Published in ‘La Carne‘, review by Rafa Dorado (Margen Records)
Frank Nuyts is a versatile Belgian composer who has built a solid reputation and recognized prestige in both classical and rock and progressive jazz scenarios, as well as a recognized work as a Professor of Composition at the Ghent Conservatory, where he taught both students of the classic department such as pop and jazz.
His catalog of classics is well known to music lovers, especially his symphonies for orchestra very influenced by Stravinsky and his piano sonatas, but his three brilliant albums with the Hardscore band he led, a sort of crossroads between the Canterbury more decontextualized, and the spirit of Frank Zappa of “Waka / Jawaka” flying over the scores.
His third album, and masterpiece that ended that adventure, was titled Monkey Trial (Margin Records, 2004). A work as energetic as ironic, which had an excellent reception both criticism and sales.
“Who’s Counting?” By Beat Love Oracle, the new Frank Nuyts project
Now he begins his career with Beat Love Oracle, a quartet created in 2017 “with the determination to bring a new color to the musical landscape,” as Frank Nuyts himself comments. From the marimba and occasional keyboards, as well as from the writing of most of the material, Nuyts himself deals, who declares himself curious about all the music that surrounds him: “As a contemporary composer, I feel blessed and motivated by a endless curiosity. I keep my eyes, ears and mind open to any musical discovery in any field. After all, creative excellence can be found in any musical genre! ”
Beside him, Frank DEBRUYNE, impressive saxophonist and fellow adventurer in Hardscore; the young and no less surprising bassist Stijn DELDAELE, who also plays a 5-string bass designed by himself; and we lack the drums, Ronald DHAENE, titled in classical percussion and jazz, and professor of both disciplines in the Conservatories of Ghent and Brussels. Someone will sound his name as Sideman of countless projects.
All together, and together they go along with the rhythmic and almost telepathic mental connection they demonstrate in action, they put into operation Who’s Counting ?, first album of the quartet of ‘chamber fusion’, as he likes to call it, Beat Love Oracle A new opportunity to do things that are totally impossible in the classical world, and in which ideas arise naturally and give rise to a fluid discourse sometimes controlled eccentrically, others that branches from rock eclecticism to jazz and improvisation in high altitude solos.
Frank Nuyts, who always tried to make classical audiences aware that moving the feet to the rhythm of music was not a sin, explains that dichotomy that separates classical music from popular music: “As you know, you who know my classical works, There is not much difference between both, at least I think so. I use the same head, the same heart and the same viscera. When I compose “classic” pieces, I get a little bit of a tessitura, and I am guided by the greats, while rock allows me other freedoms.
Rock works when you don’t tie it too much to the score, while classical musicians don’t move if they don’t have a staff in front. In addition, the problem with classical music is that there seems to be no need for new composers, fans already have enough with Mozart, Beethoven, Schuman, Debussy and Stravinsky …
So when you compose for a rock band it is advisable not to show much intelligence, I do not say it seems silly, but there are things that however imaginative they are do not result in certain scenarios. One does not drink champagne while parachute jumping, although it may be an experience. I can’t help combining both worlds, even if nobody understands.
The last time we talked, I told you my premeditated remoteness from the classic scene. I don’t identify with the public or with the composers. Both attitudes bore me. I want to hear the old and the new, but there is no audience that supports both worlds. Homo sapiens is not qualified to face the unknown, everything must be perfectly labeled ”.
Beat Love Oracle’s music tries to run away from prejudices and inductions, and be free. If it is necessary to be complex, they are. If you need to flirt with the kistch at any given time to give credibility to a chord, they will not offer resistance. Fun and seriousness are not for Frank Nuyts opposite qualities. He has always tried to take the listener by the hand using musical archetypes that are taken to the extreme, until they become something different.
That is the philosophy of these 7 wonderful themes that maintain a descriptive speech from the first cut, “What’s Beats Watts?”, To “Neat Beats Always Need Hits,” which closes Who’s Counting?