‘#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?
"One day in kindergarten, I remember being emotionally overwhelmed by this beautiful, whispery singing voice of my teacher, who sang a simple and bittersweet children’s song in class." -
Sjaak Douma (Piano)
‘’..We parted by my birthday and without you here I am a different age’’
A noisey albeit beautiful pastoral take that reflects about the fleeting nature of human relationships. It reminds me of all the people I’ve known and how delicate most human connections really are. Some are more lasting than others, some may leave impressions for a lifetime while others are but a footnote, but each and every person is a tiny little vessel crossing paths with yours. This song reminds me of that cyclical nature of letting people into our own little weird worlds and ultimately saying goodbye to most of them.
‘’..To leave the safety of my room, to go and take a chance on what could be new’’
Briana’s lyrics remind me of some of my own little anxieties I cultivated in my late teens in a gap year that I mostly spent alone in my room. Although I had little sense of direction or purpose in life that year, I fondly remember the romantic notion of being on my own, immersing myself in a wealth of music, cinema and literature.
That year not only taught me a lot about myself, but also about these two most rudimentary forces behind peoples actions; fear and love. These days, I’m still amazed about what I’m doing now and what I’m comfortable with once I started acting more out of the latter.
After my gap year, The Notwist was one of the first few bands I discovered that shaped the direction of my own musical voice for years to come. I think it’s hard not to see the resemblance of the gloomy lo-fi aesthetic that combines band instruments with electronics. To this very day, I still try to perfect that same aesthetic in my music in one form or another. Sometimes, just ever so slightly, I feel as if I’m brushing against that idea of aesthetic perfection that has lingered in my head for so long. In between the utter frustration and failing in meeting that goal, those are the brief moments that keep me going as a songwriter.
One day in kindergarten, I remember being emotionally overwhelmed by this beautiful, whispery singing voice of my teacher, who sang a simple and bittersweet children’s song in class. Somehow, I feel that this event still resonates strongly through my own output as a musician and my taste in art in general. I find solace in melodies and harmonies that breath a childlike innocence, on the verge of being overly sweet. Maybe I’m really just looking to recreate that state of wonder I felt that day in kindergarten.
Sometimes, I wish I could go back to being a non-musician, for my musical perception and reaction when I was younger was so much more a physical and pure one. I remember floating almost transcendentally over the music I loved, bordering on obsessiveness by playing the same song 30 times in a row, trying to somehow figure out its magic. I would be lying next to my old battered tape deck while listening and forget about my physical presence in the world. In these moments, I really was only but a dreamer.
Sjaak Douma aka Analogue Dear is a pianist, or rather allround musician. He manages to play all instruments he uses to create his music. He is one of the few musicians who got me listening to his album in stead of all the jazz I drive my colleagues at the Brouwerij crazy with.
Nice to know: Gregory Euclide, the artist who designed the cover of Bon Ivers ‘For Emma, Forever Ago’ also created a piece of art with the inspiration he got listening to Sjaak’s remix of ‘Me’ by Nils Frahm.