In Cycles, which consists of twenty short pieces, Peter-Jan Wagemans tries to realize a dream: creating a large-scale work that sits between jazz and modern. Wagemans takes inspiration from the small jazz ensembles at the Rotterdam Conservatory, where he teaches: ‘Jazz students who have developed an intelligent, almost Bach-like idiom, far removed from all jazz clichés’. He was also inspired by the five-part piece Silent Tongues by jazz pianist Cecil Taylor, famous for his polyrhythmic improvisations, and by the funky jazz LP Mysterious Traveller by the group Weather Report. The result is Cycles, written for drummer Friso van Wijck and pianist Matthijs van Wijhe.
Read the interview we did with Peter-Jan Wagemans about the piece Cycles, his inspirations, his choice of instruments and the advice he has for the new generation of composers.