Flat Earth Society Orchestra

The music of FES, varying from strictly written sheet music to liberating improvisation, is 95% home-made. Streaks of music of other composers are use

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Boggamasta 2018

Flat Earth Society / David Bovée

David Bovée was the first Flat Earth Society (FES) guitarist from 1999 till 2003. After four years he left the band to develop his own project "Think of One" (BBC Radio 3 World Music Award in 2004 and 2007). Whether they worked with throat singers from Greenland, Gnawa musicians from Morocco or Brazilian virtuosos, they achieved an exciting melting pot of music.
Peter Vermeersch is the composer and band leader of Flat Earth Society, a 15-piece band best known for its ecclectic sound and live performance. Vermeersch was a.o. the producer of the first dEUS album, wrote the music for Rosas dances Rosas, and was the founder of X-Legged Sally.

World music was never really Vermeersch' thing, but when ‘Theater aan Zee’ (TAZ) invited both men to embark on a project with an ensemble of Gambian musicians in 2013, the experimental urge couldn’t be ignored. They traveled to The Gambia where they lived and worked with local musicians for several weeks. Of course, the focus was on the creation of the project for TAZ, but their collaboration resulted in the germination of a new project, this time wíth Flat Earth Society.
And they didn’t have to look hard for inspiration. In The Gambia, they saw the country leader parading the streets of Banjul. The escort consisted of a number of hummers and majorettes, in uniform and with batons. As a proper dictator, he literally sprinkled money on the streets from one of the hummers open roof. The "Boggamasta" (a corruption of the Dutch word ‘burgemeester’, which means mayor ) considered himself almighty, would rule for a billion years, and did not shy away from killing political opponents or prosecuting homosexuals.

It would be unfair to focus the Boggamasta story only on African countries or The Gambia; to paraphrase the great philosopher Benny Hill:

"Boggamasta is everywheeeeere !" In politics, in crime, at the petanque club, in the music world, in the economy and let’s face it, also deep inside ourselves.

Bovée and Vermeersch went to work, wrote numbers and came up with raw and critical lyrics, instruments and cast were adapted:
No acoustic piano, no vibrafone, no scores. Pierre Vervloesem switched from guitar to electric bass, and together with drummer Teun Verbruggen, keyboardplayer Peter Vandenberghe and double bassplayer Kristof Roseeuw (also on violin) they make up for a steamy and groovy rhythm section.

To really come to temperature you need brass, lots of brass. With Marc Meeuwissen and Peter Delannoye on trombone and Bart Maris and Thomas Mayade on trumpet. The saxophone section consists of Michel Mast, Bruno Vansina and Benjamin Boutreur.

The tubaplayer Berlinde Deman also excels as a vocalist in the title song Boggamasta.
Vermeersch and Bovée lead the ceremony; one with different vocal parts, electronics and clarinet, the other with rough guitar play and a raw, distorted voice.
Boggamasta has become a cocktail of ‘Think of One’ and ‘Flat Earth Society’: firmly shaken, not stirred. All members together stand for years and years of stage experience in utterly different circumstances and formations.

Boggamasta is perfect for a standing audience, festival or hall. The rhythms are soaring, feverish, energetic, sensual ....

participating in

  • WOMEX 2021
  • WOMEX 2017
  • WOMEX 2016
  • WOMEX 2015
  • WOMEX 2014
  • WOMEX 2013
  • WOMEX 2012
  • WOMEX 2010
  • WOMEX 2009
  • WOMEX 2008
stand number WOMEX 21: E51-E56


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"Boggamasta" - Flat Earth Society

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On Tour

Flat Earth Society

Flat Earth Society

Flat Earth Society

Flat Earth Society