Introducing: The Erasmus Music Collective
On September 25, the first jam session organized by the Erasmus Music Collective was hosted in the old, grey brick building of Codarts at the Pieter de Hoochweg in Rotterdam. We spoke with the organizers of this new collective, and with one of the musicians that has joined for the jam session. Florieke de Geus, who performed at the ACE EXPO last year, and Lucas Vermeer warmly welcomed us with some beers and great music.
What is the goal of the Erasmus Music Collective?
Lucas: “We, as in me, Mees Booden and Florieke, found each other one year ago as we all do a double degree, the Erasmus programma that combines arts with university. We all study at the conservatorium in Rotterdam, Codarts. We felt that we are already integrated in the music scene in rotterdam because of our school and interests. But there are a lot of people at the university that have great skills, but who couldn’t study music as they wanted to, so the original plan was to connect those people so that everyone could make music together which is great. I also did some music programming and received questions from the music programme at EUR. We would love to help them as the Erasmus Music Collective so that the events at EUR will be done by the actual students.”
Florieke: “We actually want to become the houseband of EUR. Combine the lack of options for musicians and lack of music during events, and there is a demand for it.”
Lucas: “We have been thinking about it for some months now and we came up with this jam session, so that the musicians know each other and we get to know them. We want to know what EUR students have to offer musically. We thought about what we could offer as a music collective, we would love to create a formation which could do cover gigs and parties, but also a formation that could do graduation nights. We would like to get to know some singer-songwriters who can perform individually, so they can play at EUR events as well. We would love for the people of the collective to connect with each other, help each other and continue this collaboration between students.”
For who is the programme?
Lucas: “It’s for all EUR students, since we want to get some support from the university. We were supported financially and emotionally by Studium Generale. We came up with this idea with the Studium Generale, together we want to make the cultural sector more prominent at the university.”
What are the plans for the collective now?
Florieke: “We are aiming to organize one jam session per two months to keep gathering musicians. In between there would be rehearsals and gigs.”
Lucas: “We expect students to gather in this collective that represent every genre and instrument, just so they get to know each other. We are working on two levels: professional musicians and for those who are just doing it for fun.”
Florieke: “We are aiming for gigs within EUR, but also outside university walls.”
At this point, the jam session started and the present musicians played a beautiful rendition of ‘Fly Me To The Moon’ by the legendary Frank Sinatra. We spoke with the Sinatra-impersonator himself, Rotterdam-based musician Bonno Getz.
How would you describe yourself as a musician?
Bonno: “A bit of cabaret, a lot of The Beatles, especially Paul McCartney. I even have a stick-and-poke tattoo of his name! I like to focus on the crowd, that they are having a good time and not falling asleep watching me.”
Which instruments do you play?
Bonno: “In chronological order, I started with piano at 10 years old. I took piano lessons and back then, I didn’t even understand chords. At 14 I started with the guitar and joined a band, wherein I played bass guitar. Around 16, 17 I actually started singing out loud instead of just in the woods or in the shower. Since 1 year I also play the accordion as well. Yeah, I’m like a young grandpa.”
What got you into singing?
Bonno: “When I was a kid, I always thought I could sing well, but I only sang when I was walking in the woods with my dog. I used to sing I’ll be there by the Jackson Five. But then one day my dad said we should sing together and he was amazed that I could sing. I discovered it was actually fun to sing in front of crowds.”
Why did you join the Erasmus Music Collective?
Bonno: “I love to play music, and since I live in Rotterdam I hoped to find a group I could be in a band with. Like, I used to live in a city called Meppel and even though it’s smaller, I had more people to play music with there. Here, you’re all in the same city and you just connect through music. You are more individualistic here, but you just play together.”
This talented group of musicians can be found at Erasmus Open Mic Nights and soon will also be present at certain ACE events. What those events are, you’ll just have to wait and see… see you soon EMC!