Working the summer season again for KICK APS - a company I've been connected with for over 20 years - working mostly as stagemanager for festivals like Gent Jazz, Summer Festival, Tomorrowland, Reggae Geel and Jazz Middelheim … and doing backline production again for the ever awesome Pukkelpop festival as well.
It's gonna be a tough tour this year : 30 shows in less than 6 weeks, with many back-to-backs.
All of my adult life I’ve been into ambient music, scifi phylosophy and cosmic movies, and with my brand new project I feel all these passions come together into one new abstract art form. Pulse Mandala is a synthetic experience that builds upon the mechanisms of nature and the universe itself : chaos theory, unpredictability, randomness. It’s a concept designed to relax and escape from this reality.
If you’re into this, I kindly invite you to check out the website, like my facebook page, watch and share the trippy promo video, or even buy the first album online .
There we go again : Night of the Proms tour 2014 ! It’s been the 30th anniversary edition , and as usual I’ll take care of backline and provide this massive orchestra with clicktracks , loops and timecode to sync things up . Great to be part again of this well oiled production machine and work with my Belgian colleagues again .
Update : I’m really getting into VIDEO lately , so please check out this little montage I made of our load-in :
This is a great Reggae festival in Belgium , one that I’ve worked for many times as a backline tech . After a few years of absence due to my busy touring agenda with Roger Hodgson , I’m now returning to Reggae Geel in the function of stage manager . JAH , Rastafari and Kingston Jamaican vibes for 2 days !!!
This year I’ll have time again to work for Kick (artistical and productional solutions) , Belgium’s biggest backline company and still my first love . My first big festival will be the notorious Dour festival : 4 days , 7 stages , hundreds of bands ... it’s a big challenge to provide all artists with their requested gear . I’ll be going with 3 trailers loaded with backline and a 12 man crew . It’s gonna be 4 long and heavy days , but it’ll also feel a bit like a survival weekend in the rock&roll jungle , which has a certain charm to it ... :-)
Oh , and I found some time to design a new T-shirt , of which you’ll find a pic just here :
I’m quite honoured to be part of the RME family of artists now .
Please read about my experience with the Fireface UFX and Totalmix on the RME website
And there we go again : my 13th year doing the annual Night of the Proms tour . More than 30 shows in Belgium , Holland , Germany and Luxembourg , starring artists like Wyclef Jean , Gloria Estefan , Amy McDonald , Mark King , and many others ... off course with the usual 70 piece symphonic orchestra + choir . I take care of the Electric band’s backline , and run clicktracks and timecode to keep this huge band in time with itself and with the lightshow .
Just like every year we’re making some technical improvements . We replaced our Aviom personal monitor systems with a brand new Pivitec system , giving every band member mix-control over 32 channels on their iPads over wifi … and that’s just the start : this production is in a constant state of evolution , which is sometimes stressful , but also keeps things interesting .
Just 2 duo shows : one in Ridgefield , CT , and a second one in downtown NYC . Great to see some old friends back in this new year . It’s also upgrade and prepping time for the forthcoming World Tour 2013 : we’re all moving to Mountain Lion so quiet a bit of work to update all plugins and drivers . We’re also looking into a new monitoring system and some other overall improvements to our touring gear .
Here we go again : this is my 12th consecutive year that I’ll be working for this fantastic production . They call me the “clickmeister” here , as I’m taking care of all click tracks , loops , timecode and other digital wizardry on stage . Guests for this year : The Jacksons , Anastacia , Mick Hucknall from Simply Red , Jupiter Jones , John Miles , Naturally 7 and the young Dutch Harp virtuoso Remy van Kesteren . 35 arena shows in Belgium , Holland , Luxembourg and Germany , starting early november and landing back home just a few hours before the family Xmas eve dinner .
Sadly I had to let go of the Ultravox 2012 tour , because of clashing agendas with Roger Hodgson and Night of the Proms . Still I found time to spend a few days at the start of the rehearsals at Real World , to do some programming on the new songs & hand the job over to Roger Lyons . It was great to see all of my old friends again , and I'm very confident that Roger will be an excellent replacement . I'll try to come and see a show somewhere in Germany , from the audience side of perspective for a change ... ;-) ... and watch my old colleagues do the load out , while I'll be having drinks ... hehe ...
With over 80 shows allready being confirmed , 2012 is gonna be a real busy year for Roger Hodgson . We're planning 3 or 4 runs in North America , a big trip through South America , and some touring in Europe as well . Band and skeleton crew starts to roll like a machine , so it's really fun working too . The touring schedule is a work in progress , so I'll just leave the tourdates in the sidebar . As usual , it's just Howie & myself being the tech guys , so we'll be busy ... hehe ...
It's a very experimental and theatrical project , taking you to the deepest corners of your soul and evoking stong emotions . We call it a "ritual performance" and plan to perform in churches , temples and other holy places , hopefully later this year .
This is the eleventh year that I'll be joining the Night of the Proms tour as a keyboard tech & DAW operator (or ClickMeister as my German friends like to call me) . We're doing 35 shows this year in Belgium , Holland , Luxembourg and Germany , spread over 2 months including production rehearsals . This edition's artists are SEAL , Alison Moyet , Nile Rogers , Mick Hucknall , James Blunt , Angie Stone , DIV4S and some more local names . I'll be sitting on stage again in between the electric Band , starting track after track from my double Logic MIDI/MADI rack , spitting out clicktrack , loops and timecode to sync the lightshow & video .
UPDATE : As you probably found out , what was supposed to be a great way to end the summer turned into a nightmare when a freakstorm hit the festival site on day one and killed 5 people , injured many more and pretty much destroyed half of the festival infrastructure . Me & my collegues are all allright , but my heart goes out to those wo were not so lucky .
Being a stagemanager at Belgium's largest dance festival Tomorrowland can take you to strange places . This year , the mainstage is decorated in true Alice in Wonderland style . Artists such as Faithless , Tiesto , 2ManyDJ's , David Guetta , Martin Solveig , Steve Aoki , etc will perform in the middle of this fairy landscape , complete with colorful fountains , fireworks & dancing elves ..... Technically this is a no brainer job , but it's a damn challenge to keep all those mad party people off my stage ..... what can I say ? ...... life is full of surprises .... :-) ....
for aprox 40.000 people , with a specialy arranged version of "music" syncing with a fireworks show . A lot of preparation for just those 2 shows , but who knows where it will take us next .... ...
After the last tour , we shipped Roger's rig to my studio , where I'm now meticulously analysing his sounds and controller settings , redesigning his old sounds in software or even sampling sounds into EXS instruments when the character of the original is too hard to recreate .
Off course Roger will want to finetune his stuff when we get to prepare the next tour , but I'm pretty confident I've come up with a very close approximation of his old rig .
We're doing 6 shows in the Antwerp sportpaleis with those 2 diva's . The band is half Natalia's , half Anastacia's , and I'm again taking care of all the clicks , counts & tapes . It was a lot of work bringing all the info from those 2 different productions together in one live session , but we're rolling smooth & solid , again all digital from source to FOH over MADI with a backup system running as well . Sweet ....
This is the 10th year in a row that I'll be working for the Night of the Proms , providing this great production with some MIDI magic , clicktracks , loops and SMTP timecode to sync the whole thing together . This year we have Boy George , Grace Jones , John Fogerty , Kid Creole (and some amazing looking coconuts) , sir Cliff Richard and the German multimedia project Lichtmond . Personally I think it's one of the best editions in years & I'm enjoying it a lot . We're doing 35 arena shows in Belgium , Holland and Germany starting end october and ending just before Christmas .
Up until now it always involved a lot of cabling & DI's , but I've decided to go completely digital from source to destination (mac to digital FOH desk) . That means connecting and routing everything through adat pipes to the 01V/96 & then out into a RME ADI648 spitting out MADI signal over BNC .
I'll try it out on the forthcoming Night of the Poms tour from october to december . It should make life easier for all parties involved , as well as improve reliability and sound quality .
This is gonna be another great little tour with Ultravox . 6 shows in Sweden , 2 in Finland & 2 in the UK , spread over 3 weeks .
Same crew as usual , and I'm really looking forward to spend some time together with them , as well as catch up with the bandmembers .
The work has become routine by now , the travels are easy & comfortable , it's summer .... it might actually almost feel like a holiday this time ... and god knows I need one !
As I help a lot of international touring artist with their backline , It's a great way to stay in touch with what's happening , get to learn a few new things , and stay in touch with all my Belgian techy friends as well .
Crew is almost the same as last time and it feels good to get together again and work in a great production like this . It doesn't get much better than this when it comes to touring .
Mitras is an highly original project : bizarre instrumental violin music with a heavy tango influence and lots of electronics going on .
We just finished all the rough mixes and decided on the CD order and are extremely happy with the overal vibe . We'll take a small break now to focus on the artwork and then we'll fine tune the mixes to make them sit comfortably in the playlist .
more info on the mitras website