Eurodressage received an update from Cees Slings, the Dutch kur composer who composed all of Anky's medal winning freestyles. For 2008, Slings and his company Slings Music Cast have many projects in store
and recently completed two with international Grand Prix riders Beatriz Ferrer Salat and Coby van Baalen. Read about Slings' endeavours here on Eurodressage.
"At the end of 2006, after 11 years of creating numerous musical (Olympic and World-cup) successes for Anky van Grunsven, Bonfire and Salinero, I established Slings Music Cast, a company specialised in freestyle dressage music. The following year, 2007, was focussed on Grand Prix level freestyles and choreographies, a.o. for Spanish rider Victor Alvarez, Olympic medalist Beatriz Ferrer-Salat, Dutch riders Coby & Marlies van Baalen and Austrian Victoria Max Theurer, the last one still in production. But there's more to come in 2008," Cees told Eurodressage.
Coby van Baalen and Ojay Rode Demo Show Freestyle at CDI-W Amsterdam
Slings Music Cast premiered its first 2008 freestyle in January. Prior to the World Cup dressage class at the CDI-W Amsterdam on Saturday afternoon, Dutch rider Coby van Baalen and Ojay (by Jazz x Formateur) performed her new freestyle dedicated to 50 special guests at a sold out Jumping Amsterdam. These guests, all disabled riders from the Prins Willem Alexander Stable Amsterdam also got another surprise; a limited edition CD of the new freestyle.
With Ojay ready to compete on Grand Prix level, Coby was in need of a new freestyle, but the idea for the music was already there. The new freestyle titled "Black Temptation" is a style icon of the music of the famous Dutch Gothic Metal group Within Temptation. Coby van Baalen became a huge fan of the band when Cees introduced her to their music a few years ago. One of the members of Slings Music Cast is heavily involved with the orchestral arrangements and production of the band's music; so it was an easy choice to use it for Coby's new kur.
Slings Music Cast adds a new service focussed on Junior/Young riders and Prix St George level music.
"It was just a matter of time, but over the last year we received many requests from Young and Junior riders all over the world. For high quality music productions, for fresh and original choreography ideas. In the past year all the special choreography movements designed by our team have already been used by others," Slings explains.
At the level of Young and Junior riders there's still much to improve, not only in music but also in choreography. Slings now hopes to help Junior and Young riders. "This is the level where dressage really starts to get public; for the riders, the audience and the sponsors." I will visit the Sunshine tour in March this year and I already have appointments with possible clients. It's also a nice break for us, some of our clients will be riding there and this area of Spain is truly wonderful.
The Beatriz Ferrer-Salat Project: the Fabergé freestyle, the Copa tunes, the website and more to come
Slings will spent more time this year in Spain. He starts with a visit to the Sunshine tour in March this year because he's working on a the production of a new Spanish television series about dressage, horses, riders, breeders and trainers. Working with Beatriz Ferrer-Salat was a revelation for him; he did not only compose her new freestyle but also the ceremonial tune and the price giving fanfare for the "Copa Ferrer-Salat," a special show series in Spain.
One thing led to another and at this moment he's developing a composer's contest together with SGAE, the Spanish Author's Organisation. The new "Copa Tune 2009" has to be composed by a Spanish composer and stimulates Spanish music composers to dedicate time to dressage freestyles.
"With the French graphic designer Remi Blot, we've developed the new personal website of Beatriz Ferrer-Salat, which will be launched soon. The Copa tunes and Ceremonial fanfares can be played on Beatriz' web-site' jukebox and there will also be a "making of" video of her new freestyle," Slings said. "Bea's website is state of art in many ways; streaming video's and a spectacular photo-navigation to explore Beatriz' career from the beginning. It has great photography by Arnd Bronkhorst and Dirk Caremans and features horse biographies (Beauvalais, Cassandro, Delgado, Fabergé and Peter Pan) and information from her team with fresh updates and comments from Beatriz herself. An interactive visit of her facilities is also available."
Cees Slings Looking Forward to 2008
"It's all part of my changed view, set in motion during 2006 after being involved with dressage music for almost 12 years. I got stranded working with the same persons and with fixed ideas. I want to explore and innovate. We came up with so many nice innovating things in the past, and so will we in the future. I hope to have some time left this year to work on my solo (saxophone) album, and spending more time in Spain with nice weather provides me with a lot of energy and creativity. I look forward to a year of composing and producing music for me and dressage; also writing scripts, filming and directing the new tv series. For me it doesn't matter where I'm based, with my studio and composing software on my laptop, a fast internet connection and I'm happy and ready to work. I'm not worried to get bored."
Slings explained that there are still new dressage clients calling him with one question only: make me something new, make something original. "We can provide that. Keep in mind that I'm still scared to death of horses but in the last year I've been closer to horses than all the years before. Victor Alvarez' Cava Iles made me proud, Beatriz riding on Beauvalais, Peter Pan and Fabergé brought tears of emotion and happiness to my eyes, the young Vici Max-Theurer dances with Salieri and she makes me smile; Coby van Baalen daring to ride on heavy guitars, Gothic metal style, I think is very cool and progressive. So for me, dressage has just begun."