Peter van Bergen

Photo: © Caroline Forbes

Recorded at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, on August 7th 2010

Piccolo Clarinet Solo

Peter van Bergen (tenor, sax, (contra) bass clarinet), studied at the Royal Music Conservatory in The Hague from 1980-1985, and studied extended saxophone technique with Evan Parker from 1990-1992. Several composers have written pieces for him. With LOOS, the band he founded in ’82, he won the Ooyevaer Award for new music from the city of The Hague in 1985; he was awarded the Podiumprijs for jazz and improvised music in 1987. During 1984-86 he was a member of Hoketus, the group founded by the composer Louis Andriessen. Since 1985 he has been a member of the Maarten Altena Ensemble. Other ensembles and projects he has taken part in include: the European Improvisers Orchestra, the John Carter Project, Cecil Taylor European Orchestra (Amsterdam and Berlin, 1988) and Guus Janssen’s opera Noah. He has also worked with internationally renowed musicians such as John Zorn , Han Bennink , Misha Mengelberg, Ikue Mori , Arto Lindsay , George Lewis, Derek Bailey , Gunther Christmann, Radu Malfatti , and many more. He is also active as a composer and performer of contemporary music, incorporating live electronics & computer.

Peter van Bergen is Director of the International Institute For Improvisation and also of the LOOS Foundation.

Recording Notes

A two-minute wax cylinder recording made during a break in a rehearsals by the Evan Parker Electro-Acoustic Ensemble in preparation for a concert in the Jazz Em Agosto Festival 2010 in Lisbon. The location was a studio space inside the Gulbenkian Foundation where Peter played live into the recording horn.

As one records a wax cylinder, the ‘rushing’ sounds of the stylus cutting the groove are clearly audible through the horn; any imperfections in the surface are also heard, therefore any improvisation is bound to be affected by hearing the various artefacts produced by the cutting process. About this wax cylinder recording, one could say that Peter is, in fact, playing a duet with the phonograph that is recording him.

© A. Kolkowski