Nieuwe Electronische Waar

Even though I hail from the South-West of the Netherlands, I was willing to travel all the way to the East of the country to go to a conference organised in Deventer by Nieuwe Electronische Waar (New Electronic Goods) next weekend. Master-classes in making electronic music, that sounds too perfect to be true. I didn’t even care that it would cost me three times more to get there compared to the ticket price. Or that it’s actually organised for musicians on the East side of the country. Why is there nothing like that around Rotterdam?!

But as it turns out, I’m needed elsewhere that weekend. My services as server migration specialist are required at a client. IT-superhero by day, undercover DIAY electronic musician by night. No one said it would be easy.

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DIAY: Perfect, the music video

Remember I released the song Perfect back in March (you can still download it for free here)? Well, it now has a music video I produced all by myself:

The reason I made the video was to make a simple point: making music videos is something you can do all on your own. Just like you can do many things as a musicia/one-man-band yourself. I like to call it DIAY: Do It All Yourself. Granted, making it yourself means it won’t be as flashy and slick as one from a record label. And maybe it’s not something people will want to watch over and over. But actually creating something and putting it up on YouTube requires nearly zero budget.  The rest is creativity, resourcefulness and hard work.

I’ll let you in on a secret. I shot this video with in one afternoon with just one camera. And not even a video camera, a digital still camera with video option (a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS6 if you must know). I used a microphone stand as a tripod. No really. I planned out what I wanted to shoot and what shots I needed. Then just filmed myself like crazy. I edited al the shots together with Lightworks, a free video editing program. I’ll admit, it took me a weekend long of swearing and cursing to learn how it works and to get it to do what I want. But I did, and got a result. Kudos to the guys at Lightworks.

Due to being busy with work and other stuff , it took me a month to complete, but if I’d add up all the hours I actually put into it, I think it could’ve been done in three 8-hour working days, maybe even two if you worked all day. I could’ve picked any of my songs, I picked the one that was currently easiest to make a video for at this moment. Plus now I have some practice and know what the possibilities and limitations are when I want to make something better. And I especially know to watch out for continuity errors now. LOL

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Daphne Oram

On NPR an awesome article (with sound) about the Oramics machine by Daphne Oram. Daphne Oram was a composer and innovative electronic musician who worked at BBC Radiophonic Workshop (which among others worked on the sounds for Doctor Who) and later started her own workshop. One of the devices she created was the Oramics machine, an early synth which didn’t have a keyboard or anything, nope you had to draw on it. It had been lost and Daphne Oram passed away a few years ago, until recently, the machine popped up again:

I do recommend reading the article and listening to the interview at NPR too.

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I am an artist

The text on the left is from a t-shirt that can be purchased here. I have seen it going round on the internet among my many creative friends. And rightfully so. I know many of them have a hard time making ends meet doing what they love and what they do best.

But there is an alternate strategy to follow as a musician. One that I personally follow. And I’m not alone.

In the Dutch news paper of July 28th (the one with their Lowlands supplement) there was a front-page article titled “Rock Star looking for part time job“. You can read the whole paper including the article here in Dutch (page 4 and 5 of the regular edition). The simple truth is that very little musicians in The Netherlands can pay the bills with just rawking out. Only big stars with a broad appeal and their face on tv regularly can actually make a living with it. Professional, trained musicians will often have teaching jobs in music or do a lot of session work (for the aforementioned big stars and their labels). But many indie artists will have a job on the side or more usually, they have a day job that pays the bills and making music is something that makes them an extra buck. Even though they would rather be doing that alone. You can’t get rich making music, let alone earn a living.

But there’s an immense freedom in accepting you will not make (much) money  from what you love doing. It means you can do whatever you want, without fear of ending up in the gutter. You don’t have to please others for their money. Plus I take pride in the fact that I have skills outside music that some one is willing to pay me for. It does mean however that your productive out will be lower than most artists and you will have to plan your spare time more carefully. Or simply work less so you can spend more time on what you love doing. I did that. And it was the best choice I ever made.

I’m not saying this will work for any creative endeavour, but you can invest on growing into a skilled artist who makes the art he/she wants and still live comfortably. Your audience will be smaller, your means a bit more limited, but the possibilities endless. You’re creative, figure it out! But please, if you ever run into some one who does work as a professional artist and is dependent on the money, please pay them. Pay them well. Or do something equally awesome (and of the same value) for them in return.

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Fastest metal band in the world

You know I’ll play in any weird location, but I have to admit I still have to reach the level of awesomeness of these guys:


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Call 911 now!

See, just cause I don’t post regularly about samples any more, doesn’t mean I’m not interested in it any more (double negative!).

Lately I’ve been playing Skrillex’s First of the Year (Equinox) a lot. Twice in that song you can hear the sample Call 911 NOW! I was pretty sure that probably came from a film, but was unsure which one. So I looked it up and the internet answered me, nope, it’s from this YouTube-clip of some angry/crazy woman shouting at skater kids. Thanks internet for educating me.

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Car Art 2011 (pictures)

The pictures from my gig at the Car Art festival 2011 are up on the pictures page!

I had great fun in that van, kindly borrowed to me by the organisation. (And again my apologies to the owner for breaking her car key.) I played a 6-hour long set (with breaks, phew) in which I entertained the audience with a song or 2, or 3 or … well some stayed quite a while. At a certain point there was even a queue outside the van. I handed out a few cards to people so hopefully some more gigs will come from this. I loved how I kept getting a lot of requests for Thunderstruck (the AC/DC song). People even told their friends to come listen to that specifically. And people seemed very curious about my stories about my Casio SK-1.

I’d like to thank the organisation & volunteers of Car Art, my lovely girl who played roadie and everyone who dared step into the van. You all made this one of the coolest gigs in my life … so far. ;)

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Headphones@Home available NOW

With the first launch gig done and two festival appearances confirmed Headphones@Home by B-sting is now officially available for you in the Netherlands and Belgium! Read more about it on the Headphones@Home-page (in Dutch). In short, I’m doing private headphone gigs for 4 special people (like you!) in special locations, either paid or in trade for something you can help me with.

If you want to book a gig (even for a regular venue), you can go to the booking-page and request one. Still in doubt? Come see me play at Cart Art this Sunday 4th of September or at Technival next Saturday the 10th of September.

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B-sting at Car Art confirmed

The news was already out before the weekend, but since I was at the Lowlands (as a visitor still), I’m a few days late for the confirmation. I’ll play at the Car Art festival in Delft on the Sunday 4th of September 2011. For the theme of the festival, I’ll be playing in a car (or more precise an old van, probably). Though people can easily walk in and out, there are very limited seats available (4 at a time), so be sure to be there in time. Tickets for the festival are available here.

Besides me, the weekend long Car Art festival offers a wide variety of theatre, art, music, film and poetry centred around the theme of cars. You can find the program here. Personally, I’m quite curious about Anatopia who will play on Saturday. Looks promising!

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B-sting at the Technival confirmed

For the people who didn’t spot it on Twitter or Facebook yet, I’m the first confirmed musical act of the Technival festival in Delft on the 10th of September 2011. The Technival is organised by my awesome day-job employer OGD ICT-diensten and consists of crazy technical sessions (building a trebuchet, Robot Wars, a Foosbal clinic, etc.), fun fair attractions (bumper cars, cotton candy, lots of fun things for the kids, etc.) and of course music. And a biergarten. More events should be announced in the coming weeks, but I’m honored to be first on the bill. I won’t be doing a headphone-set there, but we’re looking into making it a little bit special none the less. Fingers crossed.

The event is invite-only, so if you want to come make sure you become an OGD-employee, marry one, become the child of one or at least be a good friend of one who can take you along.

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  • Upcoming shows

    Nope, working on new stuff at the moment. No gigs planned.

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