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Walter Hus

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Walter Hus in May 2009

Walter Hus (born 1959) is a Belgian composer and musician[1]

Walter Hus studied at the music conservatories in Ghent and Brussels. In 1984, he graduated with excellence (Diplôme supérieur) for piano with Prof. Dr. Robert Steyaert and soon became involved with new music in many different expressions. He performed improvised piano recitals (1984: LP Eight Etudes on Improvisation); occasionally flirted with free jazz (Belgisch Pianokwartet) and rock (Simpletones); collaborated with painters (Michel Thuns) and video artists (Walter Verdin, Marie André).

He wrote film scores for Suite Sixteen (Dominique Deruddere) and The Pillow Book (Peter Greenaway)[2]; toured the world with his ensemble Maximalist and wrote and performed for theatre and ballet (amongst others Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker[3], Wim Vandekeybus[4], Roxanne Huilmand, Needcompany[5], Bud Blumenthal, Discordia, Beukelaars, Kortekaas, Ritsema).

From the nineties on, he appeared less on stage and concentrated on composition as his main interest.

He was commissioned by a number of music institutions and festivals, such as the Kaaitheater (fr), deSingel (nl), the Beursschouwburg (nl), Automne en Normandie (fr), Festival van Vlaanderen, Antwerpen '93, Happy New Ears, Vooruit, Felix Meritis, Hebbel Theater and the Rode Pomp (nl).

Recent works include four String Quartets ("La Théorie", "Le Désir", "Le Miroir" and "La Folie")[6] and their symphonic transcriptions; chamber music for various combinations of instruments; music for choir and wind-ensembles; one Violin Concerto; one Piano Concerto; solo pieces; two song cycle; a children's opera ("de Nacht"); "Orfeo", an opera[7]

His trilogy of operas ("Meneer, de zot & tkint"[8] / "Bloetwollefduivel"[9] / "Titus Andonderonikustmijnklote"[10]), lyrics by Jan Decorte, toured in Belgium and other European countries and were described as "masterpieces of stilistic venom [...] flawless little lessons in opera eshthetics"[11]

He composed a cycle of twenty-four preludes and fugues in four volumes, for multiple combinations of instruments. In 2004 he performed Books II & III of Preludes and Fugues for 2 pianos with pianist/composer Frederic Rzewski.

In 2012, Hus created an opera based on Chris Ware's Lint (Acme Novelty Library #20).[12]

Since 2004, Walter Hus is artist in residence at Namahn. Walter Hus' recording studio, featuring a Decap organ, is located in the Namahn spaces.[13]

In recent years, Hus is best known for his work with the Decap organ. He started transcribing sheet music for Decap's new instruments in the early 2000s and "fell completely in love with the whole instrumentarium and saw far greater potential in it". Decap lent him an instrument, and Hus continues composing for and performing with the organ.[14][15]

In 2010, Hus composed a Decap version of Universal Nation for the documentary The Sound of Belgium.[16]

In 2015 he received the Ensor Award at the Oostende International Film Festival for his soundtrack to the film N-the madness of reason by Peter Krüger.[17]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 'Walter Hus over het hoe en waarom van componeren', De Morgen, 17 January 2005, http://gpr.me/vgsnk4kzw9/
  2. https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0403818/
  3. 'Het stuk dat maar niet verouderd raakt', De Morgen, 16 May 2015, http://gpr.me/hy3kgsd5c0/
  4. 'Met geluid wil ik de stille film eren', Gazet van Antwerpen, 14 January 1999, http://gpr.me/kphv2cqs1a/
  5. 'Met de deurklink in de hand', De Tijd, 23 April 2003, http://gpr.me/kbex1g4anj/
  6. Delaere & Compeers, Contemporary Music in Flanders I, Flemish String Quartets since 1950, Muziekcentrum Vlaanderen / MATRIX, Brussels, 2004, ISBN 90-77717-013, http://muziekcentrum.kunsten.be/document.php?ID=1769
  7. Stalpaert, C. and Roy, F.L. and Bousset, S., No Beauty for Me There where Human Life is Rare: On Jan Lauwers' Theatre with Needcompany, Studies in performing arts and film, ISBN 9789038210575, Academia Press and International Theatre and Film Books, 2007.
  8. 'Kernachtig collectief muziekdrama van Walter Hus', De Standaard, 25 September 2000, http://www.standaard.be/cnt/dst25092000_037
  9. 'Driemaal Shakespeares "Macbeth" in Brussel en Rotterdam', De Standaard, 11 April 2001, http://www.standaard.be/cnt/dst11042001_065
  10. 'Doe-het-zelfopera van Walter Hus', 13 September 2002, http://www.standaard.be/cnt/dst13092002_056
  11. "Hoe onschuldig zijn drie operaatjes ook mogen lijken, het zijn meesterwerkjes in stilistisch venijn. Hus geeft loepzuivere lesjes in opera-esthetica", in Tom Janssens, 'Not so damned human(istic): Muziektheater volgens vier heren van het gewezen Maximalist!', ETCETERA. Tijdschrift voor podiumkunsten, December 2004, http://theater.uantwerpen.be/etc_pdf/2004-12_jg22_nr94_24-29.pdf
  12. 'Opera met strips verbinden is subversief', De Morgen, 2 March 2012, http://gpr.me/tq1xy00h1s/
  13. 'Un violoncelle, un accordéon et un orchestre mécanique', Le Soir, 2 November 2017, http://gpr.me/ffx4zt081x/
  14. 'Belem & the Mekanics bring alive the sound of Decap', Bruzz, 14 November 2017, https://www.bruzz.be/node/106287
  15. 'Walter Hus pour le projet Belem & The Mekanics', RTBF interview, https://www.rtbf.be/auvio/detail_walter-hus-pour-le-projet-belem-the-mekanics?id=2280981
  16. "De Belg neemt in 2014 ook deel aan de documentaire “Sound Of Belgium ", waarvoor hij een aanpaste versie van «Universal Nation» van de electro-trance producer Push, componeerde met zijn DECAP orgel." from http://botanique.be/nl/artiest/walter-hus -- see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5pQTR-ZGM8
  17. '“Waste Land” en “N – The Madness of Reason” grote winnaars van de Ensors', https://www.filmfestivaloostende.be/geen-categorie/waste-land-en-n-the-madness-of-reason-grote-winnaars-van-de-ensors/

External links[edit | edit source]

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