PREVIEW: Eric Vloeimans' Oliver's Cinema (Turner Sims, 29 March)

Oliver's Cinema. L-R: Tuur Florizoone,
Jorg Brinkmann, Eric Vloeimans
Publicity photo

Dutch trumpeter Eric Vloeimans' trio Oliver's Cinema will be at Turner Sims on Friday 29 March. Rob Adams looks forward to it:

You don’t need to be able to solve crosswords to appreciate Eric Vloeimans' trio, Oliver’s Cinema, who appear at Turner Sims Concert Hall in Southampton as part of the Going Dutch programme that will continue to bring musicians from the Netherlands to the UK and Ireland until the end of the year.

Those who like a good anagram will have spotted that the group’s name is made up of the letters that form Eric Vloemans but the trumpeter himself simply views this as a handy way of getting round the perennial problem of what to call a group, a lucky call since the “cinema” element turns out to be very appropriate.

The idea for a trio that features trumpet, accordion and cello was triggered, he says, by a recording he heard in a bar while on tour in Belgium.

“In my youth I thought that the accordion was a horrible instrument,” he says. “But that was more because of the music that I’d heard played on it.”

The sound of the instrument grew on him, in much the same way that he’d come to cherish Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, a piece he couldn’t bear to listen to before he learned more about it while studying at Rotterdam Academy of Music. He checked out a few accordion players with a view to incorporating the instrument in his own music but without success until a friendly Belgian bartender suggested that Vloeimans listen to Tuur Florizoone, a player born in Leuven whose dedication to music and free spirit had already taken him as a 17-year-old with his accordion off to Brazil for a life-changing year.

“The bartender played me this CD and it was great, so I just called Tuur up to arrange a meeting,” says the multi-award-winning Vloeimans, who has never been afraid to try out different instrumentations, having moved effortlessly from acoustic quartets to electric bands to orchestral settings. “As soon as we started playing together the first notes made it clear to me that I had found a soul mate in music and we worked together as a duo initially, which was really nice.”

After a while Vloeimans decided to introduce Florizoone to Jorg Brinkmann, a cellist originally from Northern Germany, whom he knew from working in pianist and melodica player Martin Fondse’s ensemble. Vloeimans describes Brinkmann as “a James Bond” on his instrument, fearless and ready for any adventure, a trait he’d also found in Florizoone.

“The trio formed immediately we got together” he says. ”Tuur and Jorg both have such great imaginations and I find playing with them really inspiring. We all compose and we all have similar tastes in music, so ideas tend to come together very quickly.”

The “cinema” element of the trio’s name may have come as a happy accident but it’s also apt as much of their original music has a cinematic quality. They’ve also referred to classic film themes such as Rosemary’s Baby, Bambi and Cinema Paradiso, which featured on their debut album, released in 2014.

For their Southampton concert, Vloeimans estimates that 60% of the music they play will be improvised and 40% pre-composed, although the pieces in their repertoire are continually developing.

“We can play the same pieces over and over again and each time we’ll surprise each other,” he says. “We’ve grown with the years and it feels more natural now, although it always felt like the three of us had an easy compatibility. We always enjoy playing together and we like to communicate that to the audience. We want to leave people feeling elated so that they bounce off their chairs with joy.”

LINK: Oliver's Cinema at Turner Sims on 29 March

This concert by Eric Vloeiman's Oliver's Cinema is part of the Going Dutch Programme, an Initiative of Podiumkunste NL in association with the Jazz Promotion Network. Scottish jazz writer Rob Adams is working on press and PR for the programme.

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