Music & Words | Appellation Controlee

Appellation Controlee
In the tenth year of their existence, Dutch trio, Appellation Contrôlée, has just released their third album ‘Tìz’, which means ‘ten’ in Hungarian.

The band was founded in 1985 and has since given concerts in The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Hungary and Germany and were met with rave reviews.

Appellation Contrôlée plays contemporary music on instruments linked to ancient and traditional music. Especially the hurdy gurdies provide an archaic soundscape: the strings struck by a wheel produce not only a melody but also a non-stop drone, a type of polyfony dating from the Middle Ages. The instruments used by this group are modern, electro-acoustic reconstructions of ancient originals. This subtle application of electronics is an integral part of Appellation Contrôlée’s music.

The pieces on this cd have different characters. Simon Jeffes, composer and leader of the English Penguin Cafe Orchestra, is represented by three of his compositions; Willem Breuker, the godfather of Dutch improvisational music, has contributed two pieces. The Dutch composer Wim Dirriwachter created a choral setting for four voices based on a poem called ‘Herfstlandschap’ by Dutch poet Paul van Ostaijen. This composition is performed instrumentally and plays an important role on the album. Eric Satie can truly be considered an old love of the group and like on the two previous releases, several pieces are included; as are themes from Laurie Anderson and two compositions from the extensive works of the violinist Blaine L. Reininger.

The final piece is ‘Feedback, for five electric guitars and amplified hurdy-gurdy’ from American composer Ron Ford. It can only be described as: Hildegard von Bingen meets Jimi Hendrix!


The press


They are doing for the hurdy gurdy and the diatonic accordion what the Kronos String Quartet is doing for string quartet music (Folk Roots)

Aufregende neue 'Weltmusik' (Oberhessische Presse)


Appellation Contrôlée are:

    • Servais Haanen - diatonic accordion
    • René Meeuws - hurdy-gurdy
    • Gaby Schreiner - hurdy-gurdy




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