Key members to the organisation of Pastiche are Dagmar Cloosterman and Gwendolynn de Boer. They are also founders of the project and study music in the Netherlands. Below they explain what motivates them to organise Pastiche.
Dagmar Cloosterman Hogeschool Leiden, Music Therapy
Gwendolynn de Boer Conservatoire of Amsterdam, Music in education 02-11-1995
Love – passion – appears in different forms: the overwhelming kind, the easygoing, happy and content kind – and the point where this stoic air becomes more passionate and transfers into addiction. For me, this started with an Irish ballad and continued with my acquaintance to new rhythms and scales within the Mediterranean music and the enchantment when hearing my first Tango. From that point I realized how many undiscovered worlds are lying hidden within different styles of music. All with their own richness in musical language, from different rhythms, keys, tonalities, tuning, instruments, totally unknown musical concepts… Discovering these worlds leads to an unbelievably broadening horizon. And not only in a musical sense. I like to think of different styles of music as a reflection of a people, a culture. This can be a very old culture with primitive origins, wherein for example the Indonesian gamelan music and the Mbira tradition from Zimbabwe developed. Or it can be a more recent culture, wherein urban styles like Fado and Rembetiko developed. But these styles have of course roots that go back on earlier cultures and tracing back origins one find’s that both cultural and musical aspects are in the end all intertwined. However, though this may all sound very romantic, for me it wasn’t a matter of love at first sight. I disliked music from Ireland and music from the Mediterranean at first. Also Fado, Flamenco, music from Java didn’t appeal to me. So why am I now so passionate about these different styles? Why would I want to recommend someone to listen to music which does not correspond with the taste of that person? In my answer I willingly admit that I find taste one the most fascinating things in life. But I think taste is not the key figure in deciding whether we like something or not. I think there’s an even more important ingredient: understanding. I have spoken to a lot of people, both musicians and listeners to music, who felt resistance at first when hearing a new type of music for the first time. But after a while of listening and sometimes playing as well, they started to appreciate the style. And is it not like this with all things in life? Something unknown does not appeal to you as much as something trusted, it might even scare you – of course there are these exceptions, the moments of love at first sight, but most of the time these moments are indeed the exception – not the rule. This is why I hope to inspire other people to search for this uncomfortable sounds – listen to them, talk to people of the culture where the music originated, read about this culture, judge all the strange habits the ‘out of tuned instruments’ and then find suddenly this moment where an unexpected shift takes place. The sounds start to make sense, the culture has beautiful expressions which have a so far unknown nuance- for they’re unique to this people. The Portugese found out Saudade which manifests itself within the Fado, the Duende can only be found within the Flamenco and there are more complex examples that can only be expressed in musical terms. For me, who tends to look for projects to accomplish things that are simply not possible, an obstacle in this journey of discovering new types of music is that I will never be able to comprehend every style of music to its full depth, let alone be able to play them all in the best possible way. Also, the fact that one is not born in a certain culture decides that the person as ‘an outsider’ will never be able to play the music as somebody who is one with the culture- since culture and music are one. Now I realize this and have peace with it. I’d like to encourage everybody to the discovery. For me, the continuing means that I keep feeling enriched by getting acquainted with different styles and search for more layers in the styles I am already trusted with more. It doesn’t mean that when you love Fado, Rembetiko, music from Scotland, Scandinavia, the Balkan and you did not grow up with the music you playing an unauthentic version of the music is worth nothing. We are living in a globalizing world, where you are perfectly allowed to share your inspiration. With your way of playing the music – you become part of the tradition. As long as you are aware of the origins and respect them. Gwendolynn