La Fleur en Papier Doré (in Dutch: Het Goudblommeke in Papier) is to be premiered on 20th December 2019 at the Mid-West Clinic, Chicago at the McCormick Convention Centre by the US orchestra Grand Symphonic Winds under the baton of Professor Matthew J. George. The work is commissioned by HAFABRA Music and dedicated to Louis MARTINUS.

La Fleur en Papier Doré in central Brussels

La Fleur en Papier Doré (The Golden Paper Flower) is named after a historic bar dating back to the 18th Century in the heart of Brussels, Belgium.  

In the 20th century it became a meeting place for members of the Belgian surrealist movement, including the artist René Magritte. The writer Georges Prosper Remi, better known by his pseudonym Hergé of Tin Tin fame, also  frequented this bar, as did the Belgian singing legend Jacques Brel. 

René Magritte is seen second from the right in this photo.

La Fleur en Papier Doré is located next to the antique quarter of Brussels, the Sablon, and has a similar old-world atmosphere. The walls of the bar are covered in artifacts, philosophical citations and yellowing sepia photographs, and the wooden bench tables are etched in graffiti from the past, giving it a unique and quirky feel. 

I am a frequent visitor to La Fleur en Papier Doré. Apart from the attraction of the famous Belgian beers and traditional cuisine on offer(!), I am excited to think of all those great minds, intellects and talents that have come together there. From my very first visit I felt I wanted to write about this unique haunt. I have described my musical offering as a `Surrealist Fantasy’. The work is written in two distinct sections named after Magritte paintings: I. La Lampe Philosophique (The Philosopher’s Lamp) II. L’Echelle de Feu (The Ladder of Fire). Both are intended to conjure up the no doubt thought-provoking conversations and debates that must have taken place amongst all those eminent artists, writers and poets as they propped up the bar.

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