Jeroen Elfferich

Composer and musician

Netherlands

Author

About

Jeroen Elfferich (1965- ) is a Dutch composer/musician. He studied percussion at the Rotterdam Conservatorium and played with many bands and orchestras. After graduating he formed his jazz group Elfferich Four with which he recorded 4 albums. All compositions of this band were by Elfferich.

Elfferich has also recorded many electronic music and performed as a live looper at festivals and on national television.

In his late 40ties he decided to dedicate himself to writing minimal music for 2 pianos. He released 4 albums with a label from New York ( Arabesque Records). Elfferich’s music is a new kind of minimal music with an emphasis on rhythms in different time signatures, which makes his music hypnotic and groovy.

His latest series of compositions is called THE ESSENCE. It’s all about space and the use of very few notes. The style is more ambient than most of his rhythmic pieces.

Videos

Sheets

Interview

What does music mean to you personally?

Music is like food and drinks, i need it everyday and use it everyday. Listening to music makes me feel good but creating music ( since I was 15 years old) has made me the person I am today, so music means a lot but my own music means everything to me.

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

Music ( listening or creating) can transport you to new places that don’t exist so yes, it is all about fantasy and making the world a little bit better.

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

Probably an artist ( painter or sculptor) or some other creative profession.

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

Well my music is not classical but more modern so I hope to reach a younger audience. Classical music attracts the more elderly audience and that sure is a problem, but maybe also a problem for the classical musicians and promoters. They should try to play and promote the more modern and newer music ( contemporary). The evolution of music did not end with Mozart, Beethoven or Bach. There is a lot of great music made after them..

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

I hope there still will be a lot of concerts so people can see and hear good music and musicians and thereby will appreciate good music and good musicians. Recorded music is much more difficult. All music is free on the internet so there is no money here for musicians/composers. Classical music will have a difficult time this century but will always survive because we already know it and it is part of our civilization.

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

Creativity is what it is all about. Being creative means trying out new ways to write good music. But also trying out other ways to perform, promote, and present new music. Write music for unorthodox instruments/electronics or unusual combinations of music instrument is being creative and makes it more interesting for the audience.

Do you think we as musicians can do something to attract the younger generation to music concerts? How would you do this?

Sure, we can do more to attract the younger generation. I have used visuals to enrich my concerts. In Russia they played my compositions and had dancers to dance on my music. I have had concerts at different places such as living rooms, galleries, rock venues, churches, musea etc. When you give a concert at a special place the audience will always love this, especially the younger generation. I also explain my music in between the compositions so the audience will understand my music more.

Tell us about your creative process. What is your favorite piece (written by you) and how did you start working on it?

Most of the time I start with a certain rhythmic pattern. Then I try out what pattern the second pianist can play with it. I changed an older piece that I already had and wrote ZERO. The original version had a slower middle part but I removed this and stuck to the pattern from the beginning. .This piece is 10 minutes and uses only this one rhythmic pattern from the beginning. It´s a challenge to complete this piece with small changes in the rhythm and notes but still stick to the original pattern. Then it becomes hypnotic. The piece ZERO worked out great and is my favorite piece

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

Young people can discover about music looking at YouTube and hopefully they learn something and develop their own taste.

Do you think about the audience when composing?

No, I only think about the music itself. I am the only person that is important and can judge my music. When I like it, it“s good music

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

I keep on writing music for 2 pianos and solo piano but will also join a jazz band. I have plans to organize short concerts in galleries because I believe my music ( and other) will be perfect for in a gallery where the audience is interested in new art, and that is just what my music is.