Friday, March 28, 2014

Anne Chris Bakker 13 questions

After playing for some years in a slowcore band i’ve decided that it was time to move to something different. The music started of as post-rock and slowcore orientated music but slowly evolved into more abstract and minimal music. In search of the possibilities of the guitar I started to play guitar with a violin bow more an more often. After spending 2 years experimenting with sound, I’ve started collaborating with experimental guitarist Romke Kleefstra and poet Jan Kleefstrra.

Photo Pakchee

 This collaboration resulted in a few gigs and a record called ‘Wink’ which was released in 2009 at Apollolaan Recordings. After the release of Wink more gigs followed, including some gigs in England, Germany and Japan.  In March 2012 a second release followed at Low Point(Griis), again a collaboration with the Kleefstra brothers.

In 2010 i decided to do something fully on my own. The result of this proces of experimenting over these few years is  'Weerzien'.

In september 2013 ‘Tussenlicht’ was released. Again at the british Somehow Recordings label.
In februari 2014  'Reminiscences' followed. This time on the Moscow based label Dronarivm.

Which was the first approach to sound do you remember?

Leaves rustling in the wind.

Why do you need music? Can we live without music?

To me, music is some kind of necessity. Music can touch dimensions which are unreachable for words. It helps me to process daily experiences to give me some calmness.
On the other hand, too much sound can be very overwhelming, so I don’t have the tendency to listen to music that often. The full beauty and impact of a Morton Feldman reveals itself better in periods of less exposure of sound.

So, why did you decide to pick up the guitar?

When I started listening to music, I listened to lots of indie guitar bands. And somehow, i just had this tendency of picking up the guitar. For me at that time, that was the most logic choice.

Which work of your own are you most proud of, and why?

I think that will be my first solo album ‘Weerzien’. After doing live shows and releasing two albums with the Kleestra brothers i felt a big urge in working on solo work. Despite of the fact that i like doing improvisations, I somehow had a big tendency of working more intensely on ideas instead of, like i always do with the Kleefstra’s, recording just one live improvisation. Working on the ‘Weerzien’ material was an intense period and somehow a kind of struggle finding the right direction and letting the music flow. That search somehow reflects the album, which i think, can be heard in the material. I can’t say that ‘Weerzien’ is the album i like the most, but the process of making the album and the final result was very satisfying.

Sabine Bürger

Where are your roots? What are your influences?

In my teens i listened a lot to indie bands like Eric’s trip, Guided by voices, Sonic Youth and Sebadoh. I think a band like Sonic Youth definitely influenced me the most and was a kind of a turning point. Listening to them intensively made me realize and discover the boundless possibilities of the guitar. I remember listening to ‘the Diamond Sea’ over and over. Also the album ‘I could live in hope’ by the band Low is a huge influence. The silence and the beautiful reverbing sound of that album had a deep impact on me. Through these influences i discovered lots of things varying from Godspeed you! Black emperor, Tarentel, Oren Ambarchi and later on Machinefabriek, to composers like Erik Satie, Steve Reich and Morton Feldman.

Why and how do you use extended techniques in guitar?

Using extended techniques i more or less a search of the possibilities of an instrument. The thing i like about using extended techniques is the unexpectedness of the sound. You never know what to expect and it made me discover the richness the sound of a guitar can give.

Nacht en Dei by Kleefstra|Bakker|Kleefstra

What’s the difference between a good guitar and a bad guitar?

It’s hard to make a straight distinction between a good and a bad guitar. Ofcourse, there is this difference in timbre. But for me the big distinction for me lays in the fact how you play the instrument, how it is treated, and whether or not the instrument is played with intensity.

How would you define the present time in musical terms?

Nowadays it’s very easy to record music. That means that there a not much boundaries to put the stuff on the internet of even release it. But that also means that there is lots, lots of crap out there.

Wink by Kleefstra|Bakker|Kleefstra

What do you dream, musically speaking, about?

More space, more silence

A valuable advice that someone has gifted to you in the past?

Is was an advice not directed to me personally. It was an artist, of which name i don’t know, talking on the radio who pointed out that the best thing he learned was not to put too much ideas in one project. After hearing this i realised that this advice was of great importance.
I soon started working with this ‘restriction’ and it really helped me.

What's your fetish device in the sound chain?

The delay is by far my most used pedal.

Tell me one impossible project do you like to realize?

Work on a project together with John Cage. His attitude, philosophy and spirit is such an inspiration.

What’s your next project about?

My next project is album where the piano plays the main role. The album mainly consists of minimal piano sketches which are recorded with an old tape recorder.



Peter Broderick And Machinefabriek With: Kleefstra, Bakker, Kleefstra And Nils Frahm - Mort Aux Vaches Mort Aux Vaches MAV064 2011

Kleefstra | Bakker | Kleefstra - Live March 2012 Northern Twilights NT03 2012

Kleefstra I Bakker I Kleefstra - Griis Low Point LP047 2012

Reminiscences Dronarivm DR-20 2014


Kleefstra / Bakker / Kleefstra* - Wink Apollolaan Recordings apan012 2009

Weerzien Somehow Recordings SR-54 2012

Tussenlicht Somehow Recordings SR3A 2013


Wandering. Music and film by Anne Chris Bakker

Great Expectations by Sabine Bürger
A film about the Wisbech & Fenland Museum.
Music: Celer & Machinefabriek / Keith Rowe & John Tilbury
and Anne Chris Bakker

Sinne op 'e Wangen. Film by Sabine Bürger
Music by Kleefstra/Bakker/Kleefstra
Watch a preview of Sinne op 'e Wangen here

Nacht en Dei. Film by Shinkan Tamaki. Music by Kleefstra/Bakker/Kleefstra
Watch a preview of Nacht en Dei here

Hunter film by Elmar Kuiper. Music by Anne Chris Bakker Watch part 1 hereWatch part 2 here

Oerwâldwurd film by Elmar Kuiper. Music by Anne Chris Bakker
Watch Oerwâldwurd here