Twente Guitar Festival 2010

Morning After (Day Four plus One)

Today my alarm clock goes off at six twenty. A sharp contrast with the past four days. Then I was allowed to awake without the soft but imperative New Age sounds from the device.

It is the day after the Twente Guitar festival, the dreaded Morning After. The return to the every-day reality.

I go through my morning ritual, get dressed and drag myself to the breakfast table. A glance on the stereo equipment shows me that the CD player is still switched on. The case of the Sampler of the Twente Guitar Festival 2010 (a nice bonus for a supporter) lies on top of the player. I examine the jewel case and study the names on the back.

Morning After... In common language, this is the term for the pill which is intended to thwart the consequences of a passionate union. The very moment that ratio and convention regain the terrain they had lost to passion, as a consequence of the fear that the same passion of fusing might repeat itself on mini-micro-miniature level deep inside the womb.

But... Morning After also means a sense of hangover which almost naturally arises if you have to resume normal life after a period of carefree enjoyment. No, the hangover is not caused by booze. If it did I would have to become drunk of Chaud­fontaine (Cafe SamSam’s version of the fizzling water Spa Rouge).

A hangover. That’s the correct description for my mood this morning. In fact, I should pick up my guitar and start singing the blues with a voice which resembles Louis Armstrong’s. Just like we did in Jim ten Boske’s groove workshops...

“I woke up this morning... oh yeah.../I woke up this morning.../I woke up this morn­ing... oh yeah.... /and I just found that it was the morning after...”

Yet... I do not want the passion of the last days to be outstripped by everyday ratio. I would like to keep her a while, cherish it, the pastel shades in sound, the scream­ing strings, the contact, the solidarity and the love for music everywhere in the air.

Cycling to work, I cannot stop musing. Yet I am watchful, because I am in the mid­dle of traffic and a few years ago I found out that falling from the bike to the ground is a long and painful way if you are not prepared. Part of me is alert, just like Snoes, our pussycat who often looks like sleeping but dashes away with every sign of dan­ger nevertheless.

Four days of Twenthe Guitar Festival 2010. The lustrum edition.

In the mean time, I steadily cycle towards my workplace. After climbing the bank of a bridge a take a look across the Twentekanaal, a famous waterway in my district. A few anglers are staring at their floats and an early oarsman splits the waves with his skiff.

Cycling downhill, the solution for the hangover occurs to me. A few cups of coffee and the start of this story, the report of the Twente Guitar Festival 2010. A lovely opportunity to recall all those moments...

So now we go back in time...

The Organisation

The Twente Guitar Festival was established in 2006 when a number of young gui­tarists made their dream come true: an accessible guitar festival for both profession­als and amateurs with the town of Enschede as the ‘crime scene’. A perfect spot to bring guitar events back to life again, because since the disappearance of the Sego­via Festival and the Guitar Series, with regard to the guitar it had become awfully quiet around the Oude Markt.

The first edition took place in the Concordia Theatre. All events -including master­classes- were held there.

The first edition was a success, so the organisation committee -Bobby Rootveld, Jaap Majoor, Niels Ottink en Paul Driessen- decided to upscale the event, requiring two locations instead of one, the Concordia Theatre and the Artez Conservatory. Fortu­nately both are within walking distance, yet with a little challenge to catch the lunch concert with a sprint after a little delay in the masterclasses.

Starting with the second edition of the festival, the Artez Conservatory was the stage for Masterclasses, workshops, the preliminaries of the competitions, and the Concordia Theatre was perfect for the concerts and the finals of the competitions.

Since the first time in 2006, three more editions wrote history. Consequentially this year’s edition is the lustrum.

Lustrum... funny word. Yet it’s a word with a historical background. In the Roman Era, people once in five years made a sacrifice to the god Mars -the god of war- on a field in the city of Rome. This field was called Campus Martius, Latin for the Field of Mars. On the present-day Campus Martius is built over, and it is generally known as the district Campo Marzio, the location of places of interest like the Pan­theon and Piazza Navona

The Romans were quite good at warfare and they wanted it to keep it that way. So, they ‘sponsored’ their war deity. They called this once in five-year sacrifice ‘Lus­trum’.

This fifth edition of the Twente Guitar Festival rightfully is an lustre lustrum! Which guitar event in the East of Holland exists longer? Only the Zwolle Guitar Festival has more editions yet.

There is not much news to report about the organisation, it is just like last year. A successful formula does not need to be changed. A novelty this year is a web based evaluation for the participants of the festival. It provides a useful feedback for the last details and offers the option to present wishes like ‘what guitarist would you like to appear on the festival?’

Speaking about sponsoring: Fundraising is an important activity of the organisation to bring in sponsors. This year the festival had a new main sponsor, who connected its name to the competitions of the first, second and third categories.

The new sponsor is the Dutch company Axis Media Ontwerpers, a branch of Axis Media Groep. The company is involved in communication in all kinds of fields, from technical documentation to video productions, from communication strategy to web design. Their web site gives a nice impression of their activities, there is an abundant number of flash animations.

A part of the deal was the upgrade of the Twente Guitar Festival web site and all promotion material like the flyer and the posters. I must say that it looks licked, in a nice and balanced colour scheme.

As a technical author, I have been involved with Axis for a while. They did organi­sational research in my company and we have attended their courses in target group analysis and user profiles. It appeared that Axis is a versatile company with an innovative approach.

Axis is not the only contributor to the festival budget, many other sponsors contrib­ute financially and materially.

Funds and materials are of little use if you don’t have people who want to work for the event. The Twente Guitar Festival has those people, a crowd of volunteers who dedicate themselves to the smooth course of the event.

Again, this year the first aid and emergency service (statutory for large events), competition-, masterclass- and workshop management and not to be forgotten cater­ing and CD sales were top class.

A big pat on the back for the organisation and volunteers!

Homage

Apart from the four guitarists who make up the organization, there are two other gitarists who contributed with advice and assistance to make this event a success. Especially for them this homage.

Jim ten Boske was there from the beginning with his workshops groove and improvisation. He taught us to make fun together with the small themes and subtle chord progressions, all the things there are to make music a social happening. Nice jamming with a group and getting out of the social isolation you are in as a (classi­cal) solo guitarist.

Always Grooving Strong, Jim!

All these years of the festival, Yves Storms was the representative of the classical side of the guitar. It was incredibly sad, but he unfortunately could not be there because of a mean injury. The doctor prescribed absolute (playing) rest.

I felt really sorry that I could not congratulate him personally with this lustrum. In these five years, I attended Masterclass with him three times and I got to know him as an amiable person and a very capable musician and musical historian. He accepts the value of your playing capability at one side, but he knows very well how to motivate you to apply improvements with a personal approach in beautiful expres­sions in elegant Flemish, a much more florid version of our Dutch language.

Yves, I wish you a quick and successful recovery and I really hope that we will meet again next year, with the masterclasses and on stage!

pgdwn