Barend Schipper’s incentive: [home]
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Development of New Romantic and classical music
Towards a follow up of modern and post modern arts
At age 22, Schipper finished his study of composition 8 years sooner than he expected, and he had just lost his beloved teacher Willem Frederik Bon, who died at age 42. For Barend Schipper this was an existential period: the time in which he searched for his personal musical style. At age 22 he read the biography of Michelangelo, by Irving Stone. In the book the creation process of Michelangelo is described in detail. Reading the book, Barend felt drawn to the process, and longed to make music in a similar way, placed in our present, intercultural time.
This creation process contained the following elements: thorough craftmanship, learning from the Classical masters, intense emotional visualization of the subject, a clear philosophy translated in physicality,
physical and mental will power, which Irving Stone called terribilitá.
This notion constituted the germ of all developments which would come in the following 15 years. First he studied the classical composers, and went back to the roots of the Romantic piano school, from Renaissance composers on to Scarlatti, Bach, Mozart, and Haydn. He made their craftsmanship his own, places their language in a continuous line to our present time from where he further creates. He spent 6 years on studying Mozart. It is in this period that he discovered the principles of the Direct Creation Technique.
The period Schipper lived in, the nineteen eighties, was absolutely modernistic and his working towards a new classical music was unheard of. His late teacher Bon, though, was one the first post modern composers of Europe. Also Schipper’s upbringing gave him a thorough fundament to develop the music he longed for.
Barend’s father and mother were partly post modern and partly universal philosophical in their orientation and so had been Barend’s upbringing. Barend’s father was a pedagogue and amateur pianist. He has a clear, humoristic and warm but always consistent philosophy of post modern and classical concepts: concepts of openness, personal and intellectual growth, freedom and responsibility.
Barend’s mother was devoted to theatre and music. Barend’s mother is born and raised in Curacao. This contributed to Schipper’s expressive and very communicative nature, and to his intercultural orientation. On Curacao over 15 different cultures live together. During lively and humoristic discussions with the family around the table, philosophy had been, next to music and theatre, the lively focus of the family.
Barend longed for a musical language that is at once personal and universal: for an integration of emotion and ratio in music. He yearned for a world of creation based on experiencing and communicating: lived philosophy sounding in music, not theoretical, but with the full emotional impact that comes from experiencing life itself in his art.
He wanted music which would stay alive, with a clear but organic identity, which would move or flow as nature. He wanted rhythm, not only derived from the metric note system from dance and singing, but also derived from nature movements. These are not linear but circular and not metric but organic. Later, one would define these natural structures as ‘chaos’ structures: a word probably falling short to describe the much nuanced, intricate coherence of forms of biology and physics, of life itself: the images of rotated figures from Michelangelo were still hovering in his mind.
The music of Schipper is often described as ‘a journey’, ‘as nature’, ‘moving, touching’, ‘physical’, ‘sunk into thoughts and emotions’, ‘savage dances’.