Biography - Wim Lasoen
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Sounds&Heels


The Music of Wim Lasoen

BIOGRAPHY

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Wim Lasoen was born in Bruges, Belgium, in 1972. He is a composer, conductor, multi-instrumentalist and above all an agogic strategist who's well up in other disciplines such as dance, photography, digital and visual arts, and several intellectual domains such as (mainly eastern) philosophy and literature.

In his childhood Wim became acquainted with the inspiring interests and the library of his highly intelligent father and the musical hobbies from both mom and dad. Nevertheless, growing up was not easy; the family was relatively poor (first telephone in the house when Wim was 16 years old) and threatened by his dad's health problems. Military marches, Mozart, Rimsky-Korsakov and Ralph Vaughan Williams, Elvis, Pat Boone and Harry Belafonte coming from his parents' very old and dreadful sounding turntable still always kept feeding optimism, as did the births of sister Isolde when Wim was 7 and brother Kenneth another 6 years later. All three children - whose favorite gameplay together was playing records and even acting as if running their own radio-station - read books and learned to play music as if it had to be a natural cause of being born, like eating, sleeping, breathing.
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In his pre-adolescence Wim excelled studying modern languages and Latin at junior high school, and attended a music academy to study the piano, cello, trumpet, musical theory and percussion, and another academy for visual arts. Regardless of his many interests and flirting with other possibilities like wanting to be an archeologist, historian or master in literature or psychology, he sticks to his boyhood dream; becoming a musician.
At the tender age of fifteen he conducted his first ensemble. No more than a year later he founded a small brass and percussion ensemble. He was only nineteen when he was first engaged by a 'big' fanfare orchestra to be its conductor.From 1990 to 1993 he studied Musical Theory, Conducting, Jazz Ensemble and especially Percussion at the Royal Conservatoire of Brussels. That is when, studying with Robert Van Sice, he fell in love with the marimba. At this time though, his father Danny had nearly given up the fight against depression and sickness; the beginning of a taxing time for the family. Wim imagined he had to protect his beloved ones and tried to commit himself to be the better head of the family. In reality, he failed - of course - and did not see he had begun inheriting the problems of his father as to become his own. His relatively young teachers at the Conservatoire of Brussels – who can blame them? - lost their trust and belief in Wim, seeing only his many absences and increasingly irregular studying habits. Eventually this led to a sabbatical year in which he earned a little money as an administrative assistant at an electronics store. This was his chance to buy his first (digital) piano. He was twenty-one years old by then.
All this time his creative mind remained restless and he kept on dreaming about being a professional musician. In 1994 he took up studying percussion again, this time at the Royal Flemish Conservatoire in Antwerp. This was a turning point. His main professor, Leo Ouderits, knew how to deal with the complexity of having students with their own worries and was like a new father to him. There was an enormous warmth, trust and understanding. The whole team of percussion teachers and his fellow students unwittingly provided Wim with a new home, a better future. Lessons and friendship from Carlo Willems (vibraphone, jazz), Ludwig Albert (marimba), Mark Erkens (piano, improvisation), Robert Groslot (chamber music), Koen Kessels (contemporary music) Gilbert De Greeve (harmony and counterpoint) and Luc Van Hove (composition) gave rise to new inspiration and new energy and provided a proper foothold in adulthood.
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In 1995, while still studying in Antwerp, Wim married childhood-friend Petra Verbeke, an elementary school teacher who played the trombone. She later gave birth to his son Robrecht (1998) and daughter Marthe (2001). It was Petra’s father who lent money to Wim to buy his first marimba. In this respect he was intrumental in Wim’s successful graduation in 1997.
Being focused on teaching and not at all keen on the usual travelling abroad playing in professional orchestras (unmistakably caused by the traumas of his youth), his career was difficult in the first years. In one particular year, he had to travel between three music academies and two bands ànd work as an ICT manager in two elementary schools to earn the income of a regular teacher with a fulltime job - and only one boss. In the meantime, he became the conductor of a fanfare orchestra, a marching percussion ensemble and a wind band. In 1999 he took up a small post teaching the marimba at the 'Kunsthumaniora', a junior high school of arts in Ghent, unmistakably the most beautiful and artistic minded city in Belgium.
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In 2003 he became conductor of both the Fanfare Orchestra of Sleidinge 'Iever en Eendracht' and the Friday Night Blasters big band in Maldegem. While his job at the 'Kunsthumaniora' was growing since he also took up teaching chamber music lessons, he attended the conservatoire of Ghent to take lessons from the famous Belgian composer Dirk Brossé. In 2006, shortly after the death of his father, Wim was awarded the prestigious ''Gouden Klaproos' for his merit in the Fanfare and Wind band genre. Little did he suspect that his dedication to the small secondary school of arts in Ghent was the beginning of a career shift that would change his entire life: in 2007 he would become the principal of this - until then - very small institute. He divorced his first wife in 2008 and moved to Sleidinge, just 15 minutes away from Ghent. In 2010 he married Veerle Ranschaert, land-surveyor and tenor horn player in his fanfare orchestra, thus becoming stepfather to Maarten and Hanne. His second marriage has proven unmistakably crucial to an important, interesting shift in Wim's composing career, providing inspiration, time and the long sought peace of mind. Hanne, who is a passionate dancer, attended school together with her stepbrother Robrecht at the 'MUDA Atheneum voor Podiumkunsten', the erstwhile small arts school transformed by its artistic director Wim Lasoen into a renowned arts centre and the largest and most successful school of its kind in Belgium.

In 2017 Wim enters into a solid cooperation with The Black Men, a quality coverband in his region end real crown-puller. At first he writes 4- and 5-part arrangements for the horn section in which he plays second trumpet and flugelhorn, but soon giant succes is made with "The Black Orchestra Project", in which the band performs together with the full Fanfare Orchestra of Sleidinge in a kind of proms night formula. In this playlist: Springsteen, Coldplay, Triggerfinger, Marco Borsato, Royal Blood, Oasis, Arcade Fire, Stereophonics, .... A few months later "The Black Orchestra Gold Edition" follows, a performance with the singers of The Black Men accompanied by the orchestra and special guest player Hans Bossuyt on trumpet. This concert hall show focusses on latin music, evergreens, 'kleinkunst' and jazz-pop.

Early 2018 Wim decides to quit his job as MUDA director in favour of creativity and afresh focus on stage performances, arranging and composing.
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