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Frans de Waard: "Klankschap 1999-2005"

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The term „workhorse“ must have been invented especially for de Waard, who diligently fires off his equally legendary and controversial ‘Vital Weekly’ newsletter every single week for what seems like forever. But besides acting as a busy bee in the field of journalistic enterprises and reviewing next to  everything on the contemporary side of music productions, he is actually also an active musical contributor himself. With ‘Klankschap 1999 – 2005’ he now presents six compositions, which he assembled and worked on through these years. Field recordings are the centrepiece of this release, accompanied by silence and sounds of unclear origin.

I was most impressed by the two pieces called ‘Werkplaats #1’ and ‘Werkplaats #2’. To understand this you should know that the Dutch word ‘werkplaats’ means something like ‘workplace’, and this definitely refers to his desk and computer and the very room, where he produces this gigantic output of reviews and comments on the music scene. Here, we are confronted with a hard-core and extremely straight approach to new music. Field recordings are being pushed to the very core of realism; Sounds of wind and noises generated by the coincidental arrangements between the recording unit and nature are accompanied by electronically enhanced additions. These compositions congenially reflect his perspective on composition, timbre and development.

On ‘Epitaph’, de Waard used sound materials of the late John Waterman, who died in 2002 and whom he has always held in great regard. This was an unfinished project of Waterman, and de Waard has arrived at some well-balanced criteria transforming the piece into an intelligent display of careful alterations. It enhances the original, while giving it a whole new meaning and value.

Overall, „Klankschap 1999-2005“ feels like a heartfelt contribution to experimental music. It is certainly not de Waard's only one, though: When I heard that he's also on tour with his music I could hardly believe it. Where in the world takes this man the time to do what he does? Not everyone may always agree with what he has to say, but I tip my hat to one of the most active contributors to everything concerning experimental music.

By Fred M. Wheeler

Homepage: Frans de Waard
Homepage: Zang Records

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