My name is Wouter van Veldhoven, I make music using collected second hand materials including, cans, old tape recorders, cigar boxes, broken radios, toy pianos, antique televisions, etc. etc. I rework them in experimental musical instruments and use them as recording devices.
The music balances somewhere between dusty, lo-fi experimental ambient and jangly instrumentals, but recently I've also been delving into the realm of (minimal) techno.
I've recorded a few solo works and have collaborated with Greg Haines, Machinefabriek+Soccer Committee and Mark Versteegen.
Here I'll post the things I collect and some updates/insights on the things I'm working on, have finished, want to do and fail to do...
bitbin asked: Hi! Please would you mind breaking down how the lullabies composition was made? Thanks!
No problem :)
I made a couple of short tape loops and recorded some short melodic thingies on them (toy box, melodically, box-violin and vocals), all in the same key (probably a minor, cause my toy box only has the white keys…). I then put played those and mixed them together, fading in some loops, fading others out and recording the result on a four track recorder.
I used different old (cheap) valve recorders for the different loops to get the different timbres, they all have their unique sounds :)
I had a little idea; back in the days people used the second track on a tape-recorder to record some pulses on to which a slide projector could be synchronized. I thought I could use something similar to synchronize samples recorded to tape to do some analog sampling. Every pulse signals the end of a sample (and the beginning of another) and shuts the motor down, an external pulse then starts the motor again on the next beat. I tried it and it works! I just wanted to show here how the simple sample on the looped tape (on the right) gets synchronized to the sequence on my doepfer. I got carried away though and couldn’t keep myself from using two other machines (the reversing tape-machine and the pitching cassette) and eventually it turned out sounding like some kind of weird pulsating scapish thing, I guess I’ve been listening to Dreamies and Silver Apples a lot lately :)
This post is about getting a bit lost on tour.
After recording “three days of fever” Greg Haines and I decided to go on a mini tour through Scandinavia. Since I always have to bring a ****load of tape-recorders with me we had to go by car and my girlfriend would be our main chauffeur.
We would start in Berlin and the last gig would be at the Ekko festival in Bergen (NO) after which Greg would fly back to Berlin and my girlfriend and I would take a ferry to Denmark and continue our way back home to The Netherlands.
So I had to book a ferry from Bergen to Denmark. I found one that departed the day after the festival, which was excellent. It would go from Bergen to Torshavn, Denmark. I couldn’t really fin Torshavn on the map, but hey, Denmark isn’t that big so we’d find our way home, so I thought….
…all went pretty well, had two really nice weeks, we were happy but tired. Time to go back home, have regular sleep and no more travelling..
We said goodbye to Greg and got on the ferry. I sat there talking a bit about the Scottish Isles I was once planning to go to for research when I still wanted a carreer as a biologist. Walked through the lobby and found a brochure about the Faroe Islands, a remote group of islands, somewhere halfway between Scotland and Iceland. Pretty odd to find this here on a ferry, I thought.. I started reading a bit: “(…)Torshavn is the capital of the Faroe Islands(…) and part of the kingdom of Denmark” wait, what?!
Yes, my now fiancee (I just asked here to marry me a day before) and I desperately wanted to go home and were now on a ferry to the Faroe Islands… a 23hr trip accross the north sea..
I went back to my girlfriend and sat there is silence.. one minute, two minutes, …, fifteen minutes it took me to find the words; “euhm, I have some news.. we’re not really going to Denmark… we’re on our way to some islands near Iceland…” A strange mixture of feeling pretty bad and laughing a lot at the same time followed. We had to arrange people to take care of or dog (back home) which ment calling a lot for a lot of money most of which was spend on being laughed at for five minutes (3€/minute) trying to explain the situation.
We stayed on the faroe islands for a few days, exploring part of the (misty, rainy, desolate but weirdly beautiful surroundings) waiting for the ferry to take us back to Norway and then to Denmark, finally.
Well, we could have ended up in Greenland, so I consider myself pretty lucky. Also it was a wonderful experience, actually. Except for the fact that I get extremely seasick and we were having a storm for 22 hours…
Lesson; if you want to get to weird places, let me do the planning!
Btw, despite the weird start of our engagement, my wife and I did get married:-)
The tape is released by The Tapeworm, I’m really really pleased to be honored with the privilege of releasing on this label, which has released so many wonderful tapes by fine artists like Fennesz, Stefan Goldmann, Fransisco Lopez, Steinbruchel, Philip Jeck, Stephan Matthieu to name a few.. Not many copies, so you’d better not wait too long.
People that are more fond of my “slower side” rest assure, within a few months there will be a wonderfully depressing 10” lathe cut on Morc. More info on this soon.
For now*, Dance! Yay!
*well actually a few weeks from now, when the tapes will ship :)