Mark Van Overmeire – La Forêt ~ Drie Rivieren
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It is my great pleasure to introduce to you the world premiere recording of 2 suites for classical guitar, "La Forêt" (The Forest) and "Drie Rivieren" (Three Rivers), interpreted on this recording by the wonderful Irina Kulikova.
The common theme of the 2 suites is nature, the inspiration both nostalgic, conjuring up experiences of the past; and onward looking, with many questions lingering in my mind about the challenges we face to protect nature in the coming years.
"La Forêt" (The Forest) takes me back to childhood memories. In the neighborhood where I lived as a young child. there were some woods. I must have been around 10 years old. One day when strolling by myself in the woods I discovered a tree cabin high up a tree. I could not resist and climbed my way up to the tree cabin. It was magical. I sat down and had an amazing view and felt that the world belonged to me. That memory and the way I felt that day has stayed with me.
The six movements of "La Forêt" (The Forest) take you on an outing in the great outdoors, a beautiful forest with all its mysteries and secrets for you to discover at your own leisure. Under the trees, you hear the calls and sounds of animals; the sound of wind and leaves keep you company while you follow a picturesque stream and take in the forest in all its beauty.
"Drie Rivieren" (Three Rivers) is an homage to three ancient and iconic rivers that have witnessed life since the beginning of time.
The suite starts with "Kronkelend door de jungle" (Winding through the jungle) which is an ode to the Amazon river (Brazil). A river boat winds slowly through the rainforest. Colorful birds fill the sky singing beautiful melodies. The sun is setting.
This is followed by a more royal experience with "Langs de Vallei der Koningen" (Passing by the Valley of the Kings). Here we are traveling back in time on The Nile (Egypt) where we are witnessing, from some distance, a ceremony of the pharaohs, the coronation of the "gold king" Tutankhamun perhaps.
We end our journey in Paris (France) on the Seine. The lights have just come on in the city; we see the Eiffel Tower in the distance; music reaches our ears from the many cafe's and we enjoy a romantic evening out with our loved one. It's a night that we will cherish forever.

Mark Van Overmeire composer
February 2021
Irina Kulikova plays a 2019 Simon Marty spruce guitar on "La Forêt" and a 2007 Simon Marty cedar guitar on "Drie Rivieren"
Irina uses Savarez strings

Session production, mixing, and editing by Norbert Kraft

Executive Producer: Mark Van Overmeire

From Irina:

To Tony and Irmgard Leswell, who during my study years gave me a warm home in the beautiful Alps of Austria