Gerard Ammerlaan (1953-Pijnacker--2011-Groningen, the Netherlands)
Unfortunately Gerard passed away at saturday, november the 19th 2011.
Started his career as a bass-player in different experimental pop-bands during the 1960/70's and turned to improvised music (including double bass) in the 80's.
From 1983 onwards Ammerlaan has not only performed alone, but has also led his own ensembles and composed improvised music for all kinds of different line-ups, from duo's to orchestra's.
Since the nineties he was commissioned to compose for various foundations, including other ensembles and special projects.
His work has a unique position in the Dutch music world.
Thanks to his background in improvisation, Ammerlaan reacted easily to impulses around him and enjoyed being taken by surprise.
In his search for new expressions, his music inevitably ended up as a fusion between composition and improvisation, pop and classical, to world and electronics.
His liberal approach forms a unique mix, that cannot be placed into one category. In his own special way he makes a blend of colourful as well as visual music.
The wealth of experience of this composer/bass-player has, for the last 40 years, produced (and still does) an abundance of material in all variations: including jazz/improvisation, opera's, orchestral, string quartets, film music, experimental pop, etc.
Recognition of his works:
1985 ñ the ìForma Aktua Jazz Prizeî
1995 ñ together with text-writer Jo Willems ñ the ìWessel Gansfort Prizeî
Ammerlaan about his own work:
ìMy personal ambition is to keep a continuing development in the music and the driving force being the music itself.
I want to make music, that is open to the jazz, pop, classical and world audience, not especially for commercial reasons, but what I see as coming straight from the heart.
My compositions have an abstract form, which means to create an open structure for the performing artist as well as the listener.
Each composition is constructed by a series of layers, where one calls the other one up.
e.g. The music being horizontal while the vertical side (chords) being the sum of different melodic, rhythmic lines.
Sometimes it has to swing, but for me, the most important thing is, that the listener involves him/herself in the visual qualities.
I like to surprise, astonish, confront and move the audience. If it touches me and I'm able to pass that feeling on to someone else - I've reached my goal.î