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Walter Hus

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Walter Hus, besides being a composer, is chiefly a pianist and an improviser. From the age of ten he has performed as a concert pianist both in his native Belgium and abroad, appearing as a pianist-improviser from 1979. Hus was a member of the Belgian Piano Quartet and was connected with Maximalist!, a musical grouping set up in 1984, which attempted to tread a middle way between pop, rock, classical music and the avant-garde. The musician-composers who came together in this group (including Vermeersch, Sleichim, De Mey and Hus) had met a year previously in the context of the first choreography made by Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker (Rosas danst Rosas). Their image was determined strongly by influences from popular culture, an illustration of a particular mind-set which did not, however, automatically place their music outside the classic field. The music would seem best to be situated in the context of the New Simplicity, a movement that grew out of minimal music. A high degree of repetitiveness, microscopically varied rhythms and dynamics, the simple manipulation and transformation of motives, limited harmonic organisation and very minimal basic material are the most important characteristics of this trend. This tended to result in directly accessible music with a high degree of consonance. For the rest, it was chiefly the functional and discipline-crossing aspect that characterised Maximalist!: a strikingly large percentage of the music written by this collective is conceptually linked with other arts such as dance, theatre and film. This applies also to the music written by Hus after Maximalist!. Besides music for fashion shows, (e.g. Five to Five for Yamamoto (1984)), choreographies (e.g., Muurwerk [Wallwork] (1985), and Hic et Nunc for Roxane Huilmand (1991), and Devouring Muses for Irène Stamou (1997)) and films (The Pillow Book by Peter Greenaway, and Suite 16 by Dominique Deruddere), various of his compositions have been the result of collaborations with contemporary poets or playwrights (such as Stefan Hertmans [Francesco's Paradox], Peter Verhelst [One Day They Appeared], Jan Decorte [Meneer, de zot en tkint] and Jan Lauwers of Needcompany [Orfeo]).
Walter Hus has worked for Limelight in Kortrijk since 1996, at which time the refreshing new festival and CD label, Happy New Ears, was founded. At present he is working on a cycle of 24 preludes and fugues for various instrumentations.

list of works and work review:

Discography (selection)

Flanders Arts Institute

Expertise centre for performing arts, music and visual arts.