TAKE MY BREATH AWAY - Tim MULLEMAN (Belgium)
What is it that we call ‘breathtaking’? Usually we say this of something that thrills us, an exciting experience that overwhelms us with beauty and grandeur. Unfortunately, there’s more in life that could even literally ‘take our breath away’, such as violence of any kind.
This piece was commissioned by Natalia Jarząbek (flute, Poland) and Emmy Wils (piano, Belgium) to commemorate 100 years of Polish independency. The end of World War I and thus the destruction of its neighbouring powers allowed Poland to remerge after more than a century of oppression. Indeed, for 123 years the Polish people’s breath was brutally taken away.
Furthermore, Natalia’s Infinity Project focuses on the use of circular breathing, a technique rarely mastered by flutists. With every circular breath the flutist does not only prolong his/her phrases and plea, but also symbolically delays his/her last breath: a noble try to put off the evil hour, an attempt to surpass oneself. It seems as if also the flutist’s breath is taken away...
ABOUT THE COMPOSER
Tim MULLEMAN (°1993, Belgium) started playing the piano at the age of 11 under the guidance of conductor Hans Casteleyn. After finishing his studies classical piano, jazz and accompaniment with highest distinctions at the provincial academy, he started studying at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels with Jan Michiels and later in Vienna at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien with Christiane Karajeva. Having obtained his Bachelor’s degree with great distinction, his final Master’s recital and research thesis – specialising in transcription and improvisation – evengave him a greatest distinction. Tim used to study composition with Dr. Jan Van Landeghem and recently continues this path with Annelies Van Parys. His arrangements are regularly being played by ensembles such as Het Collectief, the Chamber Music Ensemble of the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra, the Weiner Ensemble (Budapest) and his own ensemble Tmesis.
As a transcriber, he currently works with Kris Defoort on the piano reduction of his newest opera, The Time of our Singing, which will be performed in La Monnaie (Brussels) and Philadelphia (USA).
In chamber music formation, such as his ensemble Tmesis – for whom he also writes the arrangements they currently recorded for Etcetera Records – he was broadcasted on Klara, Musiq3 and the British BBC3. Tmesis played at venues such as Concertgebouw Brugge, deSingel Antwerpen, Klarafestival, Festival Midis-Minimes, Schouwburg Leuven/30CC, Schiermonikoog Festival (Netherlands), the Harmos Festival (Portugal), etc. He performed solo and in piano duo with Hiu-Man Chan at The Festival of Flanders 2013, participated in the international Euroclassical project 2014 and 2015, performed on the highly acclaimed Bartók Symposium of the Royal Library of Brussels in 2014, the Rodrigo Symposium 2015, the Gross Festival 2015, etc.
Furthermore, he had lessons/masterclasses with Herbert Schuch, Neal Peres da Costa, Philippe Graffin, Amy Linn, Paul Dombrecht, Piet Kuijken, Jan Vermeulen, Irene Russo, Augustin Léon Ara, Thomas Dieltjens, Eric Robberecht, Alan Weiss, etc.
Next to all this, Tim is active in the theatre environment (e.g. composing/performing music for Het Zuidelijk Toneel, Tilburg, the Netherlands) and (free) improvisation, having followed lessons with Boyan Vodenitcharov and jazz pianists Erik Vermeulen, Kris Defoort and Niko Deman.