Like any one in this world, I wasn’t spared for downs at all. In 2014 my relationship broke up, lost some friends, and had a financial crisis as well. In short, the blues.
However, it was the perfect time to start writing songs. Until than, I never had the idea to write something anyway, but it more or less came to me. Not only the music, but, much to my surprise, lyrics as well.
The strange thing to it was that, in some cases, the lyrics came up first, so had to write music to it, which, to me, was an unusual but a new and very exciting experience.
I also needed a studio to work out and record those songs, simply because, and without any clear reason, I had this feeling to do it. More or less by chance, Rene and I got in touch, and after some long conversations on the phone his enthusiasm and generosity made me decide to come to The Hague. One of my best decisions in life ever taken.
We started recording a guitar part to be used as a base track, and from there, builduing up other tracks like drums, bass and keyboards. Than we added instruments like autoharp, percussion, harmonica, vocal arrangements, whatever we thought was needed to add to the songs.
One of a dozen things that was so special about the collaboration with Rene was that there has never been any kind of selfishness at all. We both were open enough for each other’s ideas. It was obvious that I took the guitar and bass parts on my account, and on his part, same with the drums. for I really didn’t mind when Rene arranged and recorded keyboard parts, as sure as there was no arguing when i did some percussion tracks either. We did what was best for the song to come up. And all this with lots of fun, laughter and positive vibes. As far as I can remember, I never worked on a record like this one. Yes, I really must admit that I’m very proud with what we have gained together.
We started the whole process in september 2014, and have finished a year later.
Most of the songs were also written in that time. Two songs were already composed in 1989, (song about the weather, track 6, and Hopes, track 12), one in 1999, (goodbye for ever, track 9) but I added lyrics to them in 2014 and 2015. I also took one song from history to the albumm (don’t sing me that sad one, track 3, composed in 1990) , the lyric from that one was written by the musical genious Hans van Beek.
Hans also played fretless base on track 3, and a flute solo on track 10: decision.
From the moment I composed Song about the weather i had this idea of a female singer in mind, duelling with me, but never could find the right voice. It was Rene’s fantastic record Channel XIX (which I really can recommand to my readers) that brought the solution, and so we decided that Lydia van Mourik would join me on that part. I hardly ever heard a female singer like that, she really took my breath away when she started singing. She also did a little but significant contribution on track 4, Divided.
Another female singer who joined us on the project was Talita Angwarmasse. We met some years ago, while working behind the screne to build up 5 Soul of Motown shows that have toured in the Netherlands between 2007 and 2013. It was Winner (track 8) that needed a soulful and powerful voice, and in my opinion no one could have done it like Talita did. She also took part in Earth (track 5). Thanks so much ladies!!!
Ad Vanderveen playedan excellent slide guitar part in Levels of society (track 12). Rene produced Ad’s latest double album Presents of the past/requests revisited.
And, last but certainly not least, there are the fantastic distorted guitar parts from Leo Sienot, that he played on Castles in the air, Track 2), Resilience (track 7), and a mandolin part in Cheerful goodbye (track 13). Long time ago we met at an evening group recital organized by a good friend of mine.