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BL!NDMAN [drums]

BL!NDMAN [drums] inspires and explores worlds of sound with rhythmic adventurousness. The quartet formed in 2006 in the context of master classes and workshops for young musicians organised regularly by BL!NDMAN. Their first circumstantial concert series was with the Kwadratur-triptych #1/Globus , #2/Transfo and #3/Cube where, together with the entire collective, they explored the boundaries of contemporary musical experience. An audiovisual experience full of sensory stimuli.

BL!NDMAN [drums] was used extensively from the beginning in multidisciplinary programmes tailored to special occasions. Collaborations with renowned artists such as Ivo van Hove, Wim Henderickx and composer/conductor Andrea Molino led to numerous performances. For instance, from 2007 BL!NDMAN [drums] toured with Roman Tragedies, a production by Toneelgroep Amsterdam with a soundtrack by Eric Sleichim. At the opening of the MAS in Antwerp, they launched the site-specific project The Raft of the Medusa (2010). In Totem (2011), the quartet collaborated with BL!NDMAN [strings] and played pieces by Eric Sleichim and composer and DJ Matt Wright on 8 turntables. In doing so, they helped shape a contemporary interpretation of the music style turntablism, which unlike more popular music has few if any traditions in the classical music world. In Whiplash (2012), BL!NDMAN [drums] created a performance with a unique combination for 4 saxophones and 4 percussionists. In most recent ICONS, The American Minimalists (2023), they rediscover minimalist works with contemporary percussion instruments including Steve Reich’s almost never performed 2×5.

Constantly expanding their instrumentation and the search for new sound worlds is what drives BL!NDMAN [drums]. In FULL RIDE, the quartet uses improper objects such as blackboards and brake discs as musical material. The possibilities of new sound textures appear almost endless. Later follows the youth performance X-plosion! which explores the quartet’s drumming language with a global journey through the vibrant sounds of marimbas, snare drums, drums, djembés and objects such as light switches and metal pipes.

On the commemoration of World War I in 2014, BL!NDMAN [drums], like the other quartets of the BL!NDMAN collective, gets the chance to provide a new soundtrack to a silent film. The choice falls on the spectacular romantic war film WINGS (1927) in which they accompany the virtuoso aerial battle scenes with a contemporary arrangement of the most interesting percussion compositions of the 20th century.

The quartet’s love of film, visual media and sound experimentation continues to spark new musical adventures today. For Parliament of Angels (2023-2027), BL!NDMAN [drums] will enter into dialogue with young international composers at IRCAM, the world-renowned centre for electroacoustic music, to develop new compositions for solo percussion and electronics. This will include the new performance SLAP STICKS, in which the quartet translates works by a new generation of artists to a younger audience. The show will be accompanied by images of Buster Keaton and other top comedians from the silent and animated film world.

Hannes Nieuwlaet: percussion
Yves Goemaere: percussion
Ward De Ketelaere: percussion
Gideon Van Canneyt: percussion