Church Music

Last night we went to de Grote of St.Bavokerk in the center of Haarlem to listen to music.  This was not your typical church music.

The concert was set up at the foot of the very impressive pipe organ.  The organ was built in 1738 and the web site states that it is the most pictured (photos, paintings) organ in the world.  How do they know this?

The first half of the concert was Remy & friends.  Unfortunately I didn’t get very good photos of them.  Just Remy.

He had playing with him 2 violins and a cello.  In the above photo he’s playing the piano but he spent most of his time playing keyboards and electronic gear.  Unfortunately I didn’t take any video of his set.  I liked it a lot, even better than the second half of the concert.  He really used the string instruments to good effect and built beautiful soundscapes.  Here’s a link to an article about the concert and you can hear some of the music if you play the video at the top.

The second half of the evening was by Ron Boots (keyboards) and other musicians who’s names I don’t know.  There was a chorus also, but Ron played so loudly that you couldn’t hear the voices very well at all.  It was mostly pretty shrill and too much 70’s electronica for my liking.  I did make a video of them, which sounds pretty true to what we heard (amazingly nice sound from my camera).  Don’t play the video expecting to SEE anything – it was very dark.  It was the sound I was trying to capture.  Here are some photos.

At the end, Remy joined this group and they improvised some music for us.

What surprised me was how old the audience was.  When did we all get so old?  I’m used to going to concerts where I’m one of the oldest people there.  Not last night.  When I was young, old people didn’t like electronic music.  Old people liked orchestras or acoustic music.  Last night the church was full of grey haired people, many even older than me, nodding their bald heads to loud music echoing through the big space.  I couldn’t help trying to imagine what everyone looked like in 1973 listening to Tubular Bells for the first time.

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