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Weval & Metropole Orkest: the magic of two worlds in unison

Thursday, 14 October 2021
ADE 2021 marks the fifth year the multiple Grammy winning Metropole Orkest invites an artist or group for a special opening night concert. Weval had the honour to perform their warm, electronic sounds together with the orchestra in front of a live audience, after 1,5 years of silence.

Fifty orchestra musicians, the duo known as Weval behind the synths, dynamic visual art on back-drop curtains and a crowd ready to lose their minds: anybody present at the ADE special at Melkweg is in for a treat on ADE Wednesday.

Who else could better share his thoughts on what went down on the opening night rather than music journalist Timo Pisart? As senior editor at 3VOOR12 and guest on the previous episode of ADE in Conversation, Pisart was all ears and took the time to talk to us after the show.

Looking back at the last episode of ADE in Conversation, where you mentioned the ADE special as a personal highlight; how do you feel about that now? You expected the combination of classical music and the electronic works of Weval to be slightly strange.

‘I still feel the same, but it was really interesting to see how at some points in the show it worked, and they really pushed each other to great heights. For example, Doesn’t Do Anything is a great pop song and has a good and catchy hook, but with the Metropole Orkest backing it up, the song gets an amazing depth to it.’


Fifty orchestra musicians, the duo known as Weval behind the synths, dynamic visual art on back-drop curtains and a crowd ready to lose their minds: anybody present at the ADE special at Melkweg is in for a treat on ADE Wednesday.

Who else could better share his thoughts on what went down on the opening night rather than music journalist Timo Pisart? As senior editor at 3VOOR12 and guest on the previous episode of ADE in Conversation, Pisart was all ears and took the time to talk to us after the show.

Looking back at the last episode of ADE in Conversation, where you mentioned the ADE special as a personal highlight; how do you feel about that now? You expected the combination of classical music and the electronic works of Weval to be slightly strange.

‘I still feel the same, but it was really interesting to see how at some points in the show it worked, and they really pushed each other to great heights. For example, Doesn’t Do Anything is a great pop song and has a good and catchy hook, but with the Metropole Orkest backing it up, the song gets an amazing depth to it.’


Weval's
dream come true

For Harm Coolen, getting the chance to do a performance like this, is a long-cherished dream come true. Coolen makes up fifty percent of Weval, a Dutch electronic duo that is widely known for their swelling, warm, electronic sounds, that fill dance floors and move concert halls. How they first came in contact with Metropole Orkest is simpler than you might expect; they got an e-mail with the invitation to work together, which they immediately replied ‘yes’ to.

After the concert, Coolen, still beaming with pride and adrenaline, tells us how he experienced the night: ‘When I was about thirteen years old, I biked to high school one day with Nothing Else Matters by Metallica playing on my earphones. That's when I knew what was all I ever wanted: to one day perform in front of a live audience with a show just as epic. Tonight, I felt like I finally made that happen.’

It wasn’t all that easy to make the concert a success just at once, he explains. ‘Bringing two worlds together, classical and our own, was a bit of a clash at times. We gave a little, we got a little. Both parties brought something to the table that was their own, and we were very late with combining the pieces. I mean, a few weeks ago, we didn’t even know if ADE would actually happen this year. We were very excited when we heard the good news, and got to work right away.'

'Merijn and I were very impressed with how much beautiful music the Metropole Orkest wrote, based on and on top of our own work. That's truly something we couldn't have done ourselves.’


A lot of people wanted to see, hear, and feel the conjunction of the two, as the ADE opening special at Melkweg was quickly sold-out. Both Weval and Metropole were fired up with energy from the big round of applause when the concert started, but how did Coolen himself feel, on stage? ‘The most nerve-wracking thing was timing everything perfectly’, he tells us. Harm Coolen and Merijn Scholte-Albers are self-proclaimed nerds; as they work with drum computers and music software Ableton. ‘The Orkest works with sheet music of course, so if I would be just a tad off, or start only a second late, everything would fall to pieces.’

For Harm Coolen, getting the chance to do a performance like this, is a long-cherished dream come true. Coolen makes up fifty percent of Weval, a Dutch electronic duo that is widely known for their swelling, warm, electronic sounds, that fill dance floors and move concert halls. How they first came in contact with Metropole Orkest is simpler than you might expect; they got an e-mail with the invitation to work together, which they immediately replied ‘yes’ to.

After the concert, Coolen, still beaming with pride and adrenaline, tells us how he experienced the night: ‘When I was about thirteen years old, I biked to high school one day with Nothing Else Matters by Metallica playing on my earphones. That's when I knew what was all I ever wanted: to one day perform in front of a live audience with a show just as epic. Tonight, I felt like I finally made that happen.’

It wasn’t all that easy to make the concert a success just at once, he explains. ‘Bringing two worlds together, classical and our own, was a bit of a clash at times. We gave a little, we got a little. Both parties brought something to the table that was their own, and we were very late with combining the pieces. I mean, a few weeks ago, we didn’t even know if ADE would actually happen this year. We were very excited when we heard the good news, and got to work right away.'

'Merijn and I were very impressed with how much beautiful music the Metropole Orkest wrote, based on and on top of our own work. That's truly something we couldn't have done ourselves.’


A lot of people wanted to see, hear, and feel the conjunction of the two, as the ADE opening special at Melkweg was quickly sold-out. Both Weval and Metropole were fired up with energy from the big round of applause when the concert started, but how did Coolen himself feel, on stage? ‘The most nerve-wracking thing was timing everything perfectly’, he tells us. Harm Coolen and Merijn Scholte-Albers are self-proclaimed nerds; as they work with drum computers and music software Ableton. ‘The Orkest works with sheet music of course, so if I would be just a tad off, or start only a second late, everything would fall to pieces.’


Luckily for them, the evening went by smoothly and without any hiccups. Hits like dance floor filler Gimme Some are being brought to life in a trombone and violin version, and when the fifty-headed orchestra gets the floor for trumpet solo’s, long drum sessions, and groovy jazz pieces, the magic of the two worlds combined reaches a peak and makes Melkweg trembling at the seams.

Lévi Smulders, dance promotor at Melkweg, tells us how the pop temple prepared for the ADE special in such a short period of time. ‘We’re really happy that ADE is finally happening again. A few weeks back, we didn't think we could welcome all these people by now. Not just tonight, but the rest of the week as well. It feels so good to be open again, so we look forward to next year, where we can open again at full speed.'

When questioned what he looks forward to most this week, he replies: 'As a lover of the night, I really miss programming DJs during the dark hours. It’s amazing to see that a lot can happen during the day, but I do really miss night life. There are a few personal highlights at Melkweg this week, like friend-of-the-house Dave Clarke, with his ‘Dave Clarke presents’ show he does for a small number of fans. We're bringing him back next year, to go all-out.'

'Another personal highlight I look forward to is Tinlicker on Friday, and Identified Patient & mad miran on ADE Sunday.’ When the subject lands on how busy he is before and during the ADE week, Smulders explains that it doesn't stop there- he's already booking and programming acts for ADE 2022. 'Hopefully, we regain the night by next year. Nothing tops nightlife’, he exclaims.


Luckily for them, the evening went by smoothly and without any hiccups. Hits like dance floor filler Gimme Some are being brought to life in a trombone and violin version, and when the fifty-headed orchestra gets the floor for trumpet solo’s, long drum sessions, and groovy jazz pieces, the magic of the two worlds combined reaches a peak and makes Melkweg trembling at the seams.

Lévi Smulders, dance promotor at Melkweg, tells us how the pop temple prepared for the ADE special in such a short period of time. ‘We’re really happy that ADE is finally happening again. A few weeks back, we didn't think we could welcome all these people by now. Not just tonight, but the rest of the week as well. It feels so good to be open again, so we look forward to next year, where we can open again at full speed.'

When questioned what he looks forward to most this week, he replies: 'As a lover of the night, I really miss programming DJs during the dark hours. It’s amazing to see that a lot can happen during the day, but I do really miss night life. There are a few personal highlights at Melkweg this week, like friend-of-the-house Dave Clarke, with his ‘Dave Clarke presents’ show he does for a small number of fans. We're bringing him back next year, to go all-out.'

'Another personal highlight I look forward to is Tinlicker on Friday, and Identified Patient & mad miran on ADE Sunday.’ When the subject lands on how busy he is before and during the ADE week, Smulders explains that it doesn't stop there- he's already booking and programming acts for ADE 2022. 'Hopefully, we regain the night by next year. Nothing tops nightlife’, he exclaims.

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