“Ah, look at all the lonely people
Where do they all come from?
Ah look at all the lonely people
Where do they all belong?” (‘Eleanor Rigby’, Lennon/McCartney)
‘Maybe, if they’d put a gun to my head, I would be able to write a happy song. But the melancholy ones have always appealed to me more.’ (Meindert Inderwisch)
The story of this album is worth telling and hopefully deserves your attention. Of course the music ‘speaks’ for itself but why not add a little flavour to the tale?
I wrote seventeen songs that, a.o. described the incredible pain I had to endure when my wife Frederike (who sings beautifully on this project) left me and took our baby with her. I was ‘sentenced’ to the same excruciating feeling of loss I had endured as a child of seven when my father dropped dead on the football pitch and my mother was both physically and emotionally inaccesible for a year. I forced myself to adopt a structure (as a child and now as a grown up) that would keep me sane and which protected me from disintegrating (decompensation, depersonalisation). I swam forty laps every morning, did my groceries, went for long solitary walks during which I took some of the photographs that were used to illustrate the booklet of this album. Occupying myself with the camera took the focus away from the worst grief (it was always there, forming the base note of my existence) because mere walking left me open to the skies and open fields. People who have suffered loss will understand what I mean. I had taken a year off from work, because I wanted to write my fifth book. I felt as if I had nothing left to tell.
What I could do, however, was write songs. First in bits and pieces, fragments, small chord sequences, sentences that came from the same source I tap into when writing poetry. A place just above my head. If I jump, I sometimes catch a word that fits in naturally and slowly but surely I pieced together what you can now listen to in full form. I hired the best and most sensitive musicians I could find to record my songs as I had imagined them. On bass we had Kees den Hoed (to me the finest bass player in The Netherlands, hands down), on drums the inimitably talented and versatile Han Wouters (both members of the band that accompanied Rob de Nijs for the bigger part of his career), we had Leo van de Ketterij (the lead guitar player of world famous Shocking Blue), Chris Peeters (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCsvIE_sbGE ) who as a member of the DSL band had the pleasure of accompanying guest stars on Belgian television (Chris is the one playing the solo on Mr. Blue sky - see link - and is a truly modest, intuitive guy who I can easily connect with) like Bryan Ferry, Emmylou Harris, Joe Cocker, Peter Green and many others and who – during the Covid lockdown - recorded all his sublime instrumental contributions at home and sent them to the studio, Ad Moelands an extremely versatile and fabulous keyboard player (I owe him forever for helping me when times got really rough) and we had my personal friend Paskal Jakobsen (singer and guitarist of Bløf) who recorded the basic tracks for most of the songs in his private, spacious studio. He also coached my (ex) Frederike and me when we got to the vocal parts. Paskal sang harmony here and there which also added to the richess of Frederike’s vocals. He was dedicated and brought out the best in both Frederike and me.
While I was saving up for the next series of sessions (hiring studio musicians can become costly) disaster struck. Paskal had summoned up all his courage to tell me -his friend - that the recordings had gone missing. He had searched in vain for them and felt really bad. As a musician and songwriter he knew how devastating this can be to the creative process. I could not blame him. His studio was open to all his musical acquaintances and accidents will happen. Meanwhile my former wife, Frederike mother to our daughter Zoë, had found a new love. This man was not happy with her singing on ‘our’ record. First and foremost Frederike’s ambition was her dedication to family life. With a voice and beauty like hers, she could have gone all the way to the top, but I guess it’s best of you have a genuine purpose in life whatever that may be.
Fifteen years went by in the usual blur of life. I could not go near my songs during that time. Although I seemed to have recovered from the loss of love, digging into the soul of that specific emotion could still make me despondent. I would suffer short periods of depression rarely lasting more than three days. There is a connection between the early death of my father, my mother abandoning me and Frederike leaving, taking Zoë with her. P.T.S.D. does not only occur after life threatening situations. So I tried to avoid delving into the past.
Once you have experienced your first major depression, you can become more susceptible to the next. With me, as is the case with many of my patients, it was always a build up (see, for that matter, the lyrics of ‘Corals’) of stress, anxiety, disillusion, life events taking a wrong turn and somewhere along the line (see the lyrics on the first album “Rites op passage” where I wrote: ‘Rites of passage show no goal to me, so relentless’) I succumb and get lost in no man’s land. My depressions will wane. I ‘just’ have to endure them. During one of these vulnerable periods, things started getting worse in many ways. I found myself back in the black hole, a place I can never really fathom or remember. It has become apparent to me that I can’t write about anything that ‘lives’ there. I slowly became convinced that everybody would be better of, if I ended my life. To me it seemed completely logical. I had tried living and it just would not suit me. Like I was a pawn in some crazy game, never reaching the next level. I felt serene in this death wish and was no longer scared of the ‘shadows in darkness’. Fortunately for me however my ratio kept insisting that I was ‘simply identified’ with my Thanatos. That there was more to me than that. I forced myself to undergo treatment and after a year of working through my depression and what had been causing it (on more than one occasion) I started to experience ‘fresh’ feelings. Grief and joy, anger and love in such a pure and sometimes startling fashion, that I sometimes had to catch my breath . At the time it had been years since I last picked up a guitar or had been able to bear listening to music.
Gradually I caught myself whistling and playing chords. And then magic: I found an in-between mix Paskal had made of the basic tracks and vocals. And he had done a very good job. I called Ad Moelands who had his own studio and he invited me over to see what was salvageable. And boy, there was a lot! When going through hell you will meet angels. You might not be able to see them. There is no quick fix. But these ‘angels’ played an important role in the reversal of my fortune. Musicians showed up, playing for free. People I had never met before, were more than enthusiastic about my songs. Ad especially urged me to do something more with my music then just produce the lot to listen to it in the privacy of my home and Chris has always taken my music seriously. Praise from a man I value. As a fatherless child I am sensitive to this specific male type of support.
I sincerely hope you will agree with all the people involved in this project that this collection of songs is worth listening to.
Twenty-five years after the divorce this dedication to what lay dormant, gives me closure on one of the toughest periods in my life. The creative process has enabled me to make something – in my opinion –beautiful out of pain. It served a purpose. Margareta Magnusson wrote a wonderful book about such matters: ‘The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning (‘Döstädnung’) : How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter.’ I recommend it to anyone who wants to make a fresh start, wherever they are in their lives.
This second album, just like the first, is dedicated to ‘our’ daughter Zoë.
Frederike sings ‘Sunshine girl’ and I sing ‘Chocolate guitar for our child who is beautiful and wise. The rest is water under the bridge.
Thank you for reading.
Most vocals: Frederike van Veeren
Some vocals: Meindert Inderwisch
All keyboards: Ad Moelands
Bass guitar: Kees den Hoed
Drums: Han Wouters
Guitars: Chris Peeters, Leo van de Ketterij, Jan de Bruijn, Meindert Inderwisch
Saxophone: the wonderfully talented miss Naomi Adriaansz
Oboe d’amore: Wim van de Kar
Background vocals: Paskal Jakobsen, Debby Luyten, Ad Moelands, Frederike van Veeren, Meindert Inderwisch
Percussion: Ad Moelands, Meindert Inderwisch
All songs written and produced by Meindert Inderwisch except
‘Living with strangers’ , produced by Ad Moelands & Meindert Inderwisch
Worlds apart ': written by Paskal Jakobsen & Meindert Inderwisch
All Art work: ‘Angel’ Mieke de Bruijn (https://miekdesigns.nl)
Most photographs: Meindert Inderwisch
Recording and mixing of all basic tracks except ‘Living with strangers’: Paskal Jacobsen at his private studio
Recording the second run, fine tuning , repairing and adding his virtuosity as a musician: Ad Moelands at ID-CD studio
Final mixing: Ad Moelands, Meindert Inderwisch
Mastering: Tom Verkooijen Music Mind.Nl
Booklet printing by [email protected]