Outre-Meuse en bas (1994)
for six (also singing) players with: trombone, bombarde, accordion, vibraband, and four Hybrid Instruments (constructed by Ken Butler): Shovel, BrushAxe, HockeyGulf and CaneRackett, 20’
Commissioned by The D.I.Y.-Ensemble
There is water floating through the Belgian Wallony. A main water is ‘La Meuse’. A self-confident settlement is Liège. No, the self-confidence of the Liégeois does not extend from the Maas to the Memel - they are perfectly satisfied with their Meuse: she enters Liège, in the most central centre she splits herself into two arms which reunite tenderly after she has embraced: Outre-Meuse.
It is here where ‘La famille heureuse’ who marched off to rob 1 hifi-tower, 1 microwave, 1,000 Belgian francs, as well as drinks on the one hand, who marched off to break into Leopold the Younger’s house at 261 rue des Vennes to capture 1 portefeuille filled up with bank and identification documents, 200 Ecus in gold, as well as jewelry of value not to investigate on the other hand, it is here where they learn about Mr. Roger Lenertz who immortalized ‘their’ Titine. 70-year-old ladies are hit. 83-year-old ones are even poisoned. They perform little ‘coups de théâtre’ at the town council and after the Armistice Day you have - Allô! Communes...- no more doubt that: Il est des choses dont on ne rit pas!
In spite of the fact that three Liègian scoundrels, six Limburgers and two women did not draw more than a silly simper out of the 40-billion-a-year-turn-over parents DeClerck while they were broadcasting an appeal to the kidnappers of their ravishing Little-Anthony, ‘La Meuse’ does report to Papa Leclercq, the king of Persian carpets, and to the barracks of Fonck that the investigating police think of interrogating Mr. Lejoly (The Pretty?) the day he would have recovered to learn about what really has happened. And Fabienne, our top-model in New York who also once did arise from the centre of the Meuse jubilates: ‘I’m red-haired for a week now and I love it! When I cross the street there are all these guys who accost me and say: "Hey baby, don’t you say hey today!"!’ This would also have pleased the veteran of the 1st line of Verviers, the former prisoner of war, the holder of numerous decorations and honours who has died now, nevertheless.
Isn’t all this just the same in Bremen, Karlsruhe, Frankfurt, Freiburg, Berlin, and Eindhoven too?
(But, en bas d’Outre-Meuse they notice with stupefaction that most of New Orleans’ victims do know their murderers...)
"Outre-Meuse en bas" is dedicated to Gaby who didn’t look very happy on Thursday. But one could think that the week-end will offer her some reason to smile again.