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[drums] + [sax]

Central to Whiplash is a conceptual approach to ‘thinking music’. The score becomes plastically present. The musicians become the actors of a theatrical sound experience. Besides the broad spectrum this octet offers acoustically, electronic manipulation represents distortions and spatiality.

Riccardo Nova, Frederik Neyrinck, Mayke Nas, Wim Henderickx and Eric Sleichim very idiosyncratically represent one of these starting points. Energetic fireworks alternate with microscopic textures, orthodox modes of playing alternate with bespoke forms of performance. The ever-changing arrangement of instruments and musicians gives a constantly changing listening experience. Text joins music, music joins text. The hall becomes one big kaleidoscope.

Eric Sleichim: concept and direction

BL!NDMAN [sax]
Koen Maas: soprano saxophone
Roeland Vanhoorne: alto saxophone
Piet Rebel: tenor sax
Raf Minten: baritone sax

BL!NDMAN [drums]
Ward De Ketelaere: percussion
Yves Goemaere: percussion
Hannes Nieuwlaet: percussion
Ruben Cooman: percussion

Bart Bouckaert: repetiteur
Karel mMrynissen: sound engineering

WHIPLASH is a BL!NDMAN programme, in co-production with deSingel, Bozar Music and Concertgebouw Brugge


Eric Sleichim: All about John
Riccardo Nova: Ottetto
Maike Nas: Behind the scenes 1
Frederik Neyrinck: Gestalt IV
Maike Nas: Behind the scenes 2
Wim Henderickx : Fireworks
Robert Lemay: (s)axe(s)
Jasna Veličković: Last song


01 Nov
Brugge (BE)
09 Oct
Brussel / Bruxelles (BE)
04 Oct
DE SINGEL (première)
Antwerpen (BE)

Composers about their work

Eric Sleichim: All About John
“In All About John for eight protagonists plus one – perception is solicited on several fronts. Several actions come into competition with each other. To what does one give priority; does one let oneself slip into the beauty of a tonal chant, does one try to follow the text that echoes fragmentarily from different angles, does one want to concentrate on the sound of living matter or still try to decipher what moves a number of individuals all around? From his or her own background, each one makes associations, gives meanings, interferes, lauds and distils from the surrounding his or her own story. The space becomes an active co-player.”


Riccardo Nova: Otteto
Ottetto is a meditation over inspiration and espiration (prana) a recurring hypnotic motion.The breathing idea is given by the periodic structure of the piece and therefore by the lenght and speed of the periodic cycle (meter) which I have used. Cyclically a more or less evident change appears, a new direction, a question followed by an answer if possible or simply by a second question. What never really change is the main periodic structure ,the meter, even if often we loose it’s sight it is always underneath and whatever happens require a precise relation with it. In  the vedic tradition a meter is considered  a prescious gift, a tool which can be used to reach a target, a desire, or even a weapon of destruction. I have chosen a long periodic cycle (meter) of 19 beats as the basic frame for this composition. The tuning system is based on an extended Partchian diamond which includes also primes numbers 13, 17 and 19. (nineteen being the limit). The derived scale divides the octave into 99 steps (see the 99 sruti-s chart attached in the score). In the main three sections the rhythmical structure is directly deducted by the pitches organisation and their ratio.”


Mayke Nas: Behind the Scenes
“There are those iconic films whose narrative structure, atmosphere, a specific scene or music is etched in our collective memory. You only have to utter the phrase “We’ll always have Paris” to instantly evoke a world of (black-and-white) images and emotions with it. Say West Side Story and rival youth gangs fly through the streets of New York dancing. Say Groundhog Day and a shifty Bill Murray, as an underappreciated weatherman, experiences the same thing over and over again; day after day after day. In Behind the Scenes, memory – as it so often does – plays tricks on us. The memories and associations don’t add up. Things take place that never took place in the film. Or do they? Or just different? Or yet not at all? Is this what you could have seen if you could have taken a look behind the scenes, got a glimpse into the kitchen, been a fly on the wall?”


Frederik Neyrinck: Gestalt IV
“The main idea of the cycle Gestalt is to compose a musical construction where the proportions between the instruments are studied and questioned. In this case, it was not the idea to compose a real octet or a double quartet, but the idea was to construct a piece where the proportions between the instruments are not that common and where this proportions are changing all the time during the piece.”


Wim Henderickx: Fireworks
Fireworks for 4 saxophonists, 4 percussionists and live electronics was commissioned by BL!NDMAN in 2012. It will be a celebration of sounds shot through space like flares. Fire is a primal element that represents energy, radiation and power. The work consists of 3 parts and an epilogue. The first part (EXPLOSIONS) depicts the power of large explosions and bursts of sound. Rising melodic figures in the saxophones are accompanied by fierce percussion. The second movement (IN THE MOOD) is a more introspective one with references to jazz. A vertical, harmonic soundscape is mainly used. The saxophone and percussion quartet play the same rhythmic patterns in chords that gradually take on a life of their own for each instrument.The third movement (DANCE!) refers to various rhythms and musical styles from world music. It is a virtuoso movement that goes to the extreme technical limits. At the end, there is an epilogue (REFLECTION) where all the energy is gradually channelled and this rousing composition quietly slows down and expands.”