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live in Frankfurt
Universal Music, 2004 catalogue 986835-6, 2004

1 CD 17 €
2 CDs 32 €

+ shipment
Belgium: 4 €
European Community: 8 €
Rest of the world: 15 €

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An infectious saxophone quartet and two pianos take up arms with an arsenal of percussion instruments to the tones of Maximalist! And take us to where Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and Wim Vandekeybus began.

1. Contre Six – Thierry De Mey / Peter Vermeersch 1984
[2 pianos, cello, saxophone quartet and loop]
Arranged in a loop, a rhythmic six-eight theme encloses the sometimes austere and harsh, sometimes voluble and exuberant progression of the different tone combinations: the instruments joining together within other rhythmic beats (5, 7, etc.) clashing with the metre repeated by the machine, hence the title Counter Six.
‘Recent years have been one big party in BL!NDMAN country. Each new project has led to discoveries for the musicians and surprises for the listeners.’ Elke Vandersypen, Muziek & Woord

2. Five to Five – Walter Hus 1984
[2 pianos, cello and saxophone quartet]
Five to Five was originally written for a Yamamoto fashion-show in Brussels. It was Hus’s very first composition and shows the influence of minimal music in its obsessive use of repetitive cells but at the same time the abundant stream of melodies, the contrapuntal concept and the dramatic build-up resist the “minimal” label. The title refers to a superimposition of several combinations of the number five.
‘BL!NDMAN is a collection of brilliant, tremendously precise exegetes, who hear and reproduce with perfection the gestural power of music.’ Tim Gorbauch, Frankfurter Rundschau

3. Third movement for Beuys – Eric Sleichim 1988
[percussive saxophone quartet]
The mechanism of the saxophone. A factory full of rising and tilting keys, of releasing springs, tapping leather and rattling metal. This microscopic world of sound with its own rhythmic patterns is magnified into an estranged drum band.
A hommage to Joseph Beuys, inspired by his performance ‘Wie man dem toten Hase die Bilder erklärt’.
‘In 2003 the internationally celebrated Brussels saxophone quartet BL!NDMAN celebrated its 15th anniversary. Throughout that time the ensemble has been on a remarkable and fascinating quest. BL!NDMAN have more than anyone else claimed considerable autonomy for the saxophone.’ Peter-Paul De Temmerman, Financieel Economische Tijd

4. Scrum – Peter Vermeersch 1985
[solo for tenor saxophone]
The rugby scrum is that indecisive and confused moment in a match when the two opposing packs confront each other shoulder to shoulder. Two forces expressing themselves in opposite directions, cancelling each other out: a metaphoric title for this piece referring to the clash between the different voices merging in one instrument.
’20 years after its creation, the music of Maximalist! is still very rock ‘n roll.’ Xavier Flament, Le Soir

5. Balatum – Thierry De Mey 1984
[mirrors, polystyrene foam, bass, bells, piano frame, steel drum, metallic sheers and wood blocks]
A piece written for the first choreographic work by Michèle-Anne De Mey. An original range of instruments (piano frame, steel blades, mirrors, etc.) is used for these constructions/deconstructions of geometrical themes that link together and entwine like tresses: a playful puzzle of continuously moving shapes.
‘With all the concentration of high-precision Swiss watches, the BL!NDMAN ensemble bring in the different rhythms of their individual voices to create a complex sound structure. Playing this music demands not only that every player has a perfect mastery of their own particular instrument, but also that every player should be an outstanding percussionist.’ Christian Hoesch, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

6. Habanera – Thierry De Mey / Peter Vermeersch 1983
[2 pianos, cello and saxophone quartet]
This piece, written for the finale of Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s choreographic work Rosas danst Rosas marks the beginning of Thierry de Mey’s collaboration with this choreographer. The rhythmic theme of the Habanera is deconstructed in this piece and presented in the form of ostinato continuously reiterated in gradual shifts, on which different compositional processes (accumulation, canon, hockets, interpolation, etc.) are linked together. The implacable rigour of the musical forms, a real “structural wall”, is designed to be used as a springboard for the physical involvement of the performers.

‘Maximalist! was set up twenty years ago by four young musicians who let their energies flow, and the rest is history.’ Lucas Huybrechts, Knack

Eric Sleichim: arrangements & artistic direction

BL!NDMAN [sax]
Koen Maas: soprano saxophone, mirrors, metallic sheers
Eric Sleichim: alto & baritone saxophone & conducting
Piet Rebel: tenor saxophone, piano frame, metallic sheers
Raf Minten: tenor & baritone saxophone, polystyrene foam, bass, bells

Jean-Paul Dessy: cello
Thomas De Prins: piano & wood blocks left
Thomas Noël: piano & wood blocks right
Nancy Overmeire: piano frame, steel drum

recorded live at Künstlerhaus Mousonturm, Frankfurt, December 29th, 2003
Universal Music, 2004, ref 986835-6


1. Contre Six – Thierry De Mey / Peter Vermeersch, 1984 (07’36)
2. Five to Five – Walter Hus 1984 (12’41)
3. Third movement for Beuys – Eric Sleichim 1988 (04:50)
4. Scrum – Peter Vermeersch 1985 (04:55)
5. Balatum – Thierry De Mey 1984 (16:00)
6. Habanera – Thierry De Mey / Peter Vermeersch 1983 (13:53)

Total time: 59:55