Monday, September 12, 2011

Booktip X - Onder Stroom by Jacqueline Oskamp (in Dutch Language)

It took me a while to get through this book, but here is finally my long promised book review.
"Onder Stroom" ( the book is in Dutch, "Under Current" might be a fitting English translation ) by Jacqueline Oskamp is a book that tells the history of early Dutch electronic music.
You have probably seen my earlier blogposts on this topic too, if you didn't, HERE's a link.

With 6 portraits of the groundbreaking and/or pioneering Dutch composers like Ton Bruynèl, Dick Raaijmakers, Jan BoermanMichel Waisvisz and others you get an amazing insight on how the Dutch electronic pioneers worked and struggled with electronics, audio, speakers and tapes in a very conservative post-war musical era.

Each in their own way, they were driven by their curiosity, found new ways of sound-creation and explored the spectrum between noise and sound.
Their influence lead to a pretty diverse electronic music scene in the Netherlands; from the pure electronic and almost mathematical approach to the pure tape-music, along with live electronics with orchestras and electro-acoustic setups you could say these early 1950s and 60s were 'our' golden years ( i'm Dutch too).
And that all started for us only half a century ago (!) If you just look around and see what has changed in recording and sounddesign.
I know we were a bit behind on the rest of the world or Europe; Leon ThereminEdgar Varèse and Karlheinz Stockhausen, to name just a few great minds, already paved the way and had also inspired some of our pioneers.

This book is very interesting if you're into this kind of stuff, but also very pleasant to read if you have little or no knowledge of electronics and the techniques at all.
Very impressive is the list at the end with read- and listen-tips, and the book has a section of  8 pages with b/w pictures of the composers, sadly not many pictures of the equipment...

- An interview (VPRO Vrije geluiden / in Dutch) about this book with the writer can be found HERE
/ interview starts after 19 minutes - with music by Dutch artist TokTek
- Read more on the worldwide history of electronic music on Wikipedia HERE

Published in 2011 by Ambo/Anthos
Paperback 251 pages.
Info ( in Dutch ) HERE          ISBN: 9789026323249