Australian percussionist Claire Edwardes and Dutch born Niels Meliefste met in 2000 at the Tromp Percussion Competition in Eindhoven, The Netherlands – there they were awarded first and second place and since then they have been perfecting the art of playing percussion together. In April 2005, as Duo Vertigo, they were awarded third prize in the prestigious “Gaudeamus International Interpreters Competition”.
Duo Vertigo has been in existence for only six years and already the repertoire they have accumulated is huge. Since 2001 they have presented concerts in venues such as De Doelen, Rotterdam and the Vredenburg, Utrecht and have toured throughout Germany, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Australia. Recently Duo Vertigo was involved in several improvisation projects including a dance party in the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam presented by MTV Fusion.
One of the primary aims of the duo is to aid in building the serious percussion duo repertoire and performance technique. Already they have had more than twenty new pieces written for them, which have become part of their regular repertoire. They work regularly with Dutch, Australian, American and British composers including Andrew Ford, Cliff Crego, Matthew Shlomowitz and Edward Top.
They were awarded the J.H.O. Montauben-Ballintijn Fonds by Prins Bernhard Fonds to travel to the Banff Centre, Canada in 2004 to record their debut CD, Vertigo One.
- Claire Edwardes percussion
- Niels Meliefste percussion
Duo Vertigo CD review by Peter McCallum, Sydney Morning Herald December 2-3, 2006
Stylish precision and poised clarity characterise this enterprising disc of new percussion music by the brilliantly versatile Duo Vertigo (Claire Edwardes and Niels Meliefste).
Jane Stanley’s Celestial Dance is softly pointed and flows rather than stomps. The five pieces from Cliff Crego’s The Magic Box are among the disc’s most interesting for their concise simplicity and precisely crafted cross rhythms in a performance that etches the peaks of phrases with finely articulated colour.
The drummed-out single notes and less developed textures of Ned McGowan’s Urban Turban needs more self-critical editing to weed out the uninteresting ideas. Quadrivium 1 by Sydney composer Drew Crawford is most effective for its overall shape, tracing an arc from high tapping wood (marimba) down and back to receding metallic haze. Samuel Vriezen’s Toccata III creates an extended shimmering sound web of cross rhythm, like being hypnotised by light on water.
Benedict Weisser’s Study for Four Hands is a lively but prosaic exercise in heavy chords while Giel Vleggaar’s Come Here Often? consists of a percussion accompaniment to recorded pick-up lines by female voices which, being a bit over-eager, falls flat.