Take Five With Rogier Telderman
With an enormous drive, profoundness, and enthusiasm, pianist Rogier Telderman born in 1982has emerged as one of the rising stars from the Dutch jazz scene. He performs and composes for his ensembles Melphi and RT trio, and his duo project with vibraphonist Vincent Houdijk. He has created a unique voice, balancing between lyrical beauty and adventurous interaction. For his compositions, he draws inspiration from daily life by viewing its natural processes as compositions in their own right.
At the age of 22 he started studying jazz piano at the Conservatory in Tilburg, with Randal Corsen, Jeroen van Vliet, and Rembrandt Frerichs. After his undergraduate studies, he pursued a graduate degree at TU/e in Eindhoven. Four years later, he was offered a position at that same conservatory as a professor of jazz piano. Melphi was proclaimed winner of the DuvelVibes Challenge 2012. The result was getting their tracks published by the legendary Blue Note Records label.
Your sound and approach to music:
Foremost, I'm fascinated by processes which randomly structure sounds. As a musician, I'm trained to focus on sounds. I find the most amazing sounds happening all around us when we're open-minded to consider these sounds as music. This can for example, be the process of boiling water in a water cooker, the general fluctuating buzz created in a busy canteen, or the polyrhythm of multiple out of sync pedestrian lights.
When noticed, these sounds create worlds of their own. I try to grasp these worlds within my compositions. Not by imitating the sound, but by using the feel, motion, or general development of this "world."
Your teaching approach:
I try to provide my students with generic structures, which can be developed further to their liking and eventually shattered. My method does this on four levels: harmony, melody, rhythm, and musicianship.
Sharing knowledge/ideas and an open mindset are the most important. Also, John Cage has written a set of rules for students and teachers which make a lot of sense to me.
How would you describe the state of jazz today?
We live in an incredibly fascinating time. New technologies have made the use of physical audio discs abundant and enable us to share music directly to audiences who were unreachable in the old days. Music from all over the globe is reaching us within one tap on your iPhone or tablet. The possibilities are infinite.
For me, there is no such thing a jazz music. There is only a mindset towards creating (your) music to your liking. Bach did this a couple of hundred years ago and so did Charlie Parker. Not for the joy of entertainment, but for the need to create this music.
What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?
We need artists with an open-mindset, skills, and focus on creating something new.
We need new financial structures to enable new artists to create their music. Not just for one project like Kickstarter.com, but on a structural basis for the musician to grow sustainably.
What is in the near future?
After winning the DuvelVibes Challenge and releasing tracks at Blue Note Records in 2012, I'm presenting a full album with my band Melphi. Together with the digital audio label SnipRecords we've created something authentic and new. The blend of musicians combine soul, jazz and pop influences into refined arrangements with room for interaction.
I'm also currently composing for a new 15-piece ensemble which explores the balance between compositional beauty (being restrained) and musical interaction (being free). This will be my debut release under my own name, and will premiere in 2014.
Besides these two major projects I'm part of the ensemble Temko, which combines minimal music, modern composition, and improvisation. The group will officially present itself at the renowned November Music festival in November 2013. And I'm investigating new sounds together with vibraphonist Vincent in a piano-vibraphone duo.