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Big Barrel Organ

Big Barrel Organ

Bram Stadhouders

Label: Buzz
Format: CD
Barcode: 0608917612721
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Catalog number: ZZ 76127
Releasedate: 03-11-17
- Guitarist Bram Stadhouders plays the biggest transportable dancehall organ in the world, The Rhapsody, using guitar and MIDI, mixing composition and pure improvisation.

- The result is an astonishing and overwhelming modern mix  more than 800 organ pipes, 12 percussion instruments, 2 accordeons and electric guitar. 

- Bram and his organ amazed the visitors of many festival in the summer of 2017.  A sexy and fascinating live act.

On this album, Bram Stadhouders & The Big Barrel Organ guitarist Stadhouders plays the biggest transportable dancehall organ in the world, The Rhapsody, using guitar and MIDI, mixing composition and pure improvisation.
The musician is the first in the world to do this, which is why he can be called the first dancehall organ guitarist. It is a crazy and adventurous project. 

The history of dancehall organs goes back to 1850, when the first dance organs were made. In Belgium and the south of Holland especially, the organ became immensely popular as a precursor of the jukebox. In cafés, fairs and dancehalls, the organs were playing the latest hits. Besides the many organ pipes, dance organs are often equipped with extra instruments such as accordions, percussion and saxophones. Between 1910 and 1930, thousands of dance organs were built. You could find one in almost every dancehall. However, as the loudspeaker made its way into the public, these organs were banned to museums or private collectors. 

Guitarist Bram Stadhouders thinks that’s a shame, so he went on an investigation. After playing on the dance organ The Busy Drone in Orgelpark Amsterdam, he discovered that many dance-organs now work with MIDI, which means you can play them with any instrument that can send MIDI. As he went on to look for a transportable dance organ, he found The Rhapsody, which was only a stone’s throw from his birthplace Tilburg in the south of Holland. The Rhapsody organ is 7 meters long and 5 meters high, has more than 800 organ pipes, 12 percussion instruments as well as 2 accordions, and weighs more than 5 tons.

“When composing contemporary music for these organs, you hear totally unique sounds, a mix between electronic and acoustic sounds. The dance-organ is really the first synthesizer. The way we choose sounds on any synthesizer is derived from the barrel organ,” says Stadhouders. The guitarist feels that he’s “made for this project”, a concept that he’s been waiting for all his life.

Bram Stadhouders (1987, Tilburg, Netherlands), started learning guitar from his father at age 6, which was the beginning of a blossoming career in music. Coming from a background of classical music and jazz, at age 17 he started to discover his highly personal view of music which often combines live electronics, classical musicians and free improvisation. He produced 14 albums under his own name, and appears on more than 8 albums as a sideman. He studied Electronic Music at the HKU, and a Master in Classical Composition in the Royal Conservatory of The Hague. He worked with improvisation masters such as Sidsel Endresen, Jim Black, Wolfert Brederode, Grzech Piotrowski. He also worked with World Music musicians like Urna, Madou Sidiki Diabaté and Bulgarian Choir Angelite. He won the “Young VIP Award”, “North Sea Jazz Composition Assignment”, “BIMhuis Carte Blanche”, and 7 other awards. He produced projects with the famous Netherlands Chamber Choir and classical tenor Sebastian Brouwer. He played on a guitar made of “ice” with Norwegian Terje Isungset. With Joost Lijbaart and Sanne Rambags he played in countries such as Mali, Colombia, Mexico, India, China. He’s on a continuous journey to unexplored territory, never settling for the known, always looking forward.