Fulco Ottervanger - piano

Fulco Ottervanger is a Belgian multi-instrumentalist, composer and singer in jazz, pop and experimental contemporary music. He grew up in Brussels with Dutch parents. Ottervanger began at a young age with cello, guitar and piano and with writing music. At the Conservatory of Ghent he studied jazz piano with Erik Vermeulen and contemporary composition with Frank Nuyts. Besides the acclaimed electro-acoustic piano trio De Beren Gieren, his own projects include the krautpop band STADT, with which he has released three albums, and the electronically minded, musically boundless experiment of BeraadGeslagen. This duo, formed with drummer Lander Gyselinck, released one of the most acclaimed Belgian albums of 2018 with ‘Duizeldorp’, played Pukkelpop two years in a row and was invited as artist-in-residence and curator at Jazz Middelheim. In 2019, Fulco Ottervanger released a well-received solo album as FULCO, a Dutch-spoken singer-songwriter, which was followed by a successful release tour. Fulco can also be found in the theater and dance world: he created for and played in three awarded performances by Zonzo Compagnie (amongst others with An Pierlé) and composed for Benjamin Vandewalle’s dance company Platform-K. Fulco wrote compositions for Symphony Orchestra Flanders, B-Classic Festival, November Music (NL) and Flat Earth Society. He regularly gives free improvisation concerts and, in addition, collaborates with people from other disciplines such as writers, poets, draughts men, dancers and filmmakers. He was the city composer of Ghent between 2016 and 2018, and was nominated for a ‘Music Industry Award’ in 2018 and 2019 in the category of ‘Best Musician’.


Lieven Van Pée - bass

Lieven Van Pée already became interested in a broad palette of music at a young age. Besides an early passion for electronics and sequencers, he starts to play the bass guitar at the age of 16. After high school he starts to attend classes at the Jazzstudio in Antwerp with teachers such as Bas Cooymans and Cedric Waeterschoot. Soon he switches from bass guitar to double bass and gets more fascinated by jazz- and impro music. Four years later he starts at the conservatorium in Ghent to follow classes with Stefan Lievestro. There, he also meets up with Fulco Ottervanger and Simon Segers to found De Beren Gieren in 2009. Other than his activities in jazz- and crossover bands such as John Ghost and Echoes of Zoo, Lieven is also composing electronic music, and is active as a sound engineer and producer. He already remixed a few bands under Vectrex and released an electronic EP on the label of DJ Lefto under the moniker Annie Pleasure. His electronic experiments and musical versatility are reflected in his bass playing, which easily adds a specific sound to the music he creates. Besides that it is always a pleasure to see this passionate, cheerful bass player perform on stage.


Simon Segers - drums

Simon Segers folds every genre into his own personal swing. Being a drummer in challenging bands, he pushes the music forward in an intuitive way. Simon grew up in a family where it was an obvious recreation to listen intensely to music. Where his dad (and his dad’s record collection) became a great influence in listening to music, it was his older brother (guitarist Frederik Segers) that made him play the drums. From their early teenage years, they are playing together in different projects, which made Simon develop a great love for long and profound cooperations. At the age of 21 Simon started his jazz education at the Conservatory of Ghent, where he dived deeply into his rhythmical explorations. Simon has immersed himself in many styles but he never became a purist. Genres are there to be crossed: in recent years he played in rock and pop groups as well as in jazz, free and world oriented projects. He considers the jazz trio De Beren Gieren and the rock band STADT as his most personal projects in which he participates profoundly. Since 2019 Simon has also ventured into solo concerts where he strives for the perfect balance between polyrhythmic trance, melodic drumming and sound experiment. In addition, he can be heard with MDCIII, Black Flower, Sylvie Kreusch, SPOOK and Dijf Sanders. Thanks to many years of commitment to unique projects, Simon’s style became very diverse but at the same time very recognizable. He plays the drums with a propulsive power that sounds both repetitive and varied. The long tension arc prevails in his playing, but always with a surprise right on time.

 


Bio

De Beren Gieren is a post-contemporary jazz trio in which minimalism and bursting energy go hand in hand. It may be no coincedence that this band is based in Belgium, the homeground of surrealism and techno. De Beren Gieren consists of musicians highly active in the European music scene, but it is within this band their versatility flow freely. Its music is multi-layered, improvised and visionary. Corresponding acts could be Visible Cloaks, Radiohead, Erik Satie and Jon Hassell. Well, expect at least Beren music.

Fulco Ottervanger composes most of the tunes, shining a childlike clarity, yet without ever pointing to a specific genre. It challenges the band to conceive a never-heard combination of sounds and parts supporting those sing-along melodies, often resulting in cinematic structures with a kaleidoscopic quality. A shared effort of control and letting go is what ties together this band. Live concerts of De Beren Gieren are an ongoing adventure full of beauty, dynamics and group interaction.

De Beren paved their own path. They started off as a quirky acoustic neder-jazz trio, naturally evolving to the subtle acousto-electronic realm of their latest albums Dug Out Skyscrapers, Less is Endless and the upcoming What Eludes Us, for which they worked together with the Norwegian producer Jorgen Traen.

De Beren Gieren have played with external guests such as Ernst Rijeseger, Louis Sclavis and Susana Santos Silva, giving them international acknowledgement. Yet it remained clear that gold can still be mined from the classic jazz piano format. Instead of changing direction, De Beren Gieren choose resolutely to dig deeper.

 

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