picture by Bache Jespers
Eric Thielemans is currently a musician-in-residence at Vooruit (Gent), and affiliated as a researcher in the Arts at both the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, and the Royal Conservatoire in Antwerp until the end of 2020.
As a genre crossing/blending percussionist with a classically trained ear, Eric Thielemans has worked his way via jazz drumming and free improvisation towards his own realms in Music & Performance. Grown from a teenager in the mid Eighties to a contemporary professional - for him along with fellow artists from the same generation - a multi-disciplinary way of work comes naturally.
From the very start of his career up until now, Eric Thielemans has always been interested in Performing Arts, Theatre, Visual Arts, Poetry, Dance and beyond. Consequently he has worked with a wide range of sound/visual artists, performers, dancers, et al.
For the past couple of years he has been focusing on the development of a body of solo works, challenging the borders of percussion: His first acclaimed solo work “a Snare is a Bell” was released on vinyl in 2007 by the Antwerp based label Ultra Eczema (UE49). In 2009, another CD-R with solo works was released on E.T.’s own OORWERK label. In March 2012, the release of the double CD ‘Earr plays a Snare is a Bell” on Subrosa captured both his “a Snare is a Bell” cycle (including his former solo piece) and a new ensemble approach of the work titled “EARR plays a Snare is a Bell”. In April 2014, his solo album SPRANG was released by the Berlin based label MIASMAH. In 2016 the British label KESH digitally released AURAL MIST, the music of a sound installation by visual artist Vaast Colson and Eric Thielemans, January 2015, at Stadslimiet in Antwerp. Bata Baba Loka (OORWERK/2018), his latest solo album, was recorded in Florida, and features Thielemans primarily playing the drums.
Lately his interests have expanded to include the research and reflective space around his practise and work and bring them into a more formal place.
After his first 1-year artistic research (2018) into/on the “zero-degree” of places, called “The color in shadow” at both the Royal Academy of Antwerp and the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp, Thielemans is now doing a 2 year (2019-2020) research project 'Techniques of Resonance', wherein he focusses on how artists, through their practices, create dialogue, connecting their interior world with the experienced exterior. For this Thielemans picks up on a reflective writing practice, Notes on Blindness, which he started in 2010.
He has been teaching as a guest lecturer at both the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp and the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Antwerp, where in 2016, together with visual artist and artistic researcher Nico Dockx he co-organised a masterclass for students of the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp, the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Antwerp and the Department of Sociology of the University of Antwerp.
Recently, Eric Thielemans has composed for and collaborated with:
Billy Hart (“Talking about the Weather”), Arocha-Schraenen (“work in progress, release april 2020), Anna Konjetsky (“Ein Bein Hier Und Ein Bein Dort”), Pierre Droulers (“Soleils”), Laure Delamotte-Legrand (“Dolldrums”), cie Berlin (Jeruzalem”, “Remember the Dragons"), Schweigman& (“ERF”), Chantal Acda (“The Sparkle in our Flaws”, “Bounce Back", “Puwawau”), Trio together with Mika Vainio & Charlemagne Palestine (album to be released April 2020) , Marshall Allen (Sun Ra), Tape Cuts Tape, Distance Light & Sky, Jozef Dumoulin, Trevor Dunn, Shahzad Ismaily, Vaast Colson, Nico Dockx, and many more.