It's the middle of the night. Everyone is asleep, we are approaching the R.E.M. phase of our sleep: Rapid Eye Movements, low muscle tone throughout the body, and vividly dreaming.
Ok, actually it's about 9 o'clock in the evening and we just played the fifth song of @Tania Kross 's “From Mozart till Madonna“ Show. It ends with a quiet outro, accompanied by Frank Wardenier’s mystical church bell percussion. This is my time window now: silent, gently and steady I slide back with my chair and position myself. My headphones are absolutely soundproof: I don't hear anything from the outside and hope that I’m more adept with my careful stage maneuvers than my daily bumping into while walking around in the house.
Well, everything worked out right and the spotlight is about to go on. I just have to step one time onto the pedal of my echo effect machine – amazing how the clicking sound spreads even in a 1000-people-concert-hall, but it is inevitable. Never mind, now the time has come: Tania asked me to send her audience on this 6-minute-musical-REM-sleep-trip. All right, here we go!
During R.E.M. sleep our brains vibrate with special theta- and alpha-waves. In addition, the pulse and blood pressure rise again towards the values when awake. Well, so I take a mystique, slightly exotic groove pattern in 7/16 and bring all sorts of sound facets of my bass: spherical improvisations, melodies, basslines and fast percussive movements that might be wild from time to time. Accompanied by Frank Wardenier on percussions, great how he manages my freaky rhythm pattern. Of course, through his work with the Metropole Orkest is used to quite some things. Plus my backing track: a rapid production with greetings from my sound production world. The song lasts about 6 minutes, increases, and becomes more and more intense. And when Frank and I end up relieved on the last note, we're always happy that it was "On the spot!" again.
After the applause the intro procedures backward. Very important: after bowing down to the audience, pull the chair forward again! So that I don't miss it and fall on the ground. And: switch off the GoPro-camera! I let it run in some concerts, sometimes mounted on my bass, sometimes directly in front of me. One of the two REM music videos was created from these shots. The other video version is the official tour video from the show, live in Zaandam. (Made by Qmedia.nu)
In both versions, You can see those incredible visuals from Frouke den Velden. Sometimes I couldn't help but turn my head to the side while playing and follow those amazing images. My hands were also sometimes in there, bass fingers two meters tall...
It was a fantastic tour, 53 concerts, almost all of them sold out. Tania and the ensemble nailed it every evening. The atmosphere in the crew was fantastic: the perfect mix of friendly and professional, that's how music can unfold. This tour was a wonderful experience and it was really blessed that it ended right before the Corona regulations from the governments. That we were still able to spread so much nice music to so many people.