12 Points Talks : De Beren Gieren (2012) GHENT
As 12 Points 2012 closed, we had a quick chat with all the artists to get a feel for the young jazz scene all over Europe
DE BEREN GIEREN
Where do you live and what is the Jazz scene like there?
Ghent, Belgium’s city of music. There are many musicians, especially fantastic improvisers. It's hip for students to spend their night's out in a bar where jazz musicians are playing, where they have many jam sessions, around 3 or 4 times a week. There are at least 6 live jazz/impro bars that host these sessions. Also there are a lot of big (state-funded) houses and organisations which support Belgian and international jazz of all types, from avant-garde to more mainstream. We also have the renowned Ghent Jazz Festival.
What was the 12 Points experience been like for you? What does it mean to you as a young musician?
We were so honoured to be selected. It feels like a kind of reward for all the work we put into this group and the fun we have with it. It keeps us motivated as a group. (which didn’t need much help). It also teaches us to stay cool, just play and do our thing, even when surrounded by so much attention. Because of the positive reactions, I also feel more confident about my playing.
What was the highpoint of the festival from your own experience?
The plane ride into the sugary southern air, taking in the city, our colleagues (including the festival crew), the music house, the great service, our gig and the enthusiastic response; and last but not least, Philipa, the young woman who guided us through the building
What are your musical plans for 2012? Tell me about gigs, festivals, recording etc
We just released our debut CD, which means we are getting some media attention: interviews, reviews and hopefully some word of mouth. We are also searching for a booker.
We are artist-in-residence of the Vooruit, which means we engage in many different projects, sometimes in co-operation with theatre makers or performance artists etc... Our next big thing in the Vooruit is playing with Joachim Badenhorst and Ernst Reijsiger.
In May, our record label El Negocito will bring out the semi-electric (live) session we did with Jan Klare, Hasse Polen and Jean-Yves Évrard. The next months we want to investigate more deeply the tunes from our debut-cd, but I also feel like writing/finishing new compositions.