for 3 Trumpets, 2 Keyboards, 2 Bass Guitars, 2 Percussionists and Electronics
STEAMBOAT SWITZERLAND Extended Ensemble:
Dominik Blum (CH): Hammond Organ/Analog Synthesizer/Piano; Gerard Bouwhuis (NL): Sampling Keyboard/Piano; Marino Pliakas (CH): Bass Guitar; Pete Wilson (UK): Bass Guitar; Lucas Niggli (CH): Drums/Percussion; Remo Signer (CH): Drums/Percussion; Reijer Dorresteijn (NL): Trumpet; Louis Lanzing (NL): Trumpet; Bob Koertshuis (NL): Trumpet; David Dramm (USA): Live Electronics
In 2000, the Dutch/German/Belgian festival Novembermusic gave composer David Dramm carte blanche to create an evening-length work for their three-city festival. The Amsterdam-based American composer has assembled a team of musicians from Switzerland, England and the Netherlands for his most ambitious instrumental work to date, Orange Slice.
Orange Slice borrows its intensely psychological character from the life and work of the visionary American artist, Gordon Matta-Clark (1943-1978). Matta-Clark is known for his audacious cuttings of abandoned buildings in New York, Antwerp and Paris. Using chainsaws, Matta-Clark created architectural sculptures of light and form, using basic shapes like spirals, wedges and crescents. Slicing through seilings, floors and walls, often from roof to ground floor, Matta-Clark cut most of his early buildings without permission, working at night. His improbable combination of 70s punk esthetic and a strong formal clarity is echoed in the massive, churning textures within the sharply articulated structure of Orange Slice. The three movement form of Orange Slice uses grand pianos whose large chords are often electronically distorted to produce feedback, virtuoso Hammond organ playing, shimmering bass guitar harmonics and long, sustained snare drum rolls which are timbrally enriched and accented with special preparations. The trumpets play both on and offstage, preferably in a back balcony behind the audience.
The hand-picked ensemble performs this marathon-scale work without a conductor. The keyboard/bass-guitar/drums trio STEAMBOAT SWITZERLAND, equally at home with the most complex modern music scores as with powerfull rock-influenced improvisations, forms an important role within the group. Paired with each player from Steamboat Switzerland is a second player of the same instrument. The Dutch pianist Gerard Bouwhuis has played in nearly every influential ensemble in Holland including Hoketus and Loos. Bass guitarist Pete Wilson is a founding member of the English Isbreaker ensemble and is internationally known for his high-energy renderings of music such as Micheal Gordon'sTrance.
Complemented with a strong Dutch trumpet trio that includes soloist Marco Blaauw (or Louis Lanzing) and Orkest de Volharding member Reijer Dorresteijn, the Orange Slice band is made up of players that combine passionate interpretions of modern music with a driving, pop music sensibility.
NEUE ZUERCHER ZEITUNG, 21. January 2002
NEUE ZUERCHER ZEITUNG, 10. June 2002