Music

Throughout my life I’ve played lots of music, although not continuously. I’ve played in project bands, in jam sessions, and in orchestras. Playing music on a serious level takes lots of time, so for the moment I tempered my musical activities to have more time for my other activities.

Timpani

Me playing timpani at Pieter Aafjes, conducted by Arjan Gaasbeek.

Me playing timpani at Pieter Aafjes, conducted by Arjan Gaasbeek.

I’ve been timpanist for Koninklijke Harmonie Pieter Aafjes (Culemborg, Netherlands) and Harmonievereniging Kunst Na Arbeid (Ingen, Netherlands), both conducted by the talented director Arjan Gaasbeek. Besides timpani I play most percussion instruments, both pitched and unpitched. I learned timpani, drums and some percussion by Peter Wilms from 2009 to 2011. I’m a well-known replacement musician at different orchestras (both philharmonic and symphonic) in my neighbourhood. I also perform regular maintenance (replacing heads, tuning, small repairs, etc.) and provide timpani crash courses for amateur percussionists who are asked to play timpani at their orchestra but never learned how to play them.

Being a timpanist means that you have a nice overview at the orchestra. You witness almost everything that happens: mistakes, balance problems, funny situations, etc… Eyeball communication with the conductor is key, because many musicians simply follow the timpanist or drummer while playing (instead of following the conductor).

I owned two old Ludwig timps: a 26 and a 29 inch, Professional Series. Their kettles were made of fibre. I replaced the heads, did some small repairs and a lot of cleaning and tuning to get them playable again. I used them for exercising and for a few gigs. In 2016 I sold them to a local band to replace their ancient “flower pots”.

Playing with KNA Ingen, at the Hanzefestival in Zwolle.

Playing with KNA Ingen, at the Hanzefestival in Zwolle.

In the summer of 2010 Pieter Aafjes bought a brand new set of timpani (23, 26, 29 and 32 inch), Professional Generation II, manufactured by Adams. These are really great timp’s to use for band music. The balanced mechanism works great, clearing the head was never that easy before.

Adams Professional Generation II

Adams Professional Generation II

Mallet percussion

I also put some focus on mallet percussion for a while. Instruments like marimba, xylophone and vibraphone are great to play, although the playing techniques are really different. I have a slight preference for vibraphone, I absolutely love its sound, from tranquille melodies to beautiful jazz chords.

Percussion and drums

Besides timpani and mallet percussion, I also like to play small percussion. Creating the optimal effect could be a great challenge, even if it’s by just using a “simple” triangle.

Drums is a very nice way to exercise all kinds of rhythms and patterns. I started snare drum lessons in April 2009. Therefore I needed a snare drum for practising. Instead of buying a snare drum, I decided to buy a complete drum set.

Other instruments

I play a couple of guitar chords to sing along, and also took bass guitar lessons for a year. I still play bass guitar now and then, when playing music with friends or just playing along with some popular songs. I absolutely love to play blues music on bass guitar!

Band works I played

The list down here shows some of the works I played the last years. The list is far from complete, but illustrates my musical capabilities. Of course, in most cases I played the timps.

Title Composer Grade Instruments I played
Lord Tullamore Carl Wittrock 4 timpani
A Bamberg Fantasy Ben Haemhouts 4 timpani
Goddess of Fire Steven Reineke 4+ timpani, bells
Fandango Frank Perkins 4+ timpani, castagnettes
The Seventh Night of July (Tanabata) Itaru Sakai 4 timpani, castagnettes
The Road To The West Carl Wittrock 4 timpani
Sidus Thomas Doss 5 base drum, cymbals, wind chimes
Flashing Winds Jan van der Roost 3 timpani, triangle
The Green Hill Bert Appermont 3 vibraphone, xylophone, bells, timpani
The Fields Jacob de Haan 3 timpani
Dances With Wolves John Barry, arr. Jay Bocook 3 timpani, tamtam
l’Arlesienne Suite no. 2 Georges Bizet, arr. Meonce Chomel ? cymbals
Fourth Symphony for Band Alfred Reed 5 cymbals, base drum
Le Calife de Bagdad Francois-Adrien Boieldieu, arr. Gosling Mol 4 timpani, base drum
The Mask of Zorro James Horner, arr. John Moss 2 timpani, claves
Condacum Jan van der Roost 2 timpani
Antarctica Carl Wittrock 3 timpani
Arsenal Jan van der Roost 3 timpani
Overture to a New Age Jan de Haan 4 timpani