on January 3 -2018, i received an email from composer Antoine Beuger [https://www.wandelweiser.de], in which he introduced me to an inspiring lecture of John Holloway. The title of the lecture: ‘NOW IS THE TIME TO LEARN HOPE’
not so long ago i saw an interview with Yanis Varoufakis, a Greek economist, academic, philosopher and politician: https://youtu.be/wwfM3IKaZgw i felt inspired by his hopeful attitude towards a new economic thinking. Varoufakis is one of the founding members of DiEM25, you can find mor info here: https://diem25.org/
i felt the urge to pay attention in this post to these people who are trying to get across the idea of change, hope and fairness for the majority.
i like to dedicate this song to them. A meditation.
Where does it come from and what does it do? in short:
the EGO is an instrument consisting of an electric guitar and some pedals with a special routing. this special routing makes it into a breathing organic instrument, like a harmonium. [to see and to make this routing yourself look at the ‘system diagram psd’]
where does it come from?
ever since i began playing the electric guitar i felt that the sound reminded me of an organ sound. I felt deeply attracted to this sound, to me it was pure sound of great quality. i never questioned this but from time to time i wrote some notes about it in sketchbooks or heard music on records where the two instruments [electric guitar and organ/ harmonium] were used. Between 2008 and 2014 i was, together with Luuk de Weert, doing a project concentrating on electro acoustic music which gave me new ideas about sound[s], Later on i got interested in making these sounds in the ‘real world’. [from laptop to analog instruments] Modulair thinking had entered my musical world.
But it was only until i began to study the music of Morton Feldman that my quest for the electric organ sound could really begin. Bellows and breathing: the main thing is breath, breathing. this concept is vital. Listening to some Feldman compositions [Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello; Piano and StringQuartet] i noticed the way the strings moved, like a bellow. I realized that the foundation of this electric guitar organ might be found in this breathing organism. But how to translate this concept to the guitar? And here my modulair thinking helped me out. It might have to do with routing. I started experimenting with some pedals and slowly slowly my guitar started to breathe. The solution [to this point] that is most satisfying consists of a Freeze sound retainer and a volume pedal. The routing was the most challenging part, but once found is extremely simple. You just take the volume pedal away from its traditional place at the start of a chain and bring it to the end.
As you can see in the system diagram you need 2 Freeze sustainer pedals and 3 Volume pedals for best results. So you always need one Volume pedal extra [the one you use to get a controlled signal out of your guitar].
So this is all about SOUND, the realization of a soundwish.
How to use this sound, in composition, is for another story.
texts, drawings, notations, technical stuff are all from my sketchbooks
12 june 2019
from my wish to play soft, abstract and harmonious sounds came the energy and motivation to start to think about chamber music and eventually to write music for chamber music ensemble. Electric Chamber Music, because at the center of this writing is the electric guitar. so far i’ve written some 25 pieces in the last year. Solo pieces, duets, trio’s, quartets, and lately i’m working towards combinations with woodwind instruments [clarinet, flute] and percussion. besides thinking and writing the music i wanted to test the written material. an Ensemble would be perfect for this musical journey. my great great grandfathers name was Sijme Storm, he was the gardener of ‘Kasteel Soelen’ / ‘Soelen Castle’ in the 19th Century. Enough reason for me to name the Ensemble after him.
my main inspiration for the project: – Ecole de Notre-Dame, – Morton Feldman, – Jürg Frey.
…and now, at the beginning of 2019, everything starts to come together, the Sijmen Storm Ensemble started rehearsals for a contemporary electric chamber music. Compositions are being made for intimate, soft, abstract and harmonious musical adventures. Rehearsals are recorded. There is a sound cloud page for this project : electric souvenir notes.
More info and musical output will be available in the near future.
After 10 years, this short documentary by Ferry van der Werff and myself, was aired on RTV Utrecht yesterday [a reprise]. Maybe there’s more interest in the unique archive footage of the old city of Utrecht, so I post it here on the electric souvenir site.