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News Letter August 4 – Carel Kraayenhof

Dear friends and colleagues,
Thank you all very much for the nice reactions to the ‘insider’s view’ on our musicians in our website.
The Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble has started works again after our vacation and last Saturday had a sold out concert at the beach in Noordwijk, The Netherlands. It was a breath taking evening with a red sunset and a full moon!
Next weekend the Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble will give two concerts (with free entrance): on Saturday the 8th in Alkmaar (20:30 hrs) at the Canadeplein and on Sunday the 9th in Amsterdam at the Vondelpark (12:30 hrs).
After these concerts, the CKE can be heard again on the 4th of September in a beautiful church in Voorschoten (NL).

Wouter Hamel and Carel Kraayenhof
In our last newsletter we mentioned the TV broadcasting from the program ‘Linda’s Summer week” were Carel and Wouter Hamel perform a song together. Then we mentioned the broadcast would take place on the 28th of August, but it will actually be on the 27th of August, on RTL 4 (Dutch TV sender). The beautiful romantic song that will be performed on the show will then be available as a download on iTunes and via our own website (a small charge applies).
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Lavinia Meijer and Carel Kraayenhof will record an album together
The record label from Lavinia Meijer, Sony Music The Netherlands, is currently looking into the possibilities for a collaboration album between Lavinia and Carel. This should happen in a very short future. The goal is for the album to be available for the first concert of this special duo in October. More information will be available soon on our website.

Album CD Juan Pablo Dobal and Carel Kraayenhof
At the end of July Carel and Juan Pablo have recorded their new album at Splendor in Amsterdam, called ‘Hotel Victoria’. At this moment it is not known when the album will be released, as Sony Music wants to have priority bringing their album out. But we half way there with the material ready!
The next DUO concert, of August 27th at a roof in Amsterdam North, is sold out!

Carel Kraayenhof’s own YouTube channel
Did you know that you can sign up for Carel Kraayenhof’s own YouTube channel?
By doing that you get the chance to watch our new films first hand.

Warm regards,
Carel and Thirza

Rehearsal Carel Kraayenhof & Lavinia Meijer at Frieda Menco

Column Jutta Chorus
Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble’s violinist Bert Vos has introduced his mother’s very good friend to Carel, het name is Frieda Menco (89 years old). Bert’s mother, the writer Ida Vos, has unfortunately already passed away.
Frieda, who survived Auschwitz and was friends with Margot and Anne Frank, is not able to go outside that often anymore due to her physical condition. A few weeks ago she mentioned to Bert that should would really like to see Carel Kraayenhof playing live, but due to her physical condition that would most likely not happen. Bert has mentioned this to Carel, who immediately decided to hold a planned rehearsal with harp player Lavinia Meijer at Frieda’s living room!
During the rehearsal, coincidentally, journalist Jutta Chorus was present and wrote a special collum in early April about this special rehearsal.

Lavinia Meijer and Carel Kraayenhof together in concert

C&L300dpi-130-2Carel Kraayenhof as well as Lavinia Meijer are known around the world as musicians who are masters of their instruments. Both have reached large audiences far beyond the borders of their country with instruments that are not commonly seen; the bandoneón and the harp, respectively. Another common factor between these two musicians: they do not allow themselves to be “one more in the crowd”. Kraayenhof has worked with musicians such as Sting, Ennio Morricone, Yo-Yo Ma, Joshua Bell, JURK!, Caro Emerald and the 3JS. Lavinia has been seen frequently on stages on the past months with the Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Holland Symfonia, Michiel Borstlap and Gare du Nord, among others.

In the past years Kraayenhof and Meijer have often met backstage at several concerts and festivals. Standing on the starts that lead to the artist café at the Theater Carré the idea popped out: let’s meet up some time soon and rehearse for a few concerts together. The repertoire consists of tangos, milongas and other beautiful Argentinean/Spanish/Italian compositions from composers such as Piazzolla and Morricone, but also Kraayenhof’s own compositions. The combination from bandoneón and harp sounds magical. The already enchanted notes from each instrument complete en strengthen each other in a harmonious way. We can already say that this is a dream combination of musicians come true.

(text Eric van het Groenewout)
Voor concert dates for Lavinia and Carel in Haarlem, Ede, The Hague, Den Bosch and Rotterdam, please see our concert agenda.

“LIBERACION” A theater production where image and music become one based on the theme ‘freedom’.

Carel Kraayenhof has been busy for more than a year and even rehearsals have taken place. Now the entire world may know: together with his ensemble and two filmmakers he is creating a new theater show: ‘Liberación’. A theater production where image and music become one based on the theme ‘freedom’.
It is actually pretty logical, as the bandoneón player and composer Kraayenhof says: “At home we had an “LP” with the song ‘Ouverture 1812’. This song told the story of how Napoleon’s army were defeated by the Russian army in 1812. On the cover you could see a painting from that time period showing a battlefield. That painting showed exactly what the music was about; that made the music live. You could see what you were hearing.”
“We live in a visual time. Everyone matches music and image on their daily lives. I believe that video and music can bring extra excitement to the theater. At times the music will lead and at times the images will guide you on.”
The Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble works together with direction Jos Groenier and filmmaker Joost Gulien. Some pieces have already been worked on. For example images of the Italian island Lampedusa were already edited, here Kraayenhof wrote a powerful composition for. “The fishermen of that island are forbidden to help the African refugees who come ashore in that area of the Mediterranean Sea. ‘Not helping’ goes against their instincts and against their tradition. Long time ago, their grandparents walked on the same shoes as these refugees.”
The images fit the theme, because Kraayenhof does not make music without a meaning. “We have been a little bit around the world and everywhere you can see that the need for freedom ignites the creation of new music. In the past you could see that with the Irish, but now also with the Cubans. Liberación is about the musical freedom. Music with a fancy touch, wanting to reach higher levels.
“That is why I composed a song inspired by Tula, the leader of the slave revolution in Curaçao in 1795. This man held himself to the French Revolution’s ideal: freedom, equality and brotherhood. Based on this ideal the Haitian slaves had already gained freedom. If you travel a lot, just like we do, you gain knowledge and impressions; inspiration.”
Kraayenhof plays a short piece of music. Alex North’s slow theme for the film about the Roman slave Spartacus, who he compares to Tula. It was a milonga, melancholically colored by strings and the bandoneón. Seamlessly, and almost unnoticed, the musical mood turns Irish, when the sounds of the ‘pipes’, bagpipes, play along. “This sound is also generated by the vibration of ‘tongues’. You are influenced by people and the landscapes, you feel how it is to be there.”
All that remains the base of the tango language. That is one of the reasons why he added a piece of music from his mentor Astor Piazzolla in his song ‘Libertango’; but Kraayenhof adapted it to the style of his other musical father: Osvaldo Pugliese.

“Don’t expect an extremely serious evening. Humor and optimism are a great part of it. Just think of how people with big problems, in many different countries, are great in improvising. Argentineans are masters in that, and also in Indonesia they have a good hand in it.
At the end of this year the try-outs will take place and in the beginning of 2015 ‘Liberación’ will have its premiere. Until then a lot of investments have to be done. Challenging, because subsidies are pretty hard to get, or unexciting and because it is such a new concept theaters are somewhat hesitant to book the show. In order to manage to put all that money together we have started a crowdfunding campaign. That means that whoever supports this project financially will receive a special something in return; from an hour at the gym with Carel to a new composition written by Carel dedicated to the supporter/sponsor. How are you going to do that? “This summer I won’t be bored, writing on request is not that crazy, I may even say that it is nice. Composers such as Mozart and Beethoven lived of it.
Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble #