(Top photo courtesy of the Dominique Vantomme website)
Belgian keyboardist Dominique Vantomme is the sound texture lover’s dream come true. His is a unique voice permitting the sound of modern progressive rock.
Using instruments like the piano, synthesizer, and mellotron (among others), Vantomme paints a sonic picture well worth admiring on its own. His solos are well-paced and tasteful, always highly lyrical regardless of how slowly or quickly they might be moving. His sound is rendered even more beautiful when augmented by other instruments allowed to use his sounds as a foundation.
In 2020, Vantomme released a remarkable album called Vegir, which came to pass after the keyboardist met up with MoonJune Records owner Leonardo Pavkovic at a Stick Men concert. Before he knew it Vantomme had started a band consisting of himself, bassist Tony Levin (Stick Men, King Crimson, Peter Gabriel, etc.), guitarist Michel Delville (The Wrong Object, douBt, Machine Mass), and drummer Maxime Lenssens.
The group took Vantomme’s compositional sketches into the studio and began to stretch them out, with each member respecting what had been written for them while their leader also gave them a great deal of latitude, enabling them to take their instrumental voices wherever they saw fit within the song’s contexts. The results are, to say the least, fascinating. This and other Vantomme works can be explored via his Bandcamp page.
When not making music of his own or collaborating with other European pop and rock acts, Vantomme also works as a producer and educator in his native Belgium. It is there where he works as a jazz piano instructor at The Music Conservatory in Kortrijk. But in the cruelest example of musical irony, Vantomme is also being treated for and learning to live with a substantial hearing loss. He has chronicled his struggles on Facebook.
In person, Vantomme is charming and personable, to say nothing of being very upfront about his medical condition. He is the kind of person you’d be eager to sit and have a drink with while discussing music at length. Alas, we live several thousand miles apart. So, I am forced to settle with an online conversation. Nevertheless, I was grateful to have it, and I would like to thank Dominique Vantomme for taking time out of his day for a CirdecSongs interview.
Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (cirdecsongs) My book, I Can’t Be the Only One Hearing This: A Lifetime of Music Through Eclectic Ears, is available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other fine book dealers. I’m currently working on my next book, The Wizard of WOO: The Life and Music of Bernie Worrell.
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