So, it’s been a while since my latest update. This is because I’ve been occupied with lots of different project and releases, most of them to be released this year.
First up is the new album of NINE STONES CLOSE. This album has been a very long time in the making, and I’m very happy to see it released by Bad Elephant Music this spring! More info, album cover and tracklist soon.
Last year we’ve also been working hard on new albums by SKY ARCHITECT, MAYRA ORCHESTRA and ADEIA. These 3 records are planned for release in 2016.
Lastly, I’ve been working on 2 side projects, which resulted in two albums now almost finished as well. All I can say about it now is that these albums are very contrasting in style and sound, and very different to previous work I’ve done, too. I’ve gone the extra mile to come up with new concepts and sounds, to avoid repeating myself. Now it’s time too decide when and how this music will be released, and if there are opportunities to play live, perhaps.
More news soon!
For now, check out a new song from the upcoming NINE STONES CLOSE album here:

NEW ALBUM, NEW BAND, and more!

I think autumn is a beautiful season.
At times it's gentle and peaceful, melancholic, contemplative. But it can also be twisted, dark and bleak.
For me, 'Days Of Summer Gone' compasses all these things.

It's my new album and It's about wonder, loss, transiency, longing, loneliness, and much more.
In a time of cold computer music, I wanted to take a more organic approach.
No programming, no synthesizers, no quantizing, even no electric instruments here.
This album is almost entirely acoustic, featuring some very talented guest musicians:

Ruben van Kruistum - Cello
Intan Werry - Violin
Maxime le Minter - Oboe
Federico Dalprà - Flute
Peter Bruin - Trumpet
Joey van Doesburg - Trombone


Out In The Night (14:09)
Distances (6:23)
Cold Heart (11:10)
Heliophobia (5:25)
A Heart's Endeavour (12:28)
Days Of Summer Gone (12:28)

The pieces turned out to be longer compositions rather than songs, with lots of changes and different colors.

The album cover is made by the Polish painter Leszek Kostuj.

This album will be released October the 7th by Progress Records.
More info about pre-orders soon.

In other news, I've joined the excellent NINE STONES CLOSE as a keyboard player. Check out THEIR WEBSITE for the complete new line up!
Recordings of a new album will start this autumn. I am very excited about this, and I'm very much looking forward to this new adventure.

And last but not least: MAYRA ORCHESTRA will also release a CD+DVD this autumn. We've crowd funded enough money to make it possible, and I can assure you it will be a truly wonderful piece of art.

So, lots of stuff happening at the moment. More info soon. Peace out!

Adeia's debut, Sky Architect's return and more.

I expect this will be a year with lots of exciting new things. One of them is the physical release of ADEIA's debut 'Hourglass'.
Adeia is a progressive, avant-garde metal band in which I play drums. Our first album has been a long time in the making (as debut albums usually are), and I'm very glad to see it released finally by Layered Reality Productions.
This album will be available in their webshop on June the 3rd!
On another note, the new SKY ARCHITECT album entitled 'A Billion Years Of Solitude' is finished and will be released probably around September or October, by Galileo Records. I think it's a great album, it sounds very Sky Architect-like, lots of great ideas and creative stuff. Very eccentric and vintage sci-fi all over.
I've been working on the music video for one of the songs, which was actually quite a big and creative project in itself. But more about that later.

MAYRA ORCHESTRA will perform in Grounds, Rotterdam on 1st of July. This will be a huge, awesome gig, with lots of musicians on stage, circus acts, video projects etc. Be sure not to miss this one!
More info here:

And finally, check out MAYRA ORCHESTRA's live trailer here:

That's it for now. Stay tuned, more awesome stuff to follow!


That's me with Maartje Dekker and Dary Proper mastering the MAYRA ORCHESTRA album at Wisseloord Studio's. So it seems it's now finished. Wisseloord Studio's definitely is a great working environment. We are very satisfied with the final results, can't wait for you to hear it!
Now it's time to schedule the release of the album, hopefully also before this summer. This is a very big, symphonic project and at the moment we're preparing live shows as well. For now, check out for more info on this project.

New Stuff

Right, here's an update on some projects I'm involved in at the moment:
The MAYRA ORCHESTRA album is finished and will be mastered this week, by none other than Darcy Proper, at the legendary Wisseloord Studio's in Hilversum.

"Thus far, Darcy has been honored with 2 Grammy awards and 7 nominations and has won several TEC awards and Surround awards for her work. She mastered historical reissue projects for such prestigious artists as Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Johnny Cash, and André Hazes. She has also worked on stereo & 5.1 front-line releases for many talented artists including Steely Dan, The Eagles, R.E.M., Donald Fagen, Porcupine Tree, Peter Maffay, Toots Thielemans, and Söhne Mannheims." - Wisseloord website.

For the upcoming CHRIS album I've recorded most of the instruments already.
I can tell it's going to be very different, again, than my previous stuff. Especially in comparison to CITY OF LIGHT. One might even say it's the opposite in terms of style, more or less..

And finally, we've begun mixing the third SKY ARCHITECT album. I think it's our best album so far, very progressive and very SKY ARCHITECT. This album will hopefully be released before summer.

Looking ahead

Happy new year!
With the Christmas album being out now, and the December festivities behind us, dust is settling at last.
That means it's time for new plans. There will be another CHRIS album this year, that's for sure. I've been working on it, even before the Christmas album, and I'm planning to finish it in a couple of months.
There will be another SKY ARCHITECT album, which has already been recorded in the last couple of months. Check out our video reports to see the recording process of this album.
And last, MAYRA ORCHESTRA will release its first album this year as well. This is quite a new project, though it's been in the pipeline for a long time. More info on that soon!
So it seems 2013 will be a fruitful year, with lots of music and exciting things.. more to come!

Dark days before Christmas: Pt. XV

It's the final mixdown! Ta ta ta taa.
Yesterday I've finished the mix of the album, so it seems my work is done! Looking back on this two weeks of madness I can say it was a lot of fun. A lot of spontaneous ideas and great guest musicians! A quite stressful but definitely rewarding recording process, very inspiring and tiring!
I'm very happy with the results and will put a preview online very soon. Also there will a special page online soon, dedicated to SNOW STORIES, with soundbits, more pictures and info etc.
The audio master is already at the pressing company, so it seems we made all the deadlines to have the album out on December the 19th. Stay tuned for more information and, of course, music!

Dark days before Christmas: Pt. XIV

Mixing today! As well as some minor detail stuff (some percussion, some editing etc.)
By the end of the day this album will be done!

Dark days before Christmas: Pt. XIII

Got an email in my inbox with guitar solo's from Sebas Honing! How about that? He's a very talented guitarist, so I asked him to play on the song "Towards The Stars". Because I had no time to visit him, I just sent an audio demo of the song, with the request to come up with some lead guitar parts. I was very curious to hear the results, and they sure sound awesome!
Check out his his band (click here) by the way.
Here's a picture of the stuff he used for this recordings:
Meanwhile, back at my place, things are groovy! I've been working on "Eventide", the opening piece of the album, until very late at night. I've began mixing as well, since I have to deliver the music tomorrow. Won't be long now!

Dark days before Christmas: Pt. XII

Today I recorded some lead guitars with Bas Immerzeel. You will hear him play on "Nightwalk", a short but very symphonic piece of music, also quite bombastic and very Christmas-like. A lot of melodies were invented on the spot.
So that means most of the recording is done now, there's still some editing and of course mixing to do. And, most probably, there will have to be some additional recordings which I have forgotten. I must say, working this fast sure makes it a bit more difficult to keep overview of the whole thing, but it's a lot of fun as well.
FREYA Music is releasing this album very soon, which means I'll have to deliver the final masters in two days. Two days. Righty.

Dark days before Christmas: Pt. XI

Recording some extra acoustic guitar bits today, as well as percussion. Barchimes, triangle, shaker etc. There are still some gaps to fill here and there.
Another cool sound I recorded is the glass harmonica (wine glasses filled with water). Very atmospheric and very mysterious!
Tomorrow Bas Immerzeel, who also played on my last album 'City of Light' will be here and record guitar for "Nightwalk", a song which I actually wrote this morning. Last weekend, when the cover artwork with titles, credits etc. was sent to the pressing company, I didn't have a clue on what this song was going to be like. It seems it will be a kind of anthem-like, big song. Back to work!

Dark days before Christmas: Pt. X

Recorded violin today with Laura ten Voorde. She is a very energetic player, which adds a lot of expression to the songs. She's also a member of the band Adeia, as am I. Check out this band in the projects page if you haven't already!
We did some solo melodies as well as some layered harmonic parts. Slowly but surely it's all coming together.
Also recorded some of the last vocal parts for the album, which means I also had to write a lot of the lyrics on the spot. Working so quick is quite exciting, and allows some spontaneity in the whole project. Anyway, I think I managed to come up with some nice, meaningful lyrics for the last songs.

Dark days before Christmas: Pt. IX

Behold, the cover artwork for the CD!
Here's the track list:

1. Eventide
2. High Spirits
3. Snow Stories
4. Winter Sleep
5. Passing Of Time
6. Midwinter Memoirs
7. Towards The Stars
8. Nightwalk
9. A Way Home

Pre-order the digipack HERE for only 10 Euro's!

FREIA Music has been kind enough to believe in this whole project, and will release a digipack before Christmas! There's a quite a lot of music for your money, although a part of it hasn't even been made yet.
So, back to business: recording more vocals today.
Right now I'm working on a song with lots of vocal harmonies. Can't wait for you to hear it!
More soon.

Dark days before Christmas: Pt. VIII

Another busy day. First I recorded cello with Ruben van Kruistum. He's a very good cellist, and recorded the cello parts very quickly. It's getting better every time!
After that I spent some time writing lyrics, which took me a bit longer than I had expected. I wanted to avoid the over-used Christmas cliche's, with Santa, Red-nosed creatures and sleigh bells and stuff like that. It seems it will be a 'serious' Christmas album. Not too much emphasis on the visual, commercial aspects, a bit more focus on the 'spirit', if you will. I'm trying to emphasize those aspect that make us appreciate festivities like Christmas in the first place, in essence. Apart from shopping malls and Coca Cola.
So I've spent quite some time on that, and recorded vocals for two songs. I experimented a bit with different vocal styles, very happy with the results. Tomorrow there will be more!

Dark days before Christmas: Pt. VII

Now we're talking! There's no holding back on this project. Yesterday I was lucky enough to record church organ for the Christmas album.
This really gives the songs a new depth and texture. I was a bit worried the sound would have too much reverb, would blur the mix, but the results sound really impressive and very nice.
After that I recorded harpsichord, another instrument with a very characteristic sound and great acoustic quality. Fits in really well in the symphonic Christmas arrangements. This instrument can sound both delicate and powerful. Soon I probably should get some hours sleep, by the way..
More to come.

Dark days before Christmas: Pt. VI

Yesterday I've finished the electric guitar parts, added some extra acoustic guitars and keys.
But, most importantly: glockenspiel.
Every piece of music complimented by glockenspiel instantly sounds like christmas!
I also added a little instrumental piece, very nice, sound like a Tim Burton soundtrack to me. Still working like a maniac to get the bits together in time, but it will be worth it in the end!

Dark days before Christmas: Pt. V

Electric guitars: ….not quite done!
Still a lot of work to do, I hope to finish it today and be able to record some keys as well.
Here's an updated version of the track list, with some comments on each track:

1. intro : very intro-like
2. high spirits : very energetic track, lots of melodies and happy stuff
3. christmas thingy '11 : one of the longer songs, with some 70's prog influences
4. hocol prarum : nice little song with some classical influence and sixties vibe
5. 4478 : beatles versus flower kings.. or something like that
6. spark : acoustic guitar piece, also a bit classical
7. A 3/4 : quite a long song, lots of guitar and vocal harmonies in the style of queen
8. Bm piece : melodic piece with mostly piano and vocals
9. G : very uplifting song with extensive acoustic arrangements

I have some extra song material as well, but I'm not quite sure if it will end up on the album..
We'll see. Back to work!

Dark days before Christmas: Pt. IV

Acoustic guitars: done!
Actually there seemed to be much more acoustic guitar parts in the songs than I had expected. It really gives the songs another kind of energy. In the past I sometimes recorded acoustic guitars with just one mic in front of it, which sometimes can give quite fine results. But recording - not only acoustic guitars, but for instance small percussion etc - in stereo really makes a huge difference. As you can see, the 2nd mic is actually not in front of the guitar, but above the player's right shoulder.
I like the sound of the songs so far. Most probably there will be some really interesting, less usual instruments later on! So stay tuned for that. Next thing is recordings electric guitars and keys.

Dark days before Christmas: Pt. III

Recording Bass!
Looks like all the bass parts are done as well, so I can stash away my bass guitar again and not pull it out until a couple of months. I hardly ever play bass, only when it needs to be recorded.
It sure kept me up long enough, so I had to sacrifice some hours of sleep. But it's all for the greater good.
Anyway, the recordings sound good already. Very pleased with the drum sound so far.
It seems to me the songs all sound quite diverse, quite different from each other. Still a lot of work to do. Onwards!

Dark days before Christmas: Pt. II

First day of recording is done!
Yesterday I recorded the drum tracks for all the songs. I used my tiny Remo Bebop-drumkit, with an 18" kick and one tom and floor tom.
I recorded in my elderly home, with a simple 8-track hard disk recorder. Reminded me very much of recording my first album 'A Glimpse Inside' somewhere in 2008.
I experimented a bit with different drum sounds, for instance putting towels on the drum heads to get that muffled 70's sound. I also covered the room with blankets to prevent it from sounding crappy. In fact, the result sounds very nice!
In contrast to my last recording 'City of Light', which sounded quite modern, the Christmas recordings will probably sound a bit more natural and authentic. Also enjoyable for old people!
Since I didn't have proper guide tracks I played along to click-tracks with just a midi-piano on top of it - stuff that I had prepared the night before.
I could say that everything is going according to schedule, but in fact that there is no schedule whatsoever, of course.
Next up is recording bass guitar!

Dark days before Christmas: Pt. I

Righty. Here I go.
It's day 1 of my adventure, my bold attempt to create this christmas album in 2,5 weeks, more or less.
One might say it's a project doomed to fail epicly, but once the idea had settled in my head I just had to give it a try. It sure kept me up some nights, fantasizing and planning the whole thing. I already had two songs ready-ish, one of which was the ChrisMas 2009 tune High Spirits. I've been wanting to revisit that one, with real drums and strings etc.

Today I will start recording the drums. That means the demo's had to be ready today. I've been writing songs very quick, without thinking too much, up to yesterday evening. By now I have 7 or 8 ideas to work on.
Things aren't quite ready to be recorded yet, but since there's no time I just packed my stuff this morning and went to my elderly home, where I will set up a little studio-kind of-thing, and attempt to record all the the drumtracks today.

But high-hearted as it may sound, I do believe this album might just turn out quite decent.
I'm pretty sure it won't be rubbish, at least! We'll see..
Part of the whole concept of this 'panic-short-term-album-making' was too capture some spontaneity on the way, due to the fact there's simply not enough time to think things over properly. It might turn out shabby, but at least it won't be a overcooked, over-produced product. So much for speculation, here's some kind of track list:

1. intro
2. high spirits
3. christmas thingy '11
4. hocol prarum
5. 4478
6. spark
7. A 3/4
8. Bm piece

total length: (??:??)

That's enough for now. I'll try to upload pictures and updates one a daily basis, so stay tuned for more panic. I promise I won't make drama out of it. Wish me luck!