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Dutch Blues for elite National contenders

It has now been decided that 'Old Blues Licked Up' will test the elite level bands at the Dutch National Championships later this year.

  Torstein Aagaard-Nilsen's fearsome work will now test the best Dutch bands in Utrecht later this year

Torstein Aagaard-Nilsen's 'Old Blues Licked Up' has been announced as the new set-work for the Championship Section of the Netherlands National Championships later this year.

It follows a turbulent few weeks in Dutch banding after the original choice of 'Trajectum' by Rob Goorhuis, had been withdrawn by the NBK organisation.

Meetings and discussions

4BR understands that a meeting with four representative bands and others was held on 9th June, followed by a period of consultation initiated by NBK — including seeking the opinions of five internationally respected musicians.

After these viewpoints were discussed and debated further, the decision to withdraw 'Trajectum' was made on 22nd June.

Future survey

Announcing the new test-piece they stated: "We regret the course of affairs very strongly and will do everything on our side to prevent this happening again in the future.

We will have dialogue with the bands and conductors. In November we will conduct a survey with all Dutch brass bands and in the spring of 2019 will organise a plenary national meeting with the theme 'The Future of the NBK'"

Although the work has been performed as an 'own-choice' selection at the Norwegian, Belgian, Swiss and European Championships it will be the first time that it will be used as a set-work at a major National Championship event4BR

Old Licks

'Old Licks Bluesed Up' was originally written in 2010 for Manger Musikklag with support from the Norwegian Composers Fund. It was revised by the composer a year later.

The title of the 17-minute work Aagaard-Nilsen (above) gives clues to how the work can be understood.

The words 'old' and the names of the three movements; 'Toccata 1', 'Ritornell' and 'Toccata II' connect the music to the past — although the 'licks' ensure that it is framed very much within the present — with influences of blues, rock and jazz guitar-like riffs.

Although the work has been performed as an 'own-choice' selection at the Norwegian, Belgian, Swiss and European Championships it will be the first time that it will be used as a set-work at a major National Championship event.

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