Music and emotion

Music is a shortcut to your emotions. That’s why I feel privileged to work with music and with musicians. You get a smile on your face when you hear a certain rhythm, melody, timbre, text. Three years ago, many people had this experience with the song “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. Other songs make us sad and we cry. Billboard published in February a list of 50 songs that we can dance to while they make us cry. Songs can also […]

Careful but fearless 2

What happens now, after the attacks in Brussels yesterday, is that we fool ourselves in order to stay comfortable. A logic mistake many make is to think: A: All attackers were Muslims. (or: All tulips are flowers.) B: You are a Muslim. (or: A rose is a flower.) C: You are an attacker.   How wrong this logic is becomes clear, if we replace attackers with tulips, Muslims with flowers and you with a rose: A: All tulips are flowers. […]

Why solitude is important to artists

How do you feel when you are alone? I  mean really alone, without friends around you, without a computer or smartphone? FOMO, Fear-Of-Missing-Out is one of the main reasons why we are afraid of being alone. Others might have fun without us. We might miss an important event or some breaking news. That’s scary. Important events on FB are often not more than a photo of the dinner a friend is eating. Breaking news is about the holiday plans of […]

Go out and conquer fear

After the attack in Paris last week with 89 people being killed at a concert at Le Bataclan, everyone in the music business is shocked and grieved! And we react accordingly. Some Dutch venues have increased safety measures by using twice as much security people ans searching every single visitor and his/her bag.  Prince is postponing his European tour. The targeted attack on pop music affects us all. Music is important to us. Music can cross borders and connect people, […]

Free as an artist

Art is always something new, something that hasn’t been there before, at least not in that form. It requires a certain amount of freedom, freedom of fear, to create something new. And new is unpredictable, therefore scary for many people. Today is a national mourning day in the Netherlands, for the victims of the plane crash in eastern Ukraine. Another conflict area that is dominating the news is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see many one-sided and aggressive reactions on social […]

Unblocking 9: Compassion

Compassion seems so easy, except if it’s about compassion towards myself. Last week I was invited as panelist to goNORTH, an art conference/festival in Inverness in Scotland. My mind was full with all kind of duties and tasks. And I can go quite harsh on myself when I haven’t finished them all at once! It’s not the duties and tasks themselves that form a block to creativity, it’s how you deal with them. If you feel the need of more […]

Unblocking 1: Safety 2

One year ago I was working with this great book of Julia Cameron: The Artist’s Way. She wrote it about 20 years ago already, and it’s still used by many authors. In all my 18 years in the live music business I’ve never heard of it. Are there musicians working with this method? Do you know? Anyway, I’ll start to write about all the 12 aspects of unblocking your creativity. It starts with gaining a sense of safety. Safety has […]