BL!NDMAN & Champ d’Action [Brussels/Antwerp]

Critical Band

Critical Band
Critical Band


An inventive composer

In this programme, BL!NDMAN and Champ d’Action pay tribute to the American composer James Tenney, who died in 2006. His work was spectral even before the term was invented and will be performed alongside the compositions of two excellent European spectralists*, Gérard Grisey and Giacinto Scelsi.

Both ensembles, BL!NDMAN (saxophone quartet) and Champ d’Action (variable ensemble for contemporary music), are known for their non-conformist vision of how contemporary music can be performed. They often seek out special venues or occupy a concert hall in an innovative way. The lighting and arrangement of the space make their performances more than just a concert in the classical sense of the word.

In the Critical Band project (based on a reference work by James Tenney) they are joining forces for the first time, not only because they find the idea of working together very appealing but also because they share a passion for the music of James Tenney (1934-2006). His death in August 2006 was barely mentioned in the newspapers. Nevertheless, his name always comes up in any reference to the American musical history of the last forty years. He made music with John Cage, Steve Reich and Phil Glass, was an influential theoretician, the founder of the Tone Roads ensemble, taught at the famous CalArts institute and therefore taught a substantial group of composers. Most of all however, he was himself an inventive composer famous for his elegant acoustic and electronic work.


Eric Sleichim, Ruisveld [tutti] 5’
James Tenney, Saxony [4 saxophones + tape-delay system] 8’
Gérard Grisey, Périodes [flute, clarinet, trombone, violin, viola, cello, double bass] 16’
Giacinto Scelsi, Okanogon [harp, double bass, percussion] 10’
James Tenney, Voice(s) [female voice, variable ensemble and tape-delay system] 20’
Serge Verstockt, Twisted Pair 1, creation [tutti] 10’

* Spectralism is a musical genre in which composers mainly concentrate on one aspect of music, namely timbre. Its pioneer was the French composer Gérard Grisey (1946-1998).

conductor Jaan Bossier | composition, artistic director BL!NDMAN Eric Sleichim | composition, artistic director Champ d’Action Serge Verstockt | BL!NDMAN [SAX] Koen Maas (soprano saxophone), Roeland Vanhoorne (alto saxophone), Piet Rebel (tenor saxophone), Raf Minten (baritone saxophone) | Champ d’Action Lode Leire (double bass), Marcel Andriessen (percussion), Sabine Warnier (flute), Sabine Uytterhoeven (clarinet), Tom Verschoore (trombone), Gudrun Vercampt (violin), Jeroen Robbrecht (viola), Arne Deforce (cello), Annelies Boodts (harp), Maarten Buyl (electronics), Els Mondelaers (soprano)
production BL!NDMAN & Champ d'Action | co-production deSingel (Antwerp)