A carillon ('Beiaard" in Dutch, 'Glockenspiel' in German) is a musical instrument that is typically housed in the bell tower of a church or municipal building. The instrument consists of at least 23 cast bronze, cup-shaped bells. The first carillon was built in Flanders, where a carillonneur performed music on the bells of Oudenaarde Town Hall in 1510 by using a baton keyboard.
In recent years, the sound of the carillons still wanders through the Belgian landscapes (as well as Dutch and French). Quite often, people use these instruments to play local or international hits, including K3, Yevgueni and this version of Gorki's 'Mia'.
Oh, and the second time you were right? Well, apparently, the JPEG conversion is a Belgian invention too, courtesy of physicist and mathematician Baroness Ingrid Daubechies.
Our most notable avant garde noise creator was Henri Pousseur, who was born in Malmedy in 1929. He studied at the Academies of Music in Liège and in Brussels from 1947 to 1952. He worked along Boulez & Stockhausen on dodecaphonic and serial music in Cologne (1954) and Milano (1957) before founding his own studio in Bruxelles (1958).
His most popular composition is probably the 'Scambi' project, released in 1957, a strange piece of electronic noise. During his career, Pousseur created countless of the otherworldly compositions. He became an influence for avant garde, musique concrete and noise artists all over the world.
A country resonating on beats
If you want to know more about Belgian dance music, you might want to check the movie 'The Sound Of Belgium', which beautifully illustrates this history. But don't think it stops right there, on the very contrary. In every street in this little country, someone is producing music. For example, somewhere in Antwerp, there is an Ableton-guru who operates under the moniker Boatman. With straight-on techno and house music, he is perfectly capable of filling dancefloors everywhere. So are many others.
Once you take a look into our EDM-history, you will notice that our alternative scene is just as loaded with bands and projects as the commercial, mainstream one. Of course, we will look deeper into our electronic scene in future editions of these series.
We are brilliant cooperators
On to the heavier side of things, we find Christian Olde Wolbers. Wolbers was born in Antwerp in 1973 but gained fame when he started playing bass (and later guitars) in one of the world's most influential industrial metal bands, namely Fear Factory. Today, Wolbers is active in a band named Arkaea, formed out of former Fear Factory and Threat Signal members. Dirk Verbeuren, also from Antwerp, is well known for his prominent role behind the drum kit of Soilwork and, since 2016, Megadeth.
But we're not only great cooperators with foreign artists, oh noo. We also do quite well when asked to do something special. In 2016, the Trix venue in Antwerp asked a bunch of rock and metal bands to enter the studio with some of our most prominent hip hop acts. The goal was to commemorate Aerosmith & Run DMC's 'Walk This Way' and the legendary 'Judgement Night' soundtrack. The result was a blast of an album and apparently an unforgettable evening at Trix, proving that rock and rap still work quite well together. Here and there, some of the bands and acts did some performances afterwards but we're still waiting for a full-on album by some of these acts. I think that would be cool....