Met ♡ voor kunst en cultuur


‘#5xTypical’ is a series of music based interviews with musicians by Karen van Gilst. What do musicians listen to? While cleaning, during sexy time or when working out? Do they have specific songs for specific moments? Or do they listen to music to influence their emotions?

5xtypical Kika Sprangers (saxophone)

"This song makes me really happy! I know, not really what you would expect." - Camiel Jansen (Double Bass)

Bloom - Radiohead

I really didn’t know which song to include from Radiohead. It doesn’t matter really, I love everything they make. Except the first two albums. I never stoped listening to them from the album the released in 1997, OK Computer.

They have a different way of looking at and producing music. It’s storytelling. It’s not about a couple of bars or motives but they use an almost classical composition approach in modern and pop-like music. This way the tension gets to play a bigger role.

They bring something new to the table in every record de release. In their fourth album, Kid A, they went with electronics. Later they returned to instrumental and now they mixed the two. ‘Bloom’ is a good example. The fact their songs can have the length of five minutes, something that’s not really accepted in the pop-scene, doesn’t matter to them. Within these five minutes they take you to another world. Even if you have no knowledge of music an it’s technique, even if you are a metalhead or eighty years old. Everyone can find something they appreciate in their music.

Olivier Messiaen - Louange à l’éternité de Jésus (van: ‘Quatour pour le fin du Temps’)

Olivier Messiae was a catholic French composer from the 20th century and a very religious man. I have an appreciation for his amazing development when you look at composition. He experimented with different timbre, scales. Well... let say the conclusion is he did some groundbreaking stuff when it comes to technique within composition.

However it’s not why I wanted to include this piece. I chose to share it with you because it’s part of a concert with a duration of three quarters of an hour. One he wrote while imprisoned by the Germans during the Second World War. He composed the piece on a piano which was stationed outside for almost two years already, a faded violin, cello and a clarinet with missing valves. He even included all the incredible technique. He played it with a couple of other prisoners.

For me, it’s a heavy piece even without the knowledge of its background. You just feel the suffering. He made choices in the melody he wrote for the cello solo which amaze me. He had balls. It’s a beautiful story with an ongoing melody. That’s bold on itself I think. But when he does take a breath in the melody, and he starts playing again, he repeats parts of the melody he wrote the part before AND he starts on a note you don’t expect, a note you normally wouldn’t choose.

By the way, it’s no piece to wake up to. I tried it twice, but can’t recommend it. Your mood really gets influenced by it.

Grizzly Bear - Sun in your Eyes

This song makes me really happy! I know, not really what you would expect. But it brings me a kind of perspective. I listen to it when the sun starts to shine. At that moment I feel like I can concur the world. It gives me energy. Like someone turned on a light in my head. Do you know runners high? Right, kind of like that feeling.

The Mother Lode - Thom Yorke

Again, no jazz. No. Is it a bad thing?

This song has multiple layers and let’s me float thru a story. Even without paying any attention to the lyrics. I never listen to lyrics anyway.

I was crazy young when I already knew I wanted to become a concert pianist. But my parents said they didn’t want a ‘pinging’ kid behind the piano that would drive them crazy. So they said to me I could start taking piano lessons when I could reach an octave with one hand. Ten years of piano lessons followed until puberty hit. Mozart en Chopin had to move for 50 Cent, much cooler of course.

Then a couple of friends started a band, Jeroen Batterink (drummer) and Wannes Salome (producer). They needed a dork to play bass. So, eager to play in a band, I started studying bass. In two or three year I learned to play the thing really good. We started to book a lot of gigs, won some competitions and I even got to play with the NBE in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.

Not much later Jeroen and I got accepted to the training program of the conservatory. It was there I decided to change to double bass because I wanted to play and study jazz. So, I didn’t become a concert pianist. But that background influenced my love for heavy emotional music I guess.

Maurice Ravel - Concerto pour la main Gauche

When I heard we where going to play this piece with the Dutch Student Orchestra I was really, really happy. It’s one of my favourite pieces of Ravel. I heard it every day for the last week, and it still doesn’t bore me. But that’s not really the reason why I share it with you guys.

It isn’t even the most beautiful piece of this list, although it touches me. But I got a lot of appreciation for this piece. When you know the story behind it, it’s hard not to. Ravel wrote it for a friend of his which couldn't play with his right hand anymore. So when you play this piece as a pianist your right hand just hangs besides the chair the whole time. Looks kind of weird. But its virtuoso and showy and just beautiful.

Also, when you play with your left hand you play the lower register of the piano. So, the whole piece is focused on the lower instruments. It has a solo for double bass and basoon and has a big part for tuba. Love it.

It’s craftsmanship and the perfect combination of original ideas put together by someone without fear to let it shine. The arrangements are put together very beautifully and the motives are composed thru the whole piece like it’s something natural. Something Julian Schneeman manages to do as well.

Kika Sprangers

Camiel Jansen told me he often thinks music means more to him than for any other person. It’s for me to try and put what he meant in words. Not easy I tell you. Can we compare it with emotional nourishment?

Afraid he will be seen as an elitist he explains reluctantly that he rather listens to music that moves him deeply on an emotional level. He likes to be sucked into a heavy, layered and complex story in which high quality music technique strengthens the emotional part of a piece. However, technique must not prevail. For that means the musician only wants to show off how well he masters an instrument. But when technique enhances the story, for him, it enhances the emotional part.

All songs in this list have an accent on the increasing of tension. The songs are not build with a verse and chorus but all tell a different story. Something he was fascinated by even as a kid. He listened to heavy classical music years before his puberty and can’t remember wanting to be something else then a concert pianist. But then puberty came along and 50 Cent took the place of Chopin and Mozart. Happily, the drive to play in a band brought him to start playing bass. Not long after  he graduated from Codarts as a double bass player.