Distortion, a hymn to liberty

In 2014 the Government of Flanders asked Dirk Brossé, Jef Neve and Frederik Sioen to compose a work together for this memorial concert. Three composers – with three different musical backgrounds – have been approached to create together a unique whole, a hymn. After much reading, historical research, healthy discussion and creative consultation, a leitmotif was finally found. Distortion, a Hymn to Liberty was born.

The title says it all. If a nation, a people was to achieve the ultimate liberty, distortion was needed. Many were torn from any restraint, no longer aware of what was up or down, good or evil. Fighting for freedom, in itself a contradiction, was the only way to live on, to survive.

It has turned out to be a unique piece of music in which each composer, with his own musical language, has given a personal interpretation of the theme ‘peace and liberty’. The three composers have worked independently and in complete freedom. Their only adhesive was a distinct love for a lyrical musical language and a boundless respect for each other’s talent. The result is a mosaic of unique moods, charged emotions and refined timbres.

The result received its première in Flagey, Brussels on the 21 April 2015 in presence of Minister-President Geert Bourgeois.

On 30 June 2016 Minister of Culture Sven Gatz and vice-Minister-president of North Rhine Westphalia, Sylvia Löhrmann, attended the concert "Distortion, a Hymn to Liberty," in Dusseldorf. The Flemish representatives in Germany organized this concert together on the occasion of Flanders Day and the 25th anniversary of cooperation Flanders - North Rhine-Westphalia. With huge support of the Projectteam “the Great War” and KBC Bank NV Niederlassung Deutschland.

Minister Gatz: “Three very diverse composers joined forces to create a musical composition for the commemoration of the First world War. Jef Neve, Frederik Sioen and Dirk Brossé, three world class artists, gave their own personal interpretation of the theme ‘peace and liberty’. It is a work of international standards, and the performance in Germany is highly symbolical.”