Flairck are a Dutch ensemble formed by Erik Visser, an Indonesian-born acoustic instrumentalist with classical training and a strong interest in many forms of world music. The band released their first studio album ‘Variaties Op Een Dame’ (Variations on a Lady) in 1978, and has issued more than two dozen studio, live and compilation releases since then.
The band incorporates a number of world influences in their work, which has been described as chamber music but which actually features many styles including classical, folk, jazz and blues, as well as Eastern European and Celtic traditional music. The band primarily performs original compositions, and has worked with a number of renowned world music artists including Georges Moustaki, Nelleke Burg and Dimitri van Toren. The group has also recorded and performed with numerous symphony orchestras and has contributed scores for film, stage and ballet.
Visser and the other band members have a strong interest in obscure and exotic acoustic instruments, and have amassed a collection of more than 150 wind, string and percussion instruments, many of which are used in their studio recordings and live performances.
The band celebrated their 25th anniversary in 2002 with the release of a multi-disciplined DVD dedicated to the Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch. The video features original scores by the band as well acrobatics, detailed views of Bosch’s work and interviews of various band members. Visser took advantage of a hiatus by the band in 2003 to release a solo work entitled ‘One Man Parade’.
Flairck are a classic example of a progressive musical collective with wide-ranging influences and a constantly evolving sound. (by progarchives.com)
Flairck’s first album. Aoife is a lullaby written for the birth of Mary Coughlan’s daughter. (‘Aoife’ is Gaelic for ‘Eve’.) Sofia’s Foreplay: a reflection of an amourous event in a big city in Eastern Europe. April 3rd: played for the first time on that date in 1977 in a church during the wedding of the piano-player/composer Jolyon Jackson and his bride Theresa. Odd Waltz: in which the three-fourth bar is used as the building stone in a rhythmically unusual construction. The piece Variations on a Lady nearly covers the whole B-side and is one of the eldest compositions of Flairck. It is written for a female violinist and exists of two parts that are separated by a violin solo. Doubles is a short guitar duet. (Flairck in their own words)
Flairck are hardly known outside their home country Holland. They might have reached a few Belgian ears as well but they certainly haven’t dawned on the masses of PA yet. A shame really given how much potential their music might have amongst prog fans, especially amongst those to whom a mix of acoustic instrumentation and symphonic composition sounds alluring.
Flairck are a virtuoso acoustic instrumental quartet where each member plays a whole array of different mutations of his basic instrument. Erik Visser plays 6 and 12 string acoustic guitars. He also handles most of the song writing together with flutist Peter Weekers. Brother Hans Visser does acoustic bass guitars and the violin on this debut is caressed by Judy Schomper.
The music takes inspiration from both classical and flok/world sources, and due to the influences of Celtic music, there’s some similarity to early Oldfield, be it in an entirely acoustic version, which is a plus as far as I’m concerned. Further similarities can be made with the softer side of Belgian chamber rock, with a band like Aranis for example. But it can’t be compared to the more avant-garde and harsher sounds of Univers Zero. Flairck keeps things very melodic and harmonious, delicate and gentle. Which doesn’t mean they don’t play at raging speeds!
Their debut album is an exceptional career start, there’s so much inspiration in the songwriting and arrangements that each of these tunes would become classic live staples for years to come. The execution and recording of the material is generally a bit better on the live albums but that might just be because I’ve only heard this album on my second-hand vinyl. I’m sure it sparkles and shines till today (by Bonnek)
In other words: That´s what I call timeless music on the highest level !
US front + back cover
Judy Schomper (violin, viola)
Erik Visser (guitar, sitar, mandolin, mandola)
Hans Visser (bass, guitar)
Peter Weekers (flute, panpipe)
Fred Krens (vibraphone,marimba, glockenspiel, gong, percussion on 05.)
01. Aoife (E.Visser) 6.14
02. Voorspel In Sofia (E.Visser/Weekers) 6.54
03. April 3rd (E.Visser) 5.27
04. Oneven Wals (Weekers) 7.04
05. Variaties op een Dame (E.Visser) 21.02
06. Dubbelspel (E.Visser) 1.22
This is another item from the great greygoose collection !
Thanks a lot !