Pestilence`s Joost Van Der Graaf Explores Medieval Dancing Plagues with experimental prog/funk project Choreomanic.
The band saw the light when the world came to a halt in spring 2020. With cancelled tours and no local gigs, musician Joost W. Van Der Graaf started writing music in which different influences from his past came together.
As soon as the material was there he reached out to some great players to record with him. Once mixed and mastered at Nutsville Noiselab, The Hague, the album Choreomanic was a fact. Joost Van Der Graaf has long been fascinated by the concept of Choreomania and the Medieval Dancing plagues. With today’s reality the phenomenon seems to have become relevant once again!
This project is not only a musical statement but also a call to action against (cultural) oppression. May everyone move and create in freedom!
All music & lyrics by Joost W. Van Der Graaf
Thijs Ronteltap: Keys
Jeroen Verberne: Trombone
Tommie Freke: Saxophone
Gidon Nunes Vaz: Trumpet & Bugel
Koen Herfst: Drums
Joost W. van der Graaf: Bass, Sampling, Voice & Percussion
Michiel Eilbracht: Mix & Master
Horn melodies on Away From The Sun based on original ideas for guitar and keys, by Andy Judd & Thijs Ronteltap All horn arrangements by Tommie Freke.
Produced by Michiel Eilbracht & Joost van der Graaf
1. This is not a drill
2. Spun Sugar
3. What you get
4. Red flags
5. Choreomanic 02:17
6. Walk with urgency
7. Off with the figurehead
8. Time To Let It Out 02:08
9. Calling God
10. Take the money give it to me now
11. Story about the moon
12. Away from the sun
The track Time To Let It Out,
The album features twelve bass-orientated tracks experimenting in realms of prog, funk, and everything else on the planet that has musically inspired Graaf over his thirty-plus year career. The full length’s lyrical concept explores Choreomania, an uncontrollable urge to dance, especially in a frenzied, convulsive manner also known as the Medieval Dancing plagues. Graaf explains in further detail:
«In 2019, I became pretty obsessed by the mysterious dancing plagues of the middle-ages. I started reading different studies, learning about the different theories about the cause. It’s still one of the biggest unsolved mysteries in history! One of the theories that made the most sense to me is that people had been suppressed by the ruling class (church, inquisition) for generations. There was collective fear of God and let’s not forget about the black plague! So there was this anxiety relief at a certain point that became infectious and caused convulsions and psychotic dancing, resulting in exhaustion, dehydration, and even death».
«It spread across Europe and there were large gatherings in towns and villages with frantically dancing people, accompanied by traveling musicians and all kinds of interested parties. These things sometimes became true festivals with people selling food, etc. With today’s reality, the phenomenon seems to have become relevant once again! This project is not only a musical statement, but also a call to action against (cultural) oppression. May everyone move and create in freedom!».
Joost Van Der Graaf grew up w,ith metal on his mind, but also with beautiful things like Mr. Bungle, John Zorn, Zappa, and King Crimson…. In the past he was either co-creator and/or bassist with
Creepmime, Ichaos & Dew-Scented. At this present time he is also a proud member of Dutch iconic metal act Pestilence, appearing on the album Exitivm.
Horn melodies on Away From The Sun based on original ideas for guitar and keys, by Andy Judd & Thijs Ronteltap All horn arrangements by Tommie Freke