Random Ensemble

was the collective title, the musical performer Joop van Brakel choose for his most recent activities (since 1987). Basically, he is the Random Ensemble's only member, but the title allows for (occasional or permanent) addition of either living or mechanical members.


is how he calls his projects now

(depending on the project).
VAN BRAKEL started his musical career as co-founder, singer, guitarist, lyricist, composer and designer in the then prominent dutch rockband NASMAK (1979 - 1983).
After he left NASMAK, Van Brakel took part in - mainly short term - ad hoc projects such as LA MAEJEURE PIPE AU BOIS PLAYS VAN GOGH'S LAST EAR (a drama concertante), THE SIMULATED WOOD (a battle-field for music, literature and visual arts) and PROPT (an impro-rock duo).
THE SIMULATED WOOD (1985) turned out to be crucial step in Van Brakel's development: for this project musical instruments were specially designed and built. This opened a new field of musical possibilities, which Van Brakel jas set out to explore new ways of performing for. In his performances, he will take sound/music for a starting point, but in the process he often (and eagerly) crosses the limits of disciplines, styles and conceptions of good taste.
The best of these performances include TIDE ROPE RITE (combining music and dance/drama) and LUMINOUS SAND / SOUND GRAPHICS (music and video art). (See descriptions in separate sections).

Also on various occasions, Van Brakel worked with artists from other disciplines. He worked together with various film directors and composed and performed music for the SHUSAKU & DORMU Dance Theatre from 1986 to 1988.

Though Van Brakel moved away far from his rock origins, his music still has the same directness and 'rudimentality'. It is always produced on 'home-built' instruments or found objects transformed into musical instruments. Although this is not always obvious, somehow most of these instruments can be called string instruments, if we take
Van Brakel's definition for string:
anything that can be attached between two points and made to vibrate.

According to this definition a bird's cage turns into a very elaborate string construction.

VAN BRAKEL, AUDIOOT can be rough or tender, vexing or pleasant, ambient or rhythmic, it is always very basic, simple and unpolished, down-to-earth, humble and fragile. It does not need, or even allow, poses, mystification or advanced technique to impress the audience. The action is clear, the impact is great.

VAN BRAKEL, AUDIOOT is far from easy-listening, it can be very demanding towards the audience, but many listeners have been tempted to stick around and listen to sounds they were used to class in the category of repulsive noise.

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