Playing marimba duo is a unique way to make music. Duo Maikel Claessens and Ramon Lormans explores three topics of music (language–emotion–communion) starting from a duality of personalities meant to result in one musical identity. Two persons, four hands and two instruments, where all blends nicely together and where they challenge each other to think as one organism.
It deeply transformed the way to experience music, on all levels: interpretation, stage performance, individual achievements throughout duo playing & artistic emancipation sharing reflections on music. This teamwork through time by knowing each other over 15 years, made Maikel and Ramon grow fast and broad, and continuously surprise their audience around the world.
Next to recitals and concerts they also perform as a double concerto partner. Maikel and Ramon have the three duo concerto’s of Keiko Abe on their repertoire: Prism Rhapsody, Wind Across Mountains Concertino and The Wave Impressions. In February 2018 they will perform The Wave Impressions with orchestra at Portimao festival in Portugal.
A collaboration between Tchiki duo and Mallet Collective Amsterdam, under the leadership of highly acclaimed Stage Director Alain Maratrat a new Opera is being made on the story of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. When the marimba sound came to the ears of Alain, he was immediately in love with the both tender and powerful sound. Research is being done on how to compose for marimba on this specific storyline to emerge deep feelings connecting to strong emotions.
Mr. Maratrat is a movement actor, stage director and researcher of theatre and music. What I personally really enjoyed in this project is the link between theatre, physical actions and music. The training he demands is more like a theatrical training, which we as musicians are not used to have. He is used to work with artists, in a way that is connecting mostly with physical theatre forms. What I found interesting is his interest in human movement and feelings. Alain speaks a language to the us as musicians in which he will propose elements to their extremes, to the deepness of the emotions; there where we today are not used to go. A world of passions, of emotions, of feelings brought to the emergency of survival where the performer can find himself in the pure state of the human condition.
In the collaborative research Alain makes you aware of your own body and emotions and gives you tools how to deal with them and put them into action in the music you play. Music is emotion and vibration, exactly this feeling we have to always put into the music we play. The link with Keiko Abe is very strong in this way, because Keiko has a very strong feeling and imagination with the music she plays. There is something deeper, something real, which is feeling and vibration of her own imagination through the wooden bars of her marimba. By getting into action and activating our bodies and feelings we can feel 'safe' on stage doing this in front of an audience. No longer hide behind notes or something fake.
Since Alain loves music but does not play music, he speaks in a deeper level of feeling to us as musicians. He does not speak about technique or compositional ideas, or history of the piece. But he purely goes with feeling. If the feeling or gesture in the music is not right, he is searching what it should be. On a much deeper level then most music teachers he reaches the core of expression through the exercises he does and information he shares.
The opera is supposed to be ready in 2019, where we will perform and practice it first with Vladivostok – Russia, and after will be brought to Mariinsky theatre under the baton and leadership of maestro Valery Gergiev.
In season 2010 and 2011 Ramon worked on a collaboration with Brisk recorder quartet. The final result was the cd “Dutch Diversity”.
In this program, music from the renaissance was put together in a mash-up with new work by Michiel Mensingh, Hans Koolmees and arrangements by Ramon himself.
Ramon played marimba and renaissance instruments together with the recorders, copy of 15th century instruments.
For this project Ramon developed and owns a 440hz 5-octave marimba from the Adams Musical Instruments company to be able to play the same tuning as the recorders.