Peter Jacquemyn moves easily between the visual arts and music. He is a sculptor working, for example, wood with a chain saw - some examples of his work can be seen here - but also a self-taught bass player. Although he is a longstanding member of the Belgian WIM - Werkgroep Improviserende Muzikanten (WIM) (Association of Improvising Musicians) - playing concerts since 1984, he has only recently begun to release recordings. This amazing gap of fifteen years was based on Jacquemyn's view that improvised music changes every time it is played (and listened to) and that it should not be controlled and ossified by recording. His first recordings were released in 1999 (three of them) and one of these (the duo with Gunda Gottschalk), together with the later solo disc, were a deliberate attempt to present a range of possibilities recorded over a period of time rather than the documentation of a live situation.
He has played in a wide variety of ad hoc situations with musicians such as Fred Van Hove, Jacques Palinckx, Peter Kowald, Conrad Bauer, Wolfgang Fuchs, Takashi Yamane, La Donna Smith, Jo Truman, Michael Moore, Ernst Reijseger, Floros Floridis, Daunik Lazro, Barre Phillips, Roger Turner, John Edwards, Joëlle Léandre, and Phil Minton.
Current working groups include:
André Goudbeek Quartet with Bart Maris, trumpet and Dirk Wauters, percussion
V2 duo with André Goudbeek
trio with Jeffrey Morgan, saxophone and Mark Sanders, percussion
duo with Gunda Gottschalk, violin
Dubbelduo with Peter Kowald, Jeffrey Morgan and André Goudbeek
duo with Geurt Grossfled, flute
He has also worked with dancers such as Maria Clara Villa-Lobos (Brazil), Fien Sulmont (Belgium) and Anouk Llaurent (France).
Jacquemyn shows a tremendous physicality when he plays, using drink cans, nails, two bows and sometimes all at once. He has said: 'I try to break down the barriers between my instrument and myself: I want to get insude, to be my bass. I don't think while I play, everything just happens; every action produces sound, every sound brings new ideas, the music makes itself. A bass is such a wonderful thing, a big piece of wood and four strings which you can pluck or bow or hammer or caress or... you just don't have enough hands to do it all. It can sound like a big drum or whisper like a small Tibetan fiddle. This instrument can support almost everything: sometimes I want a sound large like a cathedral, sometimes it has to be soft, like silk, sometimes it has to be sharp like a knife.'
(See top of page for the discography compiled on this site)
1995-9, E pericoloso sporgersi, Valve #7099. Gottschalk/Jacquemyn.
1998, Sign of the raven, Üton CD15. Jacquemyn/Morgan/Sanders.
1999, Kontrabass solo, Logos Publiek Domein LPD 005.
2001, Deep music, Free elephant 003. Peter Kowald in duo with William Parker and with Peter Jacquemyn.
2002, Open density, Forward.rec 04. Bechegas/Goodbeek/Jacquemyn.