The protagonist of today: Michiel van Poelgeest. "Creativity is freedom being able to do what you want, but also convincing other people of your vision"
Our protagonist today is the Dutch composer and pianist author of "The Seven Sirens".
I just always wanted to do different things, musically, than what I was supposed to do, what I was supposed to study.
How and when is your passion for music born and who inspired you to become a musician?
When I was two years old, my dad put a pair of headphones on my ears. I remember a lot of music being played at home. But also in the car, on long drives during vacations et cetera. But what I remember most of all is my father tapping his hands and fingers on basically everything, all the time when the radio was on: table tops, the steering wheel, pots and pans... I remember trying to copy those rhythms. Eventually I managed and started to improvise and come up with my own beats and patterns. I think it shaped me musically, in a huge way, even though I never took up drums...
Was it easy to follow this passion for you, or did you have difficulty? If yes, which ones?
I try to be kind and attentive to the people closest to me and to generally be a good person, thinking about other people and the planet. But in the future, I know I will have to do, or become, more than that.
What is inspiration or inspirational to you? How do you live an inspired life?
When I see people selflessly dedicating their lives to help other people or to protect the environment, that's very inspirational to me. I try to be kind and attentive to the people closest to me and to generally be a good person, thinking about other people and the planet. But in the future, I know I will have to do, or become, more than that.
How could you describe your way of composing?It can be a very organic and patient process. Yet, at the same time, I know I perform well under pressure. So I'm never scared I will run out of ideas. You'll often hear composers say: 'I like to start small'...but honestly, I can just as easily start big. Because the music that I think of, more often than not, consists of more than a simple melody line.
What is most challenging about what you do?
Making sure everyone is more than satisfied with the end result, whilst personally still believing that what I wrote and produced, is something worth listening to.
What are your reference musicians?
I get that question a lot. So I made this playlist on Spotify. Check it out! :)
Recently your new work "The Seven Sirens" came out, can you tell us a bit about it?
Creativity is freedom. Being able to do what you want. But also: convincing other people of your vision. My process can be quite chaotic and very 'spur of the moment'.
What is creativity to you? And: what is your creative process?
Creativity is freedom. Being able to do what you want. But also: convincing other people of your vision. My process can be quite chaotic and very 'spur of the moment'. But that's creativity for you: it can be highly intangible. I do think in results and delivering 'products' though. How does that quote go again: '80% of life is simply showing up"?
What do you think about today's music scene?
Wow...tough question. There is SO much music out there. It's scary and comforting at the same time.
What are your goals/dreams for the future?
To be a good dad and a good person in general. And to create some beautiful music along the way.
Who is the artist?
Michiel van Poelgeest (1982) is a Dutch music composer. His output is very diverse: ranging from electro-acoustic piano scores to dystopic hybrid synthesizer soundscapes. Van Poelgeest's musical education started when he was seven years old and took up piano les-sons. His classical education went on for ten years, after which his interests shifted towards elec-tronic music and songwriting. In 2010 he produced and released a modern pop album under the pseudonym Villeneuf. A se-cond album would later follow. The band toured the Netherlands, played countless venues, and performed on live television during prime time. The albums were very well-received. He then went on to write music for film and television and has been doing that ever since.
The Seven Sirens is a collection of modern classical instrumental pieces written and produced by Dutch composer Michiel van Poelgeest. He uses a combination of felt piano, orchestral elements and ambient textures to create intimate and - at times - otherworldly musical landscapes. The album's strong narrative power derives its origin in Greek mythology, as the album title suggests. Being married to a classicist, this is hardly a surprise, says Michiel: "I've heard her tell those stories to my kids a million times, and they've always inspired me. Then, when I was writing this album, I was also reading Stephen Fry's novel Mythos, which got me into mythology even more. I like to think that I transferred some of the narrative power of these ancient tales into The Seven Sirens".
Listen to "The Seven Sirens"
Digital platforms: https://backl.ink/145212277
Blue Spiral Records: https://www.bluespiralrecords.com/the-seven-sirens