Monday Mixtape #9: Krijn Peter Hesselink’s top 5.

Krijn Peter Hesselink is one of the great young writing talents of the Netherlands. He’s recently started putting some of his poems to music. The result can be heard on his site but also in the show Broerrr, which will play in de Roode Bioscoop and features Sieger Baljon, Bas Kisjes and Mezrab’s Sahand Sahebdivani. For the Mezrablog we asked Krijn Peter to send us his favorite songs. This is what he sent us:

(By the way, we translated his texts into English, so grammatical blunders are our mistake!)

Language vs. Music: The Battle.

The poet Mustafa Stitou, writer of poetry collections like the great Varkensroze Ansichten, once told me he regards poetry as a second class form of art. Our words can never have the power of music. I’m a bit more optimistic, why wouldn’t music and sound be able to complement each other? Prompted by another run of my poetic musicshow Broerrr, which can be seen on Thursday April 12th in de Roode Bioscoop, I’ve been asked by Sahand Sahebdivani to make a list of my five favorite songs. A great excuse for a small investigation…

André Manuel: Kraaien (crows)

André Manuel loves his words that were born in the clay of his province Twente. They roll through his mouth and boom through concerthalls. Even a song about his own death turns into a celebration of life.

C.B.: Whoa Buck

Leadbelly, Muddy Waters, Mississippi Fred McDowell. Music history would have been very different if Alan Lomax had not made his famous trips dragging along his sound equipment to record amazing folk music. At the end of the 1940s he visited the Parchman Farm in Mississippi, a prison with the primary aim of keeping as much of the money possible made by the forced labor of the inmates. C.B. shows how simple music can be. He sings to his mule and thanks to Alan Lomax we can listen along. By the way, recently the entire archive of Alan Lomax is being put online. A true horn of plenty:

Billie Holiday: This Year’s Kisses

Jazz singer Billie Holiday and tenorsax player Lester Young had never played together before until meeting in a studio on a magical winter day in 1937. Lester Young lets his saxophone dance. Billie Holiday discovers a richness of expression in the words I would never have suspected there.

Charlie Parker: Just Friends

Sometimes Mustafa Stitou is just right and words are superfluous. Charlie Parker heedlessly demonstrates his phenomenal technique and ability to improvise, but nowhere does that show of force come at the expense of what really matters: the music.

De Kift: Hoofdkaas

There are not many music groups that so relentlessly declare their love for literature as De Kift does. For more than twenty years have these gentlemen put to music the poetry and fragments of prose of writers such as Samuel Beckett, Jan Arends and Lucebert. The piece Hoofdkaas, based on a text by Werner Schwab is a personal favorite.

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