Edward Reekers
MUSICIAN DIRECTOR VOICETALENT
Child of the water - the story

It all started, I guess, when I found myself singing on stage again regularly. For years I had only been working in studio’s, occupying myself with jingles, commercials and voice-dubbing.
But I suppose blood really is thicker than mud. Singing is – and will always be – the love of my life after all.
I began to think about writing songs again, prudently. Untill one time when I sort of heard myself say I was working on a solo album. And when you say it, it’d true...
I started to go through some songs I still had lying about ans I started writing some odd bits and pieces.
Normally I would start working on a song and finish it before starting to work on another. But now I was working on up to three of four songs simultaneously ! The inspiration was pouring and I wrote and I wrote and I wrote !
When I started working on the demo’s I really didn’t have any idea how I was going to record this album. I thought I would have to use a lot of audio from the deamo’s and maybe just do the mixing in a “real” studio.

 

home studio

Untill I met someone who was just as excited as I was and whose dream it was to be involved in the making of a CD. As if it was meant to be we sat opposite eachother with reddish cheeks, knowing we were going to make our dream come true.
I got to pick a studio. And musicians who were going to participate. A number of doors I thought to be firmly closed, suddenly opened.

mengpaneel

          

Than you have to start planning and preparing. Burning CD’s of the demo’s for all the musicians, writing out the songs in chord symbols, transferring the songs from the computer onto a portable hard disk and trying to find dates on which the studio, the musicians as well as me would all be available. And than you start to notice that you are the engine of the project and that – if you don’t take any action – nothing will happen.
But eventually I had it all planned. I scheduled three days to record the drums and pass parts. The keyboard parts I had played myself in my home studio and they were – also soundwise – good enough to keep.

 

teksten

 

Thursday, March 6th

A friend of mine, René van Broekhoven had recently acquired a Steinway Grand Piano for his home studio and invited me to record a couple tracks at his place. I had already played the piano parts at home but there was one song that I thought could use a real grand piano. I was only going to add a string quartet and the leadvocal. That song, “The best of me”, was co-written by Han Kooreneef whom I met and became friends with during the Motel Westcoast project. So I thought it would be a good idea to ask him to play the piano part on our song (he wrote the music, I wrote the lyrics) and he did so with love and passion !

 

Han Kooreneef

Sunday March 9th

Martijn Bosman comes along to build up his drumkit and an hour later Lené te Voortwis arrives with his bass guitars. I sort of knew Martijn from Kane but I met him at a Venice concert. I’ve been a fan and a friend of Venice for some years now and when they’re touring in Holland I always try to visit one of the shows. I join them for the soundcheck so we have a little time to catch up on things. Martijn played drums for them on this tour and we started talking. When I saw and heard him play a little later I was impressed with his creativity and power but also with his feeling for nuance and his discipline.

Martijn Bosman

I have known Lené for many years and from the first time I heard him play I fell in love with his melodic notion and his tasteful virtuosity. Over the years I was fortunate enough to work with him a couple of times and I always enjoyed that tremendously. The question was : could Lené and Martijn form a firm base together ? They both have more than enough quality, of course, but there also has to be a vibe, both musiacally and personally. Something I needn’t have worried about because they loved playing together, they were really into the songs and they were cooking up a storm!

 

Lené te Voortwis

After a couple of days of hard work, but also sheer pleasure, the basic tracks were down, and how !

Wednesday March 12th

In my work as a studio singer I’ve had the pleasure of working with the Metropole Orchestra several times and over the years I became friends with several of its members. One of those friends is Ernö Olah who was the first violinist with that orchestra for many years. Based on mutual respect and admiration we had entertained the wish to record something with his string quartet. Another “old friend” I have admired for his arranging for years is Hugh den Ouden who therefore seemed to be the ideal person to write the arrangement for Ernö’s string quartet, more so because they both have been a part of the worldfamous Malando Orchestra. The result, together with Hans’ piano part, was even better than I had dared to dream.

Hugh den Ouden with the Ernö Olah string quartet

Wednesday March 19th. The guitar days have begun !

I met Jeff Zwart during the Motel Westcoast project and I was instantly impressed by his sublime and tasteful guitar playing and his captivating personality. He was very excited about the songs after listening to the demo’s.
Despite the fact that he once called out in despair : “ This is a chord I have never played before !” (in Inside the pain) he played so many wonderful guitar tracks that a number of typical keyboard songs suddenly turned into typical guitar songs !
The only song Jeff didn’t play on was “Strawberry Blonde”, which I wrote together with Pim Koopman. The guitar and keyboard parts on Pims’ demo were so well played and sounded so good that we decided to keep them. So the strange fact occured that Pim – a drummer – played virtually everything but the drums on his own song !

!

Jeff Zwart

Friday March 21st. Percussionday

Another Metropole-buddy I’ve been friends with for years – we even ran in to eachother once in Portugal during a vacation with our families – is Eddy Koopman. He brought along timpany, a huge concert drum, bongo’s, conga’s, chimes and a whole collection of “assorted metals” as he called it. Percussion to me is the atmosferic icing on the musical cake and Eddy is a master at it. His warm personality and intens involvement were a feast to experience !

 

Eddy Koopman

Tuesday March 25th. Sax and flute

I wanted a sax solo on “Stop the time” and I had a couple of songs for which  I needed a piccolo and a flute. During a concert of the orchestra of the Royal Dutch Airforce I noticed the flute player, Marianne van Koolwijk. She enriched “Child of thew water” with her piccolo and played the beautifull flute part on “When wise men say”. Patrick Curfs, also the boyfriend of my fellow Kayak singer Cindy Oudshoorn, invited me to that show. I already knew him for some time and his way of playing and his approach to music I found extremely pleasant. I am delited with his wonderful solo.

 

Patrick Curfs

Wednesday March 26th. Backing vocals

During the tour of Kayaks rock-opera “Nostradamus”, I had already met and become close friends with Syb van der Ploeg. He asked me to join the Motel Westcoast project and that was great fun ! Together with Mirjam Timmer (Twarres) and Julian Thomas we had a great vocal sound. Julian and me also became good friends. And, recording this album, I wanted to surround myself with people that I had a bond with, both musically and personally. When Syb was working on his slol album “Heilig Vuur” and invited Julian and me to join him for some backing vocals, the results were so goed that we decided to form a pact. The three of us were also going to do backing vocals om my album and Julians album.

And it wasn’t easy for them ! Especially “When wise men say” and “Child of the water” needed a lot of backing vocals and the parts that I’d construed in my sick mind are not exactly your everyday singalongs...

 

left to right Edward, Julian Thomas, Syb van der Ploeg

Na After a session there would sometimes be a little time left that I would use to do a lead vocal. A couple of tracks I didn’t have to redo because the vocaltrack of the demo turned out to be very useable, also soundwise. That filled me with more than a little pride because I had recorded them myself in my homestudio !
But there were a number of tracks that I did want to resing. Together with Hans Bedeker, the engineer, we would work on the leadvocals.

 

View from the vocal booth

Monday March 31st. Mixing

Well, when everything’s recorded ofcourse you want things to sound great and leap from the speakers in the right balance. And also we still had to add the wonderful string arrangements by Frank van Essen ! He writes the arrangements and plays all the parts himself. All you have to do is “slide it into your song”.
We took ten days to mix, Hans and me. Make this a little louder and duck that slightly, effect here, effect there, bit of top end, bit of low end and most impotantly : a tiny bit more bass drum...
The overall sound of the CD is mostly Hans Bedekers doing. And we were well looked after by Sylvia Houtzager, Hans’ wife, who provided us with goodies and sweet things. And also ofcourse the people at Wisseloord, Petra, Paolo and Johan.

 

Hans Bedeker and Edward

And then it’s finished. I still had doubts haunting my mind : is that loud enough, isn’t that too soft, does that little thing sound good there, shouldn’t the balance be different... The problem is that you can keep working on it. At a certain point you have to draw the line and say – especially to yourself – okay, it’s finished. It tooks weeks before I had distanced myself enough to be able to “just listen” to it but now I can say I’m very proud of the results and I’m very pleased with this album.

And then...

Yes, ‘cause there’s more. The CD has to be mastered, a cover design has to be made, credits have to be written, colours have to picked, photographs have to be made and so on.
Throughout the project I have had a lot of support from my wife and children. They had to do without me so many times. At a certain point I wasn’t even “the man that carves the meat on sundays” anymore... But they were there for me !

And then ofcourse the man who made the whole thing possible, my executive producer Frits Keij. He was at my side, together with his family, every step of the way and he also “found” Floris Hermsen who designed the cover. Without his wonderful support this album would have never been what it is now.

 

Frits Keij and Edward

So now it’s up to you, listeners.
Let me know what you think. Send me some feedback through this site. I am looking forward to your opinions !

Enjoy the album,

Edward Reekers.