Carlo de Wijs

World of Hammond organ

+31653713234

EXPLORE THE WORLD OF HAMMOND ORGAN MUSIC, EDUCATION & RESEARCH. IT'S MY AMBITION TO GIVE THE HAMMOND A BREEDING GROUND IN USE, SOUND & TRADITION

Vlogging, Vinyl and a Variety of other things

Hi all,

Although the great summery weather sometimes offered temptations, I was able to make a lot of progress on different fronts. The coming 2019-2020 season will therefore be a very exciting one, if I may say so myself.

Not only will I start giving you more insight into the development of my modular Hammond through a series of vlogs, there is also a new release around the corner. This release with New Hammond Sound Project – on vinyl, back to the old days – will be paired with the launch of its own label: New Organ Sound Records!

This will also be the start of a “fresh” and exciting process together with Kunstmin and Energiehuis in Dordrecht, which will consist of two interconnected parts. The first part is a concert series called D-Sound, in which we officially kick off the New Hammond Sound Project on November 14. New makers on the intersection of music and technology will be invited for the additional dates to join on stage, as each of the four (!) concert dates will focus on a different subject. Not only music, but interviews, background stories and much more will be playing a role during these evenings.

In addition to these concerts, we will be working on creating a “creative breeding ground” where artistry, a lab function and education come together, all based in the Energiehuis. I am incredibly honored that Jasper Damsteegt, director of Kunstmin, has asked me to fulfill the artistic leadership within this process. More news on D-Sound will follow shortly!

As summer is coming to an end, classes at Codarts have started as well. And, so has the recruitment of the new Hammond talents of the future. In case you know someone that fits this description you know where to send them!

Besides all these projects, I’ve been working on my dissertation – yes, that is still happening – of which I have now written half. I will complete the history of the Hammond organ as a major underlying chapter of my research this year, after which “innovation” will follow as the central theme: which actors all influence the realization of innovation? You get that basically all of this work surrounds the development of my instrument, projects and field of education. They all come together in this research, which makes it very pleasurable to be busy with!

For now, I will happily stay busy with all of these projects – as always. Stay tuned for more information on all and of course: my first vlog!

Carlo

Studio, Stage and Summer

June, a beautiful month where the stage played a present and central role again. 

This month marked the go-ahead for our live interactive visuals with the performance of Jordi and myself as New Hammond Sound Project in Herenthals (Belgium); a very nice musical reunion with Benjamin Herman on a crowded Parade in Den Bosch; Hammond Sandwich for breakfast, lunch and dinner on various stages; and finally, a ‘back to the big band’-roots with the Utrecht Student Orchestra. 

My studio has been quite busy as well, through the performance labs dedicated to my PhD. Creative Producer Tim van der Burg, live electronics specialist Akim Moiseenkov, buddy Job van Nuenen, and the Ableton cracks Menno Keij and Hidde de Jong together designed programs, routings and new controllers. These enable adding the digital layer of my modular Hammond as a completely new domain to the already more developed analogue possibilities. We are not nearly close to the finish line yet but as we do want to share the progress so far, image and sound samples will follow soon. It’s really spectacular!

As it is so important to me to stay up to date on technological developments, my earlier releases from the nineties can now be heard again on all streaming services. Additionally, I would like to tell you all that an official (hard- and soft) release of our New Hammond Sound Project will be presented during the kick-off of D-Sound! This is the series developed in co-production with the Energiehuis and the Kunstmin, both in Dordrecht, which will take off on November 14. More from this series will be organised in 2020, so definitely stay tuned. 

Now, as you can read, a lot of excitement has happened this past month. This summer, I will just continue working as I feel I’m on a roll and goods things seem to just keep coming along. Not that I mind doing that, but if you are lucky enough to relish the sun either at home or on holiday: enjoy!

Parade, Jazz in Duketown Den Bosch . Photo by Erik van den Akker

Parade, Jazz in Duketown Den Bosch . Photo by Erik van den Akker

In September, the second New(s) Sound will be released – which you can subscribe to by the way – so see you then!

Carlo

Jordi, me & Job’s visuals in 360, Energiehuis Dordrecht

Jordi, me & Job’s visuals in 360, Energiehuis Dordrecht

New(s) Sound!

Hi all!

A couple of years ago I send out my very first newsletter. Today, I have sent out the first monthly edition of the renewed version of this newsletter.

For the ones who haven’t subscribed yet: are you curious about the developments around my spectacular Hammond, which some call the 3.0 version? About the live interaction between Jordi Geuens, myself and the visuals created by Job van Nuenen, described by a professional as a 4D experience in sound and visuals? About the contemporary vision on both education and research, for which lectures and concerts will occur? Then read on!

Because I stand ground in the current practice of creating, making music, teaching and research with both hands and feet, it is my ambition to serve as a bridge between the past and the present, analogue and digital possibilities, young and old(er). This by learning from history, but especially by researching and developing in the present.

The original ground-breaking innovation of the Hammond organ in 1934, to me, means an inexhaustible source for the new road that is becoming more and more visible, step by step.

I warmly invite you to follow me into this journey and provide me with your feedback and responses. You can sign up at the end of this post!

Carlo

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And The Musical Journey Continues

Hi all!

Though I promised to keep you updated, a few months have passed already. However, this only shows the busy but creative flow I’ve been in, as in the meantime, a lot of tangible progress did happen. The New Hammond Sound Project releases (LINK) are the results of the direction in which we’re moving.

New Hammond Sound Project, NHSP, signifies a ‘visual sound’. Just like my Modular Hammond adds new layers to the original tone wheel and Jordi doing the same with his drums, Job (van Nuenen) adds a new dimension to existing visuals. He bases the visuals on real time footage and models the details of those in 3D. The result is a whole new kind of style, even experience, which we plan to develop and implement even further so they can be used during live-shows as well. Just like within the releases, we want to show live-images during the live-shows. But as this is still being developed and we don’t want you to wait, we’ve got some more online releases ready for you, so stay tuned!

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These upcoming months, you’ll also see more of my earlier releases, between 1990 and 2002 to be exact, being re-released on Spotify, Apple Music etc. By checking them out, I believe the creative developments that lead to NHSP are really visible. Therefore, I can’t wait to hear – and read – what you all think of them.

Next to the online parts, it is the “behind the scenes” part where there are even more processes happening. Though not quite ready to enter the real world yet, there is one thing I’d like to give away for now: being an educator and my PhD research have led me to develop a new initiative within both those fields. Yes, here I go again – more about this coming soon!

Carlo

New Era, New Sound, New Release!

My World of Hammond (7)

Hi all,

I’m incredibly proud to announce that a brand-new era has arrived: it is finally time to launch the first audio and video release of our New Hammond Sound Project! From now on, there will be a new track released every month. We can’t wait to hear what you all think!

This project came into existence through years of developing my modular Hammond organs, together with Jordi’s hybrid drums. The visuals made by Job van Nuenen, which kind of serve as a third member of the band, complete our vision. Like no other, Job knows how to translate the musical-tension and structure to image. I think that’s also why so much time has passed since my last CD-release with the Voices of Soul in 2012: real art takes time. However, I promise you that this is going to change.

Our first track, Element Cm, is based on a ‘catchy hook’ that gradually evolves in ever-changing harmonic colours. The bit is recorded live and shows footage documented from six different cameras.

Theo Janssen and recording-assistant Ruben Steenmeijer carried out the audio recording. Theo, Jordi and I then mixed the tape after which (Ivo) Statinksy Mastering took care of the finishing touches. I’m telling you, keep an eye on that man. He turned out to be a perfect addition to the making of the final product.

Besides producing the tracks, of which three are ready and new ones are in the making, there is still a lot of work to be done. The website needs an update; social media needs to be streamlined; releases on Spotify, Apple Music, et cetera need to be planned; we’re searching for a(n) (booking) agent; so yeah, this is going to be a busy but exciting time. Still, I couldn’t wait any longer and just had to start sharing parts.

Ultimately, creative expression turns out to be the strongest and the backbone for all of my other activities as well - like for instance the development of Hammond education and my other research. If you like you can read more about this personal process, just go check out my new bio ‘The man behind the organ’.

Enjoy and don’t hesitate to share the music!

Talk to you soon,

Carlo

Hot Topics, Travels and Throwbacks

My World of Hammond (5)

Hi there!

It’s been a ‘hot’ summer in many different ways. So where to start? I wish I could give you a glimpse into all the sorts of exciting developments that are and have been going on, but since that would be too much, let me just concentrate on what is tangible – which is actually excited enough on its own!

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My research into the history and future of the Hammond organ seems to be the main and ever returning subject when it comes to all my other activities. The first chapter of this thesis has been finished and approved by my professors and promoters. It describes and discusses the emergence of the Hammond organ as pioneering innovation and the life of its inventor, Laurens Hammond. It’s not a story built up by just facts, instead its centres around the actors that have influenced the history of the instrument’s development. I talk about the climate in which innovation could come about, the technologies, the social and cultural factors present and the people that – together with Hammond – were decisive for the development of the Hammond organ.

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On another note, despite the discussion about the open access of scientific articles, which I strongly support, I abide the policy of the Erasmus University and therefore won’t be sharing the entire chapter on my website – yet. Of course I hope to be able to share this content at some point, since I believe in a Hammond community where people can share interesting facts and perspectives. Keeping science alive, am I right?

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Oh, Chicago

I’m very much looking forward to the upcoming visit to the Chicago History Museum next week. The Hammond Organ Company Records between 1928 and 1985 are stored there, which the Marmon Group, as owner of the Hammond brand, donated to the museum when Hammond passed onto non-American hands during the eighties. As researcher I’ll get access to these archives – which I expect to be of great importance to my research. There are about 20 meters of boxes containing correspondence, reports, drawings and patents, budget and marketing plans, operational figures, et cetera. They also preserve a collection of promotional and educational materials, photographs, posters, audio and video, and even a number of actual organs.

I also hope to get the chance to meet a number of people, such as the former technical engineer who worked under Laurens Hammond personally. Besides that, I’m also planning a visit to Hammond Suzuki USA. Hopefully, there will be some time left to actually visit the city, clubs and museums. In other words: you can expect a report of my visit for sure.

This week, the lessons at Codarts started again. This is the first official year of a new bachelor- and master program, after launching the pilot-version two years ago. Naturally, we will still need to work on the familiarity with this program within Europe, but I’m pretty content with the current response – both from within the program and the outside world. We’re also going to work together with Suzuki to make sure this new program will be both of high-quality and internationally known.

This summer also brought us closer to the release of the New Hammond Sound Project in collaboration with Jordi Geuens: my next blog will reveal the release date! We also recorded some exciting new material made on my new Blue B3 and Jordi’s Hybrid Drums.

Finally, this blog ends with a proud father announcing that his daughter Romy will join his team in the field of PR and Marketing this coming year – it being a part of her master Media and Creative Industries at the Erasmus University as well. When she was just a baby, Romy often kept me company, chilling in her maxi-cosi, while I was working at my desk or studio. As soon as a rehearsal with the then Voices of Soul started, she would join them with her own vocals  – showing us her already exhibiting talent for wanting to babble on with the musicians. It therefore should not come as a surprise that I now want to take advantage of her – by now actually developed – creative and communicative talents.

Stay tuned, as the next blog will be here soon enough.

Carlo

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With Romy (1999)

Although she was just four years old, every now and then she would keep me company on stage during a performance

Europe, Sandwiches and New Tracks

My World of Hammond (4)

Hi guys!

I'm very proud to mention the letter of intent Hammond Suzuki Europe and Codarts signed on Tuesday April 17 in which both shared their interest in promoting the education in Hammond organ at Codarts. In my opinion, this is a huge step in developing education at the highest possible level!

Hammond and Codarts will also cooperate in the international recruitment of students and investigate the viability of starting a joint pre-education trajectory.

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The presence of mr. Shuji Suzuki, president of the Suzuki Corporation, and mr. Shun Aoji, head of the international sales department, at the signing was a true and unexpected bonus. Boye and Willem played some music on Hammond B3 and XK5.  More about this on  Codarts website

Boye and Willem are my fellow partners in the NewHammondLAB as well. Last week we were invited to produce a music track for the opening of the yearly conference of Dutch Higher Education (Jaarcongres Vereniging Hogescholen). I wrote an overture for our LAB, which we expected to be suitable for this job. Arranging, recording and mixing were all a joint effort. What do you think of this one-minute version? Would you like to hear an extended version?

Food for

T

hought?

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Yum, A Hammond

Sandwich!

In 2017 Dutch alto saxophonist and great jazz personality Paul van Kemenade asked me to join his new project: Hammond Sandwich. Together with collegue Arno Krijger, we intent to add a very personal sound to the music of this band instead of performing a probably more expected Hammond battle. A sound with with fast and high notes; screamin' Leslies and blues. In fact, it will probably be nothing but the blues.

It's not that I'm condescending about these kind of Hammond battles, I was happy to take part in very pleasant meetings with Rob Mostert and Sven (Hammond Soul) Figee and with Mike Carr and Dirk van der Linden in the past, but .... this instrument has so much more to offer. Arno and I, in my humble opinion, are constantly finding new colours in sound and music and are blending them like a sandwich!

Almost every member of this band, Paul (as), Jeroen Doomernik (tp), Chris Strik (d), Arno & me contribute original compositions. It's a true joy to be part of this project.

'Flying' on a forklift with equipment (Jazzroom Breda)

Yes, I know! It took me a while to come with a new release, but it's almost there.

Next week, four new tracks will be audio-mastered. My dear friend Job van Nuenen is working hard to extract and design video clips with the material from the six camera shoots we made during the recordings last year. I'm really curious about what you will think of this new material.

Personally, I think the performances I did together with my musical soul mates Jordi Geuens (drumming, producing and mixing) and Theo Janssen (recording & mixing) sound like a fresh and clear start into the area of a true New Hammond Sound. But please, some patience is still required.

There's more to come so please stay tuned!  

Carlo

Codarts & B3: Beautiful Blue B!

My World of Hammond (3)

Hi again,

It’s been a busy few weeks! Sjaak van Oosterhout delivered my long awaited, newly blue coloured, B3: the instrument I have been playing since the age of eighteen. We have basically become one.

In comparison with that other Hammond beast, my modular and experimental instrument, this Blue B(3) is fully equipped for stage use. It has the individual routings, with which I can choose to manipulate its sound analogue or digitally. There’s also the midi keyboard, which I use to play pre-produced Hammond samples or the beautiful Novachord Ableton Live Soundpack. It has several foot controllers, wah wah and a vocoder.

Both instruments sound quite different from each other. I wish I had more time to play on both instruments all day, but with the many projects happening at the same time…

Thanks to Sjaak, who – again – has done an unbelievably good job!

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Modular Hammond, Blue B & lots of wires…

I'm proud to say that after two pilot years, my employer Codarts Rotterdam decided to fully support a new Hammond organ main subject for the bachelor and master. This is truly unique for Europe, guys! Of course Hammond already exists as a part of some keyboard and piano courses at other conservatoires, but this one has a central focus on the Hammond besides piano and keyboards.

On March 10, we celebrated the launch of this with the Hammond@Codarts day, which was pretty successful. See the video compilation of this inspirational day with music, talks, interaction and jams.

KEEP ON ROCKIN'

Carlo

Rhoda, Mixing & New Hammond Records

My World of Hammond (2)

It has been an exciting week! Four days of being in the presence of Rhoda Scott: her personality, wisdom, openness, friendliness and frankly just her still being that great performer. How nice it was to have the opportunity to talk to her for several hours, which resulted in a huge input for my PhD, Hammond education at Codarts and as a personal inspiration. Rhoda’s daughter and personal manager Eugénie accompanied her all the time. She keeps Rhoda free from unnecessary activities, which results in this healthy and energetic grand old lady of the Hammond. Almost all of ‘Hammond Netherland’ showed up during her four concerts, both young and old.

A lot of the stories Rhoda told me will be included in the second chapter of my PhD research, but first I will finalize chapter one. Expect this to be published real soon.

Altoist Benjamin Herman accompanied Rhoda, which reminded me of the more than 12 years I had the pleasure to perform in his organ quartet. What an outstanding guy he still is!

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New Hammond Records

This Friday Jordi Geuens, mix engineer Theo Janssen and I had an audio mix session of the recorded tunes from last year, made in my former Geertruidenberg studio. We’ll release those New Hammond Sound tracks in the Spring and next week Job van Nuenen and I will work at the matching videoclips. I promise you it will be a fresh New Hammond Sound project. It will also be the start of my own New Hammond Records company!

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B3 is coming back

The last thing to tell you in this second blog, is that my B3 organ will finally return from Sjaak van Oosterhout on February 26. I can’t wait to play again and study all new possibilities.

So many things are happening at the same time right now and I’m very pleased with that. More to follow soon.

Stay tuned! Carlo