and so it was after months of continued phone calls
and a rash of e-mails and arrangements being made
that I found myself on a flight to Amsterdam where
I would spend a week finalizing details for the upcoming
debut, meeting with key people involved, seeing the incredible
rehearsal space and recording studio the orchestra utilizes
and the venue where the concert will be held,
and most importantly working on the arranging
and writing of the all-important score.
the first person to greet me was Gert-Jan.
over the week I spent a lot of time talking with Gert-Jan
and learned he is himself a bassist and record producer,
has a huge understanding of various music forms, and
is a krimson enthusiast who reads mine and robert's blogs.
in fact, he seemed to know everything about my career.
after landing at 8:30 in the morning, jet-lagged and all,
I was excited to get to work with the next person I met:
the man who would orchestrate the parts for every player
in the orchestra and who would write a proper score.
Tom Trapp, a young transplanted new yorker has lived
and worked in Amsterdam now for four years.
he and I spent the most time together.
Tom is a quiet, even-natured guy. talented. hard-working.
I liked him immediately and we became fast friends.
Tom's knowledge of each instrument and what they
can sound like together is exactly what I had dreamed
of knowing when I was a kid in the school band.
many orchestral instruments have a slew of ways
they can be played and different sounds they make accordingly.
Tom taught me many things as the week passed.
we worked 6, 7 hours a day at Tom's apartment studio,
only taking a break from the work on saturday.
after a full days work on monday and tuesday we had
found our method of working together and had the score
written for all 3 sections of a, the first movement of the piece.
Tom writes out everything in pencil very exactingly,
sharpening his pencil about every 45 seconds, and takes
many notes, but the actual physical writing occurs after I'm gone.
it will take Tom weeks to complete the score which also
has to be put into a computer software program
which spits out perfect copies for the each player.
on wednesday morning bright and early Gert-Jan, Tom,
and I drove 45 minutes outside the city to the nerve center
of Holland's broadcasting world, a place called Hilversum.
called "media city", Hilversum houses all the radio
and television broadcasting reaching 17 million dutch people.
it's a gorgeous area surrounded by meadows, lakes, forestry,
a large bird sanctuary, and some of the most beautiful homes
and gardens in all of the Netherlands.
our first stop was VPRO Broadcasting, the company who is
sponsoring the concert and as we'll see, much more.
the VPRO building itself is an architectural marvel,
people come from all over the world to study it.
amazingly it is one large space, a fact that's difficult
to imagine once you're inside.
our morning was spent with the VPRO team responsible
for our event: Gerard Walhof, Pieter van Hoogdalem,
and Aad van Nieuwkerk.
immediately they surprised me with an ambitious proposal.
more than just the world debut concert, their agenda includes
a month-long series of 2-hour radio programs, supported by some
tv and print media, a separate one-man Painting With Guitar
concert to be performed a week after the debut, and a making-of
behind the scenes video of the rehearsals, recording, etc.
the result they want to achieve is to make the month
of March Adrian Belew Month! a career retrospective!
of course this blew my mind, I've never had this sort
concerted attention paid to my music.
we even came up with a catch phrase to call the series:
Painting Holland Belew.
there are many details to work out but Gert-Jan, Tom,
and I left the meeting elated.