fort 4
AALTER - Kasteel van Poeke
2011
SCHERPENHEUVEL - Den Egger
MIDDELBURG - Zeeuwse concertzaal
ENAME - Sint Laurentiuskerk (Museumnacht)
ESPINHO (P) - Auditorio (Internat. Music Festival)
BRUSSEL/BRUXELLES - Mim
2010
BRUSSEL - Turn & Taxis
OUDERGEM - Hertoginnedal
TORHOUT - org. cc brouckère - Kapel Scholengroep St. Rembert
2009
BEERNEM - cc de kleine beer
EISENACH (D) - georgenkirche (thüringer bachwochen)
V-Sessions
EDEGEM - Sint-Antoniuskerk
2008
STAVANGER (N) cultural capital 2008
IMDE - kerk van imde
HEERENVEEN (NL) - museum belvedère - frysk festival
FRANKFURT (D) - Mousonturm
2007
BLANKENBERGE - Sint-Rochus kerk
GENK - cc Genk
2006
SAINTES (F) -saintes - jardins artistiques et musicaux St Julien
BRUSSEL / BRUXELLES - thurn
ALSEMBERG - cc de meent
ANTWERPEN / ANVERS - deSingel
2005
KOKSIJDE - cc CasinoKoksijde
EINDHOVEN (NL)
HASSELT- cc Hasselt
ANTWERPEN / ANVERS - deSingel
BRUGGE / BRUGES - Concertgebouw
BRUSSEL / BRUXELLES - kaaitheater
2004
SARAJEVO (BA) - international festival Sarajevo Winter
TOSCANE (I) - Abbazia di Monte Oliveto Maggiore / Festival Phili
VOLKENRODA (D) - MDR summer/middeldeutscher rundfunk festival
AMSTERDAM (NL) - stadsschouwburg
2003
MADRID (ES) - Fundacion Carlos de Amberes
WALDKIRCH (D) - Musik in St.Michael
GENT / GAND - Pieters-Abdij ((Bach-dag)
PARIS (F) - Cité de la Musique
2002
LEEUWARDEN (NL) - Theater Romein
ROESELARE - cc De Spil
WAREGEM - cc De Schakel
MIDDELBURG (NL)- OLV-kerk van Veer/ Festival Zeeuws-Vlaanderen
BRUGGE/BRUGES - St Salvatorkerk / Brugge 2002, European cultural
KORTENBERG- uc Kortenberg
THORN (NL) - Abdijcomplex
BRUSSEL / BRUXELLES – Flagey
MAASTRICHT (NL) - Vrijthof / Stiching Intro
2001
LOMMEL- cc Adelberg
AALST - cc De Werf / Saint-Amour
GENT / GAND - Vooruit / Saint-Amour
LEUVEN - Stadsschouwburg / Saint-Amour
TONGEREN - Velinx / Saint-Amour
MECHELEN - Stadsschouwburg / Saint-Amour
BRUSSEL / BRUXELLES - BOZAR / Saint-Amour
KNOKKE - cc Scharpoord / Saint-Amour
ANTWERPEN / ANVERS - Bourla / Saint-Amour
TORHOUT - De Brouckère / Saint-Amour
TOKYO (JPN) - Belgian Embassy / Belgium Watching
MOSCOU (RU) - Helicon Opera
AKEN (D) - Quadrum Festival
BRUGGE/BRUGES - St-Salvator Kathedraal (OPera De Dunis)
BRUSSEL/BRUXELLES - Ancienne Belgique / De Gulden ontsporing)
SAINTES (F) Festival de Saintes - abbatiale
SAINTES (F) - l'Abbaye aux Dames
NANTES (F) - Le Lieu Unique
BRUSSEL/BRUXELLES - Hertoginnedal (BVB)
AMSTERDAM (NL) - Brakke Grond
GENT/GAND - SMAK (stedelijk museum actuele kunst)
EVERE - St Vincentiuskerk
BRUGGE/BRUGES - Concertgebouw
BRUSSEL/BRUXELLES - Théâtre de la Balsamine
GEEL - St-Amandskerk
FRANKFURT (D) - Mousonturm
2000
PRAGUE (CZ) - archa theatre
BUDAPEST (HU) - Trafó
MEXICO-CITY - Jazzfestt. Centro Nacional de las Artes
MONTERREY (MEXICO) - Teatro de la Ciudad
TORREÓN (MEXICO) - Teatro Isauro Martínez
GRIMBERGEN Basiliek (CC Strombeek)
LEUVEN/LOUVAIN - Opening van het Rito Gebouw
BILZEN Alden Biesen /Internat. dag oude Muziek
FRANKFURT (D) - Summer in The City
BERGEN (NO) - Bjørgvin Kirkemusikk
DEURNE - cc Luchtbal
1999
GENT/GAND - Bijloke
GENT/GAND - St Baafskathedraal / Festicval van Vlaanderen
KORTRIJK/COURTRAI - Limelight / Happy New Ears
AALST/ALOST - cc De Werf
LEUVEN/LOUVAIN - St-Geertruikerk / Stuc
BRUSSEL/BRUXELLES -Finistèrekerk / Fest. Europese Culturen
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BL!NDMAN       contact info

Sainctelettesquare 18-19
B-1000 Brussels, Belgium
+32 2 201 59 47

contact:

general and artistic direction:
management:   M +32 485 30 98 01
technical coordination & sound engineer:   M +32 485 53 68 16
production manager:   M +32 498 54 96 81

BL!NDMAN is supported by the Arts Administration of the Ministry of the Flemish Community and the Flemish Community Commission of the Brussels-Capital Region. BL!NDMAN [sax] play Selmer Paris Saxophones. BL!NDMAN [drums] is supported by Muremo, distributor of Bergerault Percusssion Instruments.