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01.05.2018 | Words by: De School

Heavily inspired by pop-music and blending this with minimal-grooves, Matteo Myderwyk released his piano debut album 'To Move' in 2017 on independent label Excelsior Recordings. This album was recorded in just two days in Muziekgebouw Eindhoven. 

On April 20th of this year, Matteo released his second piano record called 'Verses', which was also recorded in just two days. Matteo’s main influences can be found in minimal founders Steve Reich and Phillip Glass next to free-jazz musicians such as Misha Mengelberg, Craig Taborn and Cecil Taylor.

De School is more than pleased to welcome him to De Binnentuin, as he is the first artist to feature the intimate concert series we will host throughout the summers to come. For those yet unfamiliar: we asked the man to answer some questions as a short introduction on what to expect on Wednesday the 2nd of May.

Q: Hi Matteo, please introduce yourself and tell us how you started playing keys.

A: Hi everyone, my name’s Matteo, and I’m a 27 year old, Amsterdam-West based pianist. My studio is also in a former school-building called Lola Luid. Kind of like De School! 
When I was 14 I bought a keyboard at a local supermarket. At age 16 I went to the conservatory and studied both classical and contemporary music. In my masters I started studying organ and free improvisation.

Q: What kind of musical projects were you involved in before you started this solo project?

A: I did many projects; both cross-over or as a solo musician. Some hightlights; in 2013 I was a member of the Dutch Youth Orchestra conducted by Steve Reich himself. We played a lot of his compositions. I also started making soundtracks for live cinema events; and played them live in some nice venues; for example at the Into the Great Wide Open festival on the Dutch Wadden Islands.

Q: You are on the verge of releasing a new record. What can you tell about this release?

A: 'Verses' is my second piano solo album. It’s recorded with a muted upright-piano in a small studio; so with felt on the piano strings. The sound of the record is very timid and asks for close listening. It’s a record to listen by yourself; just you in the train, walking, waking up, going to sleep, stuff like that.

After 'To Move', my first piano record, there were still many piano ideas in my head. So Excelsior and I decided to make a new one. I don’t want to play very clear piano music that gets you immediately in a certain kind of mood. You as a listener has to focus for it as well. That’s why I didn’t write titles for the songs. The tracks are named after the scale they are played in, so: C minor, E major etc.

Q: What’s the key to recording your albums in just one or two days?

A: Well, in the first place; to me music isn’t getting any better after playing the same song 10+ times (regarding you record single takes, and don’t use overdubs). If you want to stay as close as possible to the creation you have in your mind you shouldn’t have anything else going on in your head. So by thinking too much about melodies, chords and stuff you start losing this new idea. For me improvising is about getting to the core of what you want to say.

Q: What kind of gear do you use on stage for this show?

A: I use an upright piano, a Fender Rhodes Mark II, a Roland Juno 106, a Moog Sub 37 and the Alesis VI 61. These synths all go into Ableton Live 9; and in the box I use for delays; Soundtoys Echoboy. As an EQ and compressor i use FabFilter.

Q: To what extent is your show based on improvisation?

A: I built some musical ‘frames’ to give the music some structure and context. In these frames there's a lot of freedom. A frame can be a chord-progression, a bassline or some rhythmic stuff.
So let’s say 40% is prepared or composed.

Q: What can we expect from your live show in De Binnentuin? And what could you recommend the attendees for a maximum listening experience?

A: I’ll probably play two sets of +/- 40 minutes; so I’m not playing just one song after the other. The tracks will merge into a new one, or not… Well, everyone has their own way of experiencing live-music, but to me talking with the person next to me never helped me with this. So some silence is recommended.  

Q: What does the rest of this summer look like for you?

A: I’m asked to join JOHAN on their tour as support-act and will be playing some cool Dutch venues. This will also include my first appearance in Paradiso. Furthermore, I will be playing a new festival called Camp Moonrise and I'm also looking forward to play Down the Rabbit Hole Festival and HaldernPop in Germany.

By the way, I hope to finish 'Fading' – my electronic record – this summer; that’s my main focus.

Matteo Myderwyk plays De Binnentuin on Wednesday May 2nd. The weather forecast is looking promising but keep in mind that it can cool off during the evening. Doors open at 20.00 and tickets are €10,- and available right here.
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