Time for another performer profile! We met up with the guys from Den Hoed vzw earlier this year, and enjoyed talking to them very much. We discussed our common interest in streetmusic with them, and they had a lot of good stories to tell. These guys are such interesting examples of the value of streetmusic: established and respected in their hometown of Ghent through busking, but also continuing to reach new audiences everyday. How could we not ask them to answer our questions and talk about how Den Hoed Quartet came about?! We’ll stop talking now, you just enjoy reading what they had to say!
Bauke’s been making music on the street since he was about 17, mainly just to make money in those days. When Den Hoed (the duo) was born, it was only natural for us to start playing that music on the street right away, we wanted to perform our music, and needed to make some money doing it. Seeing as how we’re really only talented in one thing, from then on it was pretty clear what we had to do with our lives!A few years later Den Hoed Quartet saw the light of day, all musicians who loved busking, and there was just no way we would spend more than 2-3 rehearsals indoors. Taking our instruments to the street wasn’t even a question anymore at that point, it was just the logical thing to do…
What is your favorite location to play at?
The Korenmarkt in Ghent is a nice place to play, as well as the surrounding areas.
During the Gentse Feesten the Baudelostraat is one of our favourite places too, as well as anything around Sint-Jacobs.
What is your favorite song to play?
We couldn’t really tell you, we basically just play what feels right at that moment…
Because our music is based on improvisation, the biggest part of any song depends on what mood we’re in, and what happens musically between us.
What is the value of street musicians? What does it mean to you?
The true value of street musicians is that they make the city a more beautiful place to live, walk and be in. Any form of art originally comes from the street, ’cause it’s where things happen, where people meet and where life takes place. It’s only natural that it should always find its way back there, back to where people can see and enjoy it. You see that not only in music, but also other types of street performances and street art.
Music and art are necessary in the public picture, if not just to challenge people who would otherwise never go and see it, than just to be an open forum for what you do.
Who is your inspiration? If you could choose one artist, dead or alive, to collaborate with, who would it be?
If we have to pick 1 person, it would have to be Xero Slingsby. He was a genious saxophone player from Leeds, a street musician and just a bit trashy, just like us. With his band Xero Slingsby and The Works they made a somewhat different sound of punk-jazz, with a raw energy that we can certainly appreciate.
Hope you enjoyed this new Performer Profile. If you did, go check these buskers out here and here. Also great news for those of you living in Leuven! Den Hoed Quartet will be playing in the Diestsestraat this Saturday (27/4) at 2:30 pm. So if you’re curious about how they sound live: no excuses, go and listen for yourselves! You can find a description of the event with all the practical information on facebook.
We are still looking for more musicians with interesting stories, willing to answer our six short questions. Let us know if you know people that fit the description! Also, a second Sidewalk Sounds pop-up concert is being organized. If you want to join us, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or through our facebook-page!
Until next time,