Why did the glass organ, extremely popular in the 18th and 19th century, almost completely disappear from the globe? The story goes that the thin, hypnotic sound of the singing glasses can bring about a state of trance. Some people would even have gone insane...
Rogier Kappers, the Glass Grinder, collected hundreds of glasses and built the only glass organ of the Netherlands. On his transport bike, he rambles around, showing up on festivals, village squares and street corners, telling stories and enchanting his audiences with old and new songs -from Bach, Beatles and Brel- on the singing glasses.
“ Mesmerising...” (ARD, German tv)
“ Unbelievable...” (Podium Witteman, Dutch tv)
“ Virtuoso...” (Top 2000 a go go, Dutch tv)
“ Pure magic...” (Dubai Int.Street Festival)
“ Goose bumps...” (Audience reaction)
My show (25 minutes) is a combination of music and storytelling.
Rogier is standing behind his organ. A large glass rotates slowly and produces a deep drone tone. Rogier introduces himself, and tells that as a small boy he was already fascinated by the singing glass. Slowly, he starts playing on top of the drone tone. The sound of the glasses immediately captivates the audience. From here the performance takes off. Rogier has a varied repertoire of pop-evergreens and classical music. In between, he tells stories about his journey of discovery on glass. His repertoire includes music by The Beatles, Bach, Jacques Brel, Oasis, Abba, Simon & Garfunkel, Arvo Pärt, and songs like Summertime and House of the Rising Sun. At the end of his show, he invite the audience to have a look up close at the organ. People are curious and ask questions. They can try out to make a glass sing by themselves.
Special shows and collaborations
On demand, I offer special shows, longer or shorter. For example with only classic repertoire, or repertoire more focused on pop songs and sing alongs. A very special place has the music of the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt. I am passionate about his music, and his pervasive minimalist compositions seem to fit very well on glass. I compiled a small program around Pärts music.
I work together with other musicians and artists, for example:
* The Evening of Film Music, with the world renowned Dutch Metropole Orchestra
* Arrangements and live music (Glass & Piano) with silent films in the 'Eye National Film Institute' in Amsterdam
* Music for 'The Courage of Despair', a show by Dutch comic Hendrick Jan de Stuntman
* Live Performance with puppeteer Heike Klockmeier, Ambrella Figuren Theater (DE)
* I worked together with musicians who play instruments like the cello, violin, guitar, piano, singing saw etc.
* Contact me for possibilities
It’s a great discovery tour to find out which music fits well to glass. There is some music written for glass, even by composers like Mozart and Beethoven, but it's not much. And actually, my challenge is more to find and re-arrange songs and compositions which were never played on glass before. How would SOS from Abba sound, or Stairway to Heaven from Led Zeppelin. And Cohen, Brel, the Beatles? And singing with the glasses, how does that sound?
Next to pop evergreens and chansons, I re-arrange work of classical composers for glass: Bach, songs from Schubert, Schumann, and above all the music form the renowned Estonian composer Arvo Pärt. His pervasive minimalist compositions really seem to fit well to the sound of glass.
A Music Album
The coming year, I will be working on a music album in which I explore the possibilities of glass music in combination with other instruments and (harmony)singing. It will be a combination of adaptions of existing songs, and original compositions. Inscribe on my mailing list to be kept updated.
Music has always been important in my life. I play piano (as an amateur) since an early age, and later the accordion and guitar were added.
I worked as a documentary film maker for many years, and made several films on music. My 'moment of fame' was my feature-length music documentary Lomax the Songhunter. It was awarded with many prizes, among them a Golden Calf (Best Dutch documentary of the year) and an international Emmy award nomination.
Making music myself kept pulling me. As ten-year-old boy, I had seen a glass organ on television. The mesmerising and hypnotic sound touched something deep inside of me, and the idea to build one myself has been there since. At age 52, I decided to turn the wheel of my life and do it! Nobody believed me, but I persisted. It was an amazing journey of discovery. I collected hundreds glasses from shops all over the country, and started to build, rebuild, finding repertoire, rehearsing... I progressed slowly but steadily.
And now, 7 years later, I can live partly from my performances with the glasses. At the same time, I'm making the documentary 'Glass' about this seven year adventure for Dutch (KRO/NCRV) and international television . It will be released and broadcasted in 2023. Join my mailing list and I will keep you updated.
I don’t want anything else anymore, only spin and grind my glasses, and let all and sundry listen to it. Since 4 years, I am touring the cities and countryside of Europe, playing on festivals and on the street. I played for example at Oerol / Netherlands, La Strada Bremen / Germany, Out There/ UK, Kleines Fest /Germany, Tollwood/ Germany, International Street Festival Dubai etc.
But I also love to play as a busker, just out on the streets, so you might find me next to your grocery store, at the train station, in front of the IKEA on your saturday out, or in a small off track street in some provincial town.
Tour dates 2023
3-4 maart STRFSTVL
2 april Slot Zeist
6 mei Binz, KlockenStaunen, Germany
20 mei Storioni Muziekfestival , Eindhoven (optie)
28 mei Festival Muziekcentrum Bijloke , Gent , Belgium
2, 3 juni Bachus Wijn festival Amsterdam (optie)
4 juni Achterhoek Spektakel tour
10 Juni Bremen festival, Germany
18 Juni Potsdam Fahrad concert, Germany
24 Juni Harderwijk Straat festival
8-9 juli Eschdorf, open dag Waterzuivering, Luxemburg
15 juli Kindermuziekfeest Tolhuistuin, Amsterdam (option)
27 juli Knokke Heist , Zomerfeest, Belgie
29 juli-12 aug. Zomeravonden concerten, Openluchtmuseum, Arnhem
18-20 aug Limburg Festival
24 sept Schloss Dijck, Duitsland
13-22 okt Vonk Lichtkunst festival, Fort Honswijk, Houten
17 nov. Orgelnacht Essen , Germany
Tour dates 2022
27 feb. Buitengewoon Festival-diner, NL
8-10 april Ieper, Belgie
20-21 mei. Arvo Pärt Festival Partpetuum, Delft
24-25 mei Cultuurdag VMBO Woerden
26 mei Krang Festival Hengelo, NL
28 mei IJsel theater, Kunst-fietsroute, Olst
18 juni Esens Festival, DU
24-25 juni. Kulturpark festival, Gaggenau, DU
5 juli-31 juli. Kleines Fest im Grossen Garten, Hannover, DU
11 juli. Kunst fietsroute Berlare, Belgie
6-7 augustus Fest der Fantasie, Koningsberg, DU
19-20 aug. Potsdammer Schlossnacht, Potsdam, DU
10 sept. Emmen, opening Cultureel seizoen
17-18 sep. Out There Festival, Great Yarmouth, UK
19-23 okt. Puppet International, Meppel, NL
18-20 nov. Avond Filmmuziek, Ziggo Dome, Amsterdam, NL
30 nov-4 dec Tollwood Festival, Munchen, DU
17 dec Wintermagie, Overijsse, Belgie
Tour dates 2021
3-4 sept. StadtGrabenfest Wolfenbütel, Duitsland
20-21 aug. Potsdamer Schlössernacht, Duitsland
31 juli / 1 aug. Fest der Fantasie, Koningswinter, Duitsland
26-27 juni Kulturpark Fest, Gaggenau, Duitsland
6 Juni Esens, Duitsland
Tour dates 2020
9-12 december Tollwood Festival, Munchen
24 okt. Rode Bioscoop, Amsterdam
15-19 okt. (Canceled) Hapas Route, Puppet Festival
8 oktober Speelklok Museum, Utrecht
4 oktober Piazza Cultura, Tilburg
20 september Rode Bioscoop, Amsterdam
6 september (Canceled) Bergfest am Piesberg, Osnabruck
23 augustus Hoogte 80, Theaterterras, Arnhem
28/29-8 (Canceled) Stadtgrabenfest Wolfenbuttel
14/15-8 (Canceled) Schlössernacht, Potsdam
1/2-8 (Canceled) Koningswinter, Duitsland
13-6 (Canceled) Kunstfestival Esens, Duitsland
30-5 (Canceled) Paderborn, Duitsland
10/12-4 (Canceled) Ieper, Belgium
6-4 (Canceled) Lente festival, Zeist
16/17-2 Strtfestvl Utrecht
27/29-1 Kulturborse Freiburg, Duitsland
Tour dates 2019
14-15 december Scrooge Festival, Arcen
13 december Kerstfestival Ettelbruck, Luxemburg
3 november Vest in Alkmaar, Alkmaar
1 oktober Live muziek bij Regen, Joris Ivens, Eye
20 september Opening seizoen Delden Klassiek, Delden
15 september Feest Zorgkwekerij Diepenveen
14 september Kunstfestival Schiebroek, Rotterdam
8 september Noorderparkfestival, Amsterdam
29 augustus Nacht van Nunspeet
26-27 augustus Paderborn Festival
25 augustus Boecult XL, Boekel
18-28 juli Kleines Fest im Grossen Garten, Hannover,
29 Juni Simmerdeis festival, Drachten
18-23 juni Oerol, Terschelling
14-16 juni La Strada, International Street
9-10 juni Kunst fietsroute Deventer
2 juni Art of Wonder Festival, Assen
31 mei-1 juni Zwolle Unlimited, Zwolle
30 mei Hoogte 80 Festival, Arnhem
26 mei Het Pioenroos concert, dorpskerk
25 mei Fries Straattheaterfestival, Leeuwarden
18 mei Kunsten op Straat festival, Hengelo
7 April Straattheaterfestival, Slot Zeist
19 maart OGO conferentie, Wageningen
3 Maart Torpedo Theater, Amsterdam