Peter Vermeersch

Category:muzikant, componist
Genre(s):21ste eeuw / hedendaags, jazzrock
Actual/previous member of:A Group, Flat Earth Society, X-Legged Sally
Guest member of:Magnus


The career of Peter Vermeersch, born in 1959, has not followed the accustomed paths of classical music.

He was educated as an architect but ultimately chose the life of a musician-composer. During and after his studies he played clarinet and saxophone in the group Union, which gave performances and played music. In the early 1980s, Union came into contact with the theatre group Radeis and provided the musical support for Echafaudages. Josse De Pauw (from Radeis) put Vermeersch into contact with the film-maker Thierry De Mey who, himself a budding composer, stimulated Vermeersch to start writing music.

A crucial point in Vermeersch's development was Rosas danst Rosas, the first dance production made by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker in 1983 for the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels. This production would provide a forum for a number of musician-composers, such as Walter Hus (1959), Thierry De Mey (1956) and Eric Sleichim (the stage-name for Eric Michiels) (1958). Together they formed the group, Maximalist! in 1984, which aimed to connect with more popular genres, partly through their concert attire (preferably black, typical for subcultures at the time) and their energy on stage. The music they played was also not immediately classifiable, either as classical or as pop.

In 1988, Maximalist! ceased operations and Vermeersch set up X-Legged Sally. A first CD recording was realised under Bill Lasswel and was recorded in New York for the avant-garde label, The Knitting Factory. Various other CD recordings followed, a number of which where linked to ballet productions by Wim Vandekeybus (including Killed by Charity, Slowup, Fired and Bereft of a Blissful Union). This music can best be described as pop music, varying from rock through funk, jazz and metal to full-blown oompah music. At first the numbers were purely instrumental, with vocals added only in later works (starting from The Land of the Giant Dwarfs).

At this time, Vermeersch also produced music for theatre productions (with Walpurgis, Kaaitheater, De Roovers). This music tended to fall into more recognisable contemporary classical genres.

After X-Legged Sally disbanded at the beginning of 1997, Vermeersch started two new groups. A Group is a small ensemble which aims to perform good rock numbers with suggestive texts. This group stopped existing in 1999. The larger Flat Earth Society is a big band that plays both music of the 1930s and arrangements of X-Legged Sally numbers.

Finally, it should also be mentioned that Peter Vermeersch, together with Pierre Vervloesem, has also won his spurs as a music producer, working with such groups as dEUS, Mad dog loose, Nancy, Think of one, and L Santo.

Selective discography

Weg / HeruitgaveWeg / Heruitgave (2011)
theatre music
Josse De Pauw, Peter Vermeersch, Pierre Vervloesem
Die AusternprinzessinDie Austernprinzessin (2007)
Big Band jazz
Peter Vermeersch, Peter Vermeersch, Flat Earth Society
De oplosbare visDe oplosbare vis (1995)
theatre music
Peter Vermeersch, Walpurgis
Thierry De Mey - UndoThierry De Mey - Undo (1991)
20th century, 21st century / contemporary
Géry Cambier, Thierry De Mey, Dirk Descheemaeker, Jean-Paul Dessy, Jean-Luc Fafchamps, Vincent Jacquemin, Georges-Elie Octors, Alain Pire (...)

Selectieve discografie als componist

Bl!ndman collectedBl!ndman collected (2013)
21st century / contemporary, 20th century, classicism, Baroque, early music
Eric Sleichim, BL!NDMAN, Roy Nathanson, Steve Lacy, Ned Rothenberg, Johann Sebastian Bach, Leoninus, Perotinus (...)
Novecento - Maximal Bl!ndmanNovecento - Maximal Bl!ndman (2012)
21st century / contemporary
BL!NDMAN, Thierry De Mey, Peter Vermeersch, Fabian Coomans
Die AusternprinzessinDie Austernprinzessin (2007)
Big Band jazz
Peter Vermeersch, Peter Vermeersch, Flat Earth Society
Happy new ears 2005Happy new ears 2005 (2005)
21st century / contemporary
Esther Venrooy, Diverse uitvoerders, Peter Vermeersch, Kapotski, Galatasaray, Manu Holterbach & Sophie Durand, Mathieu Delvaux, Kim Gordon, Ikue Mori & DJ Olive (...)
Max!mal - Live in Frankfurt - Bl!ndmanMax!mal - Live in Frankfurt - Bl!ndman (2004)
20th century
BL!NDMAN, Thierry De Mey, Walter Hus, Eric Sleichim, Peter Vermeersch
Prima La MusicaPrima La Musica (2002)
21st century / contemporary, 20th century, romanticism, classicism
Prima La Musica, Dirk Vermeulen, Luigi Boccherini, Joseph Haydn, Jan Van Der Roost, Johannes Brahms, Jean-Philippe Rameau, Franz Schubert (...)
Vierkant Muziek - 2001Vierkant Muziek - 2001 (2001)
Greetings from Mercury, Boenox, Flat Earth Society, Oxalys, Prometheus Ensemble, BL!NDMAN, LOD, Spiegel Strijkkwartet (...)
Megadisc a catalogueMegadisc a catalogue (1998)
Karel Goeyvaerts, Geert Logghe, Thierry De Mey, Peter Vermeersch, Patrick De Clerck
X-Legged Sally - The Smith QuartetX-Legged Sally - The Smith Quartet (1997)
21st century / contemporary, Jazz
X-Legged Sally, Smith Quartet, Peter Vermeersch, George Van Dam
November Music 1997 - Third StreamNovember Music 1997 - Third Stream (1997)
20th century
Bart Maris, Peter Vermeersch

Author of

Voor wat je ook zingt, moet je in jezelf graven
Voor wat je ook zingt, moet je in jezelf graven

Selectieve discografie als medewerker

Johan De Smet - Requiem EuthanasiaJohan De Smet - Requiem Euthanasia (1996)
20th century
Het Goeyvaerts Consort, Johan De Smet, Marc Michael De Smet

Related Items

News:SABAM Jazz Awards voor Peter Vermeersch en Bram De Looze (12.07.2016)
Componisten Hus en Vermeersch in de schijnwerpers op Ars Musica 2014 (13.11.2014)
Documents:Contemporary Music in Flanders V (book)