Belgian journalist and composer Jacques Bekaert was born May 11, 1940. Around 1965, Bekaert studied with Henri Pousseur and, in 1968, worked at Pousseur’s Studio for Electronic Music in Brussels where he composed several electronic music pieces. He settled in New York City in 1968, earning his life writing articles on US politics for a Belgian newspaper. In NY, he befriended David Behrman, David Tudor and Alvin Lucier, and, as a composer, had some performances at Max Kansas City and Black Gate Theater, on 2nd avenue. He took part to some Sonic Arts Union live performances, and, thanks to Robert Ashley, his music was performed at Mills College, Oakland, California. In 1969, Bekaert published a book on John Cage and in 1976, one on Nixon, titled Nixon’s the One. Bekaert moved to Bangkok, Cambodia, in 1979, and covered the war between Khmer Rouge and anti-Communist Cambodians for local journals and as a BBC correspondent. In 2007, he became a Thaï resident.
His music was first published on record by Henri Chopin’s Revue OU in 1981, with a piece titled The Day After. His first full-length LP was the Summer Music 1970 LP, published by Lovely Music, NYC, in 1982. This untitled LP was his 3rd release, published by Igloo records, Brussels, 1983.
A Late Lunch and Mon petit Album were composed as soundtracks to Japanese film-maker Akiko Iimura’s films of the same name, completed in 1974 and 1978, respectively. A Late Lunch is based on acoustic instruments and field recordings, brilliantly reconfigured and mixed by Bekaert to create a surreal, immersive soundscape. The players were prominent Californian musicians of the 1970s, including Maggi Payne, George Lewis or Blue Gene Tyranny. The technique used includes slowed-down recordings, radical sound effects and surreal juxtapositions of sounds. Blue Gene Tyranny’s piano part is particularly serene and beautiful, while the dog insistently barking in the distance gives the piece its sonic signature. Mon Petit Album includes David Behrman on alto, from an outdoor recording at Stony Point, NY, a summer resort for artists and outdoor happenings, plus excerpts from a Transition concert in London, the band Bekaert formed in 1971 with Michel Herr, Takehisa Kosugi and Rio Koike, both members of the Taj Mahal Travelers. The atmosphere is quiet and pastoral throughout. A Summer Day at Stony Point is based on electronic sounds from the Brandeis University studio and field recordings made at Stony Point, NY.
01 A Late Lunch (28:10)
02 A Summer Day at Stony Point (11:39)
03 Mon Petit Album (11:10)
Total time 51:00
LP released by Igloo, Belgium, 1983