If you have looked into My Music, you probably read about the band Mirage, with which I have been playi8ng and making music for years now, both in the Netherlands and abroad. Time for an introduction!
MIRAGE is a Dutch band with its own vision. It is different, fresh, pure and honest. Its sound can be described as a mixture of classical, jazz and pop music – a unique style has developed since their formation in 1988. The foursome of Bert Flas (drums), Ron Giebels (guitar, vocals), Clemens Hoffman (piano, vocals) and Dennis Huyer (bass guitar) has performed on numerous stages throughout Europe. Three of the four band members have a classical music education. That influence is evident in much of their music. The band has worked closely with a wide variety of orchestras, including:
Noordhollands Philharmonisch Orkest (the Netherlands).
In Haarlem (NL), March 1990, Mirage performed with a string ensemble for the first time. This was the beginning of their use of classical instruments in their music.
Schönberg Ensemble (USA),
Several Mirage songs were recorded in Los Angeles in February 1992 and March 1993, released by World International Records in Vienna (Austria). The Schönberg Ensemble contributed to a brilliant recording in the Universal studios, conducted by Don Williams.
Sinfonie Orchester Aachen (Germany)
Mirage’s compositions and their collaboration with musicians in Los Angeles inspired Don Williams (brother of the famous film music composer John Williams) to conduct and arrange some Mirage songs for the album “Living on a line”, released by Multi-disc (NL) in 1997.
The string ensemble was made up of musicians from the Noordhollands Philharmo-nisch Orkest (NL), and the Sinfonie Orchester Aachen (Germany)
Sinfonie Orchester Aachen” (Germany)
Mirage performed the world premiere of the musical production “Catherine”, written by Seth Gaaikema and Klaas van Dijk (June – September 1998, Germany). During 98 performances in Theater Aachen (Germany) with a sizeable symphony orchestra, Mirage impressed the media and audience (over 50,000 enthusiastic visitors), as well as the musical and technical team, with their consistently professional performances and positive personal input.
Düsseldorfer Symphoniker (Germany).
From 2001 to 2003, Mirage took a sabbatical to write new songs, and arrangements for band and symphony orchestra.
Since 1996, MIRAGE has produced three CDs – “Fields of vision” (1996), “Living on a line” (1997 – 1999, distributed by Multidisc in Hilversum, NL) and “1999” – all of which were favourably received by the media and music lovers alike. The album “1999” had its debut in the Maastricht Kumulus theatre in a gala concert presented by Amnesty International.
A percussion ensemble, a modern dance performance, top musicians, singers, solo-ists (classical as well as modern) and projections on a huge video screen. The result was a wonderfully varied programme. In October 2000, MIRAGE were joined by a choir and 100 musicians for the “NIGHT OF THE PROMS 2000” in Vaals, which was attended by many enthusiastic music fans.
A promotional tour to China in 2004, presenting their new programme and album, was a great success. Since then, they have worked on several projects and given performances in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg and Germany.
In March 2013, Mirage signed a distribution contract for their album “Living on a line“ with Red Admiral Records in London, UK.
Recent memorable performances include a special concert for refugees in the Ton-halle (Düsseldorf, Germany) in March 2016, with members of the Düsseldorfer Sym-phoniker.
A brand new album, programme and tour are planned for 2018, Mirage´s 30th birth-day!
Mirage’s history in a nutshell
1988. Mirage is formed
1989. Performances at various venues in the Netherlands and Germany
1990. First concert with a large string ensemble
1991. 2nd place in the band competition Phytische Spelen in Enschede (NL)
1992. – 1993 Recording Mirage songs in Los Angeles, released by World Interna-tional Records
1993. 2nd place in the Dutch national band competition Popslag on Radio 2 (VA-RA)
1993. On tour in France
1994. On tour in France and Monaco
1996 Mirage’s first single “Fields of Vision”
1997. Mirage’s first album “Living on a line”, released by Multidisc (NL)
1998. World premiere of the musical Catherine in the Theater in Aachen (Germa-ny) with over 50.000 enthusiastic visitors.
1999. Album presentation of “1999” during an extended concert presented by Amnesty International.
2000. Mirage performs at the Night of the Proms in Vaals (NL) presented by RABO-bank.
2002 – 2003 sabbatical to write new material
2004. On tour in China, MTV interview and live performances
2005. Theatre concerts in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and Luxemburg.
2013. Distribution contract with Red Admiral Records in London, UK
2016. Special performance for refugees with members of the Düsseldorfer Symphoniker
2018. A brand new album, programme and tour are planned for 2018, Mirage’s 30th birthday!
Mirage band members
Bert is the drummer of the band. He currently works as a percussionist/timpani play-er in several renowned symphony orchestras in Europe. On graduating in percussion and drums at the Maastricht conservatoire, he was awarded the Edmond Hustinx prize and a scholarship to study in the US. During his studies, Bert worked as a freelance musician. He started his first job as principal percussionist/timpani player of the Noordhollands Philharmonic Orchestra (the Netherlands).
In May 1991, he became principal timpani player/ percussionist of the Symphony Orchestra Aachen (Germany). At the moment, Bert is the principal timpani player of the Düsseldorfer Symphoniker (Germany). Since 2002 he has been a member of the Richard Wagner Festival orchestra in Bayreuth, Germany. In 1989, he became the drummer of MIRAGE. His creativity as a musician, producer, songwriter and design-er for logos and layouts is indispensable for the band. Friendship and professional teamwork characterise Bert’s relationship with his fellow band members.
Clemens has been part of the band from the start. As a singer, pianist and songwrit-er, Clemens has a strong influence on the sound of the band. Since completing his classical piano and composition studies, he has devoted most of his time to song writing, and with some success. In 1992, he was invited to work on a music produc-tion in Los Angeles. Cooperating with many famous American musicians – such as Ray Pizzi (Madonna), Tampa L. Lann (Michael Jackson) and Melvis Davis (Chaka Khan) – Clemens was able to record eight of his own pieces for World International Records (W.I.R).
Apart from his work with MIRAGE, he has contributed to various musicals and clas-sical productions and set up his own teaching practice. He has also produced several CDs and written two piano books.
Dennis has been involved in MIRAGE as a bass player since the end of 1992. He has played in a number of bands and pop music collectives. This dedicated musician, who developed his technical skills in practice, easily adapts to any musical style.
Ron contributes to the band’s repertoire as a guitarist and a songwriter. He studied classical guitar with Kees Dirkx at Conservatorium Maastricht from 1985 to 1990. During this period, he played in various classical orchestras, including Rodrigo’s “Concerto de Aranguez”. After his classical guitar studies, he studied jazz guitar with Olaf Tarenskeen in The Hague for two years and with Jan Formannoy in Maastricht for four years.
Apart from his work with MIRAGE Ron regularly performs with orchestras and en-sembles in Luxemburg, playing a variety of different musical styles. For the last few years, Ron has been concentrating on composing and arranging pieces for string ensemble and rock band. His workshops for classical and electric guitar in Luxem-burg are very popular. Ron has worked as a teacher of classical and electric guitar at the Conservatoire du Nord in Luxemburg–Diekirch for thirteen years.
Curious? Click here to listen to the Mirage Album Living on a Line.