Dirk Veulemans - Composer
Farewell to the rural
"The weasel is also increasingly found in cities in dusty attics, hunting mice, pigeons and rats." I was flabbergasted to hear that on a BBC nature programme. A "nature" programme, no less. I was shocked to discover that I still carried around an archaic idea of what nature really is. The weasel was that for me. Until that broadcast, that is. The animal had remained pretty much the icon of the rural environment smelling of trees and humus and of the unspoilt animal life. Whenever I heard its name, I imagined the nippy and quick little animal with its little shiny black eyes rustling among the leaves under a bush to hunt for small mammals that were also hiding there. But no, dusty attics in urban environments instead.
Urban & opportunism
My ingrained imagery therefore apparently belongs in yellowed books from my youth such as " Wide Nature" and in wooden display cabinets of the local forest museum, not yet tainted by modern multimedia greed. Town development, urbanisation. It has become a cult word. "Urban' is a prefix that works. Urban clothing lines, urban music, philosophy, images, and so on. It is a global process of adaptation to our unbridled and ruthless exploitation of just about everything the world has to offer. Opportunism, which I learned to understand as a swear word, has now become a survival strategy.
If you like, you can see the flute in this composition as the old idea blending into the urbanised media landscape. So for me the weasel has become a composition that puts my feet back on the urban ground. A musical exercise that initiates my personal opportunistic survival process and puts a stop to my already palpable cynicism. A representation of an attempt to see life as it is and to love it a little bit again.
The English title
Although I prefer to think up Dutch titles for my work, I've chosen an English title here as a linguistic opportunistic equivalent for this music. Hence "The weasel is living in the lofts now".
The original title contained the word "on" (on the lofts), but in English one lives IN a loft.(An unintentional, but beautiful example of linguistic urbanisation perhaps?)This is why one letter was later changed in the title. The CD with this composition was released before this change, so it still bears the original title, also here on the website.
(Commissioned by Spectraensemble - Creation Ghent 2001, Flute Jan Vercruysse, Live Electronics Dirk Veulemans)
laatste update: 2021.06.07