From the mysterious magic of our darkest corners to the exuberant atmosphere of Carnaval, infinite possibilities lay within INVITING WORLDS from Navona Records. The musical dimensions of several composers are explored within, including Jan Van der Roost’s Cead Mile Failte, an atmospheric piece inspired by the green rural areas of Ireland.

Today, Jan is our featured artist in “The Inside Story,” a blog series exploring the inner workings and personalities of our composers and performers. Read on to learn about his hopes for Cead Mile Failte, and how he once powered through a sudden lighting outage during an important performance…

When did you realize that you wanted to be an artist?

I started writing music (I can’t call it ‘composing’ yet) when I was 16 years old. Firstly, I tried to copy music I liked and later on I gradually started to compose my own music. Thanks to a very thorough musical training and education at the Lemmens Institute for five years, and at two of Belgium’s Music Conservatoires for an additional five years as well, I had developed and acquired the tools to write down what I musically wanted to express.

What was your most unusual performance, or the most embarrassing thing that happened to you during a performance?

As an instrumentalist, I remember the end of B. Britten’s Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, played by the Belgian National Youth Orchestra when I was in my early 20s. We played it in a big cathedral for the Belgian Television and suddenly the lights went down! We played the last minute or so by memory, and that was an amazing moment for all of us! Afterwards I conducted so many concerts across the world… it’s impossible to list all the nice (or frustrating!) moments, so to say.

If you could make a living at any job in the world, what would that job be?

I can hardly imagine having a job that is not connected to music, to be honest…

If you could instantly have expertise performing one instrument, what instrument would that be?

Being a pretty weak pianist (I started to practice this instrument when I was 18, which is very late), I would love to be a much better pianist.

Is there a specific feeling that you would like communicated to audiences in your work?

Cead Mile Failte is not a ‘big piece,’ but still I hope it will touch the hearts of listeners. The combination of ‘folkloristic elements’ (though the music is not based on existing melodies or themes) with a more or less contemplative atmosphere hopefully will please future performers and audiences.

Explore Jan’s Latest Release

INVITING WORLDS - album cover

Inviting Worlds

INVITING WORLDS is available now from Navona Records. Click here to visit the catalog page and explore this album.

  • Jan Van der Roost

    Jan Van der Roost was born in Duffel, Belgium in 1956. He studied at the Lemmensinstituut and at the Royal Conservatories of Ghent and Antwerp, where he qualified as a conductor and a composer. Besides being a prolific composer, he also is very much in demand as an adjudicator, lecturer, clinician, and guest conductor: his musical activities took him to over 50 countries while his compositions have been performed/recorded around the world.