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Daniël Brüggen’s latest film project is a sort of art-house short (37 minutes), self-directed, self-produced and self-presented. The spoken languages are Dutch and English, with subtitles available in both languages as well as German and Korean. Brüggen relates his own journeys to ‘explore the soul’ of his instrument and his travels take in Bob Marvin’s workshop, Yamaha’s factory in Hamamatsu, a Korean primary school’s classroom recorder teaching, a Barcelona art gallery, the archival home of the Dordrecht recorder and the Tuscan retreat of ‘Uncle Frans’. The last interview will be a big draw for Frans-spotters, dripping as it is with the insights of his advancing years.

Brüggen is a man of few words, but with a formidable ability to distil his thoughts and conceptions into images. This works well in film, where he’s able to use a held image to represent the difficult sonic concepts under discussion. On a walk through the Canadian borderland forests adjoining Marvin’s workshop, for instance, recorder sound vis-à-vis untreated woods is discussed by the two men. Meanwhile, the images on which the camera plays represent Daniël’s own particular thoughts on recorder sound production: the sturdy branch, the flowing stream. This amply repays thoughtful study.

Catherine Groom Read the full review on Agora Classica


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Early Music Today, 2013 - ©Rhinegold Publishing