Who hasn’t experienced blowing across the neck of a bottle to produce that characteristic sound, deep and lilting, similar to that of a Pan flute ?
A case of ordinary beer, found in any belgian grocery store, contains 24 bottles, tunable by half-tones (using water), which provides a musical range of two octaves.
This is more than sufficient for « untamed luthier » Max Vandervorst to produce delicious melodies, enhanced by innovative accompaniments through the use of a looper.
Immersed in delicate and enveloping sounds, the audience is invited to (re)discover a few melodies, enticing them to « singalong »
The title « Belgican Rhapsody » refers to the production of belgian breweries which, despite the large number of disagreements between the Flemish and Walloon communities, seems to bring them together, assisted by the Brussels’ Kriek.
The approach is to offer a light and possibly ambulatory performance, technically autonomous (amp and pedal are battery-powered), of a short (30 minutes) duration, easily moved, to be performed several times a day, either on stage or as part of a festival or summer event.
- Performer : Max Vandervorst
- Photos : Melisa Stein
- Production : Curieux Tympan asbl
- Author’s note
In the ‘90s, I had already explored the musical artform of the plastic bottle, which led to the creation of the « Man from Spa » show, performed throughout Europe and far beyond. This experience was completed recently through research leading to the publication of my latest book « Musical instruments made with plastic and glass bottles ».
The musical properties of bottles were known and used since a very long time. Generations of musical clowns have transmitted the art of bottlephonics (bottles tuned by varying the quantity of liquid they contain).
More recently, one could mention the numerous performances of various groups such as the Dutch « Willem Breuker Kollektief », the American « Bottle Boys » or the German « GlassBlowSing Quintet », without omitting the famous « Beer Organ », commissioned two centuries ago by a Danish pastor, and currently marketed in the US.