Jan Swerts: 'Oud Zeer' (albumrelease) / support: Illuminine
Please note, for this concert you will only be granted access with a Covid Safe Ticket.
Read more about the Covid rules of the Handelsbeurs.
Jan Swerts delivers his fourth album with Oud Zeer where you hear the beautiful silence of graves sung. A moment of subdued grave dunes for people who love the space between the temporal and the eternal.
In his typical mix of singer-songwriter and classical music, Swerts reminds the listener of the comforting fact that we will soon never be here again. The record is out on Unday Records.
After Weg (2010), Anatomie van de melancholie (2013) and Schaduwland (2016), this feels like a logical next step for Swerts. All his life he has been curious about what the ravages of time can do to man, not least to himself, and how cemeteries are never far away. He himself is surprised that it has taken so long: the idea of one day making a 'graveyard record' – with music for dead moments – has been haunting his head for years.
Musically Oud Zeer is a lot more bare, a lot more boned than his previous albums. Piano, voice, some guitar or strings here and there: that's all. This time he was mainly inspired by The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe ("Nevermore") and Hejira by Joni Mitchell, one of his favorite records.
'Well I looked at the granite markers', Mitchell sings in the title track of that album. "Those tributes to finality, to eternity." The immortal words also resound in the same song: 'There's comfort in melancholy'.
And it is above all that beating and anointing of the cemetery that Swerts tries to translate into sound: on the one hand the old pain that slumbers over the graves, the countless stories of sorrow behind the graceful tombstones and the human struggle with transience. On the other hand, the wonderful detachment and relaxation that such a place can offer. Nowhere will you find a more efficient “detox” for the excess noise, stress and ego that is so typical of the modern age.
Support: Illuminine (trio)
Illuminine is Kevin Imbrechts' music project. Since the self-titled debut album in 2015, he has been circling the roundabout where Nils Frahm, Olafur Arnalds and A Winge Victory For The Sullen come together. Serene, inspired simplicity in a seamless blend of neo-classical, post-rock and ambient.
In addition to his studio albums and numerous singles, Illuminine also made successful steps as a film composer, which earned him a place with London's Manners McDade (Nils Frahm, Balmorhea). He will perform in a trio at the Handelsbeurs.
"Each composition is linked to a specific moment in my life, often with great meaning. But it is not important that people know what inspired the music. Everyone can and should project their own ideas and feelings onto the music. Judging by the reactions, I get the impression that I can do that. Instrumental music is more powerful than vocal music with clear lyrics; it's much more expressive."
Organized in collaboration between Democrazy and Handelsbeurs Concertzaal
Photo (c) Anton Kusters