Ad Wammes

Composer

Author

About

Ad Wammes (1953) studied composition with Ton de Leeuw, Theo Loevendie and Klaas de Vries, piano with Edith Lateiner-Grosz and electronic music with Ton Bruynèl. He played keyboards with the symphonic rock group Finch. Between 1983 and 1985 he wrote the music for 5 Sesame Street albums. From 1986 to 2002 he realised the music (composing, playing and recording) of 35 serials for TeleacNOT. In recent years he has concentrated more and more on composing "concert music". His piece for organ "Miroir" meant his international breakthrough. It is being played all over the world by such renowned organists as Thomas Trotter, David Sanger and John Scott and has already been recorded 13 times on CD. In 2007 Boosey and Hawkes published a reissue. Commissions from Norway (Aqua Messe) and England (Orgelbüchlein project) followed. Compositions for piano were published by Schott and De Haske. In 2012 Boosey & Hawkes published two new works for organ "Toccata Chromatica" and "Ride in a High-Speed Train" followed by "Interludes" in 2014. His works for accordion are being published exclusively by Jetelina . In 2016 “The Lorenz Corporation” published ‘Triptych’ an album for chamber organ. In 2017 Schott published an album for piano named "Dedicated to you".

Sheets

Interview

What does music mean to you personally?

I tend to become moody when I haven’t composed for a while. ( a while is about 3 weeks) so it means very much too me.

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

Absolutely. I often imagine pictures in my mind when composing.( I guess that’s an inheritance from my years working for Dutch Television)

If you were not a professional musician, would would you have been?

No doubt, an actor.

The classical music audience is getting old, are you worried about your future?

Well I am a composer in the first place. And every year there are more concerts with my music. Also the score-sales on my website are becoming more and more. So I really feel like having a second career, so no absolutely no I am not worried about my career.

What do you envision the role of classical music to be in the 21 century? Do you see that there is a transformation of this role?

Music is loved by almost everyone. Luckily the gap between classical music and pop oriented music is becoming closer and closer. Jazz, world-music, pop-music are being taught on the conservatories and young musicians dare to play what they want.

When I say that classical music is searching for new ways or that the classical music is getting a new face, what would come to your mind?

I can hear that so called minimal-music related music is becoming more and more popular.

Do you think that the classical musician today needs to be more creative? What’s the role of creativity in the musical process for you?

Oh yes, absolutely. Lots of musicians are still waiting in their attic, hoping that someone else will help them in their career. But things don’t go that way. Make yourself heard! Start a website for instance.

Tell us about your creative process. Do you have your favorite piece (written by you) How did you start working on it?

I usually work at the piano and without noticing this myself I seem to sing a lot . When I have a coffee break the music goes on in my head and very often I find the solutions for musical problems then. I give much room to my subconsiousness and try to be aware of where the sound wants to go. One of my favorite pieces is ‘Ode on celestial music’ for mixed choir, harp, percussion and organ/accordion. The text for this piece is written by the English poet Brian Patten. I started working on this piece by reading and rereading the text over and over again until I began to hear the music. In fact this piece is film music without film.

We, Moving Classics TV, love the combination of classical music with different disciplines: music and painting, music and cinematography, music and digital art, music and poetry. What do you think about these combinations?

Well I worked a lot for Theater and Television ( about 40 series for Dutch Educational Television) And I just loved it. From 2005 I only compose music itself. , but most of the time I have a kind of movie in my head. This helps me also in making the greater line.

Can you give some advice for young people who want to discover classical music for themselves?

Go to Youtube, fill in the name of a composer you really like ( you will certainly have one) Hit a favorite music, then on the right of your screen Ýoutube will present music you will probably also like. Spotify works about the same.

Now it is a common practice in the media to talk that the classical music is getting into the consumption business, do you agree? We are speaking about the supply and demand rules and how to sell your “product” in your case your compositions. How do you see it?

Well I am having more and more difficulty in finding a publisher for my music. I will tell you about the publication of ‘Dedicated to you‘: I first published this piano album myself under the title ‘Dedicated to you and you and you and you‘ . Then I thought: “Let’s ask Schott if they are interested “( I am speaking about the year 2014 ) They reacted very enthousiastic and answered that they were very interested in publishing it, but because of lesser sales they wanted to publish it by the end of the year 2016. Well, I was waiting and waiting and by the end of the year 2017 I contacted them. They told me that because of the smaller market they decided NOT to publish my music.

Do you have expectations what regards your listeners, your audience?

No, I don’t have any expectations at all. All I have are experiences when I go to a concert where one or more pieces of mine are being played

What projects are coming up? Do you experiment in your projects?

I just finished an organ work , commissioned by the roman catholic diocese in Ningbo (China) I’m working on an organ piece for the city of Rotterdam (almost finished) and a work commissioned by the Dutch Fund for the Performing Arts for saxophone quartet and organ. In September I will ask the Dutch Fund for the Performing Arts for a grant for composition as there a lot of demands for new pieces by several musicians.