Honingbeer’s «Opia» is a work as careful as it is meticulous. The result is big, dramatic and bold. It is full of emotional warmth and sincerity.
We have had the pleasure of interviewing him and this has been the result.
Hello! Where can we find you right now? How did you start your day?
It is a Sunday morning, I just had breakfast in the sun and I am still buzzing from my EP-release concert that I played last Friday.
When was «Honingbeer», your artist alias, born?
In 2015 I started looping violin. In the beginning the music was mostly extremely sweet and a bit funny. Honingbeer seemed to be a perfect fit. In meanwhile my music got a bit more serious, but I still feel deeply connected to the name Honingbeer, since I always try to look for a sweet and languorous sound.
Your debut release is out now on Bigamo, how would you define the EP and how do you see your sound evolving?
I wrote Opia during the pandemic, in short it’s a reflective work that is about loneliness, transformation of a self-image, and the mystery of infinity and our finity. For this EP I used delays and grain delays to find an idiom of sounds to work with. The compositions are based around violin loops and melodies. I also worked with Tom Broshuis, an ambient producer, who looked for interesting additions to my violin-based compositions. We added some bass synths and mysterious ambient-ish sounds to finish the compositions, which made it richer and really finished the EP for me.
What and who inspires you?
Especially women being fully committed to their creativity, creating their own world. Visual artists like Helen Frankenthaler, Dymph de Gooijer, or Colleen, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith and Kara-Lis Coverdale. Other than that I am very much inspired by themes such as nature, the concept of time, connection, infinity & finity, and my own psychology.
How do you manage to combine electronics with classical instruments? How do you manage to give them unity and harmony? Do they have something in common for you?
I use Ableton live, which is a very easy and practical way to work for me. Combining my violin with delays gave me an easy solution within building a harmony, without having to looping several layers, which I feel is a bit cliché. I only use effects that extend the warm sound of my violin. Using a DPA microphone is essential to me, to stay true to the warmth and subtlety of my acoustic classical instrument and bowing technique. I am always looking for organic sounding effects that blend well with my instrument. When I found an effect that works well I try to create a lot with only that specific effect. Creating within a frame by limiting my possibilities works very good for me to write music.
As for your studio, what is it currently made up of?
I record most things at my home, using a very simplistic set-up. I own a beautiful violin, and just use Ableton live and a simple sound card. Nothing too fancy, I’m more or a less a bedroom producer.
We all know that the digital revolution has many effects, but do you think it has affected creativity?
Oh yes, in many ways. I personally get distracted a lot…. But at the same time it also makes me feel connected to important people around me and it connects me to new people, which has a lot of influence on my inner world and creativity. I also discover many amazing artists that inspire me to be creative.
Can you tell us something about your current or future projects?
Now I finished and released my new Ep, I am starting to look for another way to continue creating as Honingbeer. I want to develop myself, and take time to find new ways of working that inspire me. Develop and invest in my set-up. I’m trying to get out of my comfort-zone by working with other musicians, jamming together and see how other people work.
Other than that I am also developing new projects with my contemporary music ensemble “Trompo”, which also combines acoustic instruments with electronics.
It is a time for seeding, and see what pops up and will bring me further. I’d love to write a Honingbeer debut-album!
Credit photo: Satellite June