Bram De Looze
While studying at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City with longtime friend and colleague in LABtrio Lander Gyselinck, Bram De Looze explored various styles of jazz, including hip hop. With mentors like Reggie Workman, Uri Caine, Marc Copeland, and access to clubs such as the Village Vanguard and The Stone, Bram experienced depth and creative energy expressed by incredible artists. About time to introduce him properly and steal some tips for the upcoming Piano Days at Flagey.
Who is Bram de Looze
During his time in New York, Bram also participated in sessions with like minded musicians and created an international band, Septych, in 2014. Allowing him to break boundaries and reach new heights, this group pushed Bram’s creative process further. When working on his solo piano work, Bram continued this experimental spirit, which can be found on 2016’s Piano e Forte, and 2018’s Switch the Stream.
The most notable difference between the 2016 and 2018 album is that Piano e Forte featured improvisations and compositions of three pianofortes from the 18th and 19th centuries, and Switch the Stream was recorded using a Chris Maene Straight Strung Grand Piano. Built on the concept of classical pianos, the Maene produces a 19th century sound with much more projection and clarity than, for example, a Steinway. It’s a completely redesigned instrument meant to be an alternative to the modern standardised piano.
Ahead of Bram’s upcoming Flagey Piano Days concert on 8 February 2020, where he will present his latest album Colour Talk, we sat down and asked his top three picks for the festival. Since the festival, running from 7-16 February, celebrates Beethoven’s 250th birthday, Bram heavily discussed the 'Inside the Hearing Machine' lecture/concert. Showcasing the Gehörmaschine, it celebrates Beethoven's talent, and how he pushed through his loss of hearing. Make sure to check out this and Bram’s selections below (with a description in his own words).
Bram's selection of concerts during Flagey Piano Days
He brings wonderful interpretations of great pieces. Nelson’s clarity, phrasing, feeling for melody and tempo make him a pianist I really want to listen to.
I chose her due to her great imagination and attitude as an artist. She will be playing a selection of her favourite repertoire, a combination of great compositions by Ligeti, Kurtag and Beethoven.
Lucas and Arthur Jussen
My music was selected for a Spotify playlist which had a picture of these two young brothers, I didn’t know who they were at first. A few days after this playlist was online, I was doing a recording session in Hilversum and while staying at an Airbnb in town the host had put on very soft music when I entered, I saw the cover of the CD and recognized the two brothers, I listened to the whole album that night, that means I was pretty much into it.
Returning to Flagey, Dutch brothers Lucas and Arthur Jussen’s busy 2019/2020 season kicked off at the Salzburg Festival and includes performances with respective orchestras in Boston, Montreal, Berlin, Munich, A Coruña, Antwerp, Bern, and Budapest, and an Asian tour in Japan and Singapore. With an active schedule after their Brussels show, it’s hard to say when such rare talent will come back – don’t miss out.