Sunday, November 04, 2007

Jan Turkenburg

Jan Turkenburg

Jan Turkenburg is a former busker, and current Dutch primary school music teacher, who I recently found online. His composition, "Tribute to 365 Days Project" (Parts 1 and 2), was made in response to a challenge issued by Otis Fodder, whose "365 Days Project" was a daily dose of strange and often obscure audio, uploaded every day for a year. The challenge was to create music, using his project as its basis.

You can find out more about Jan Turkenburg at his website. Otis Fodder's 365 Days Project has been archived at both WFMU and, and can be explored HERE. Without further ado, here's the SAR Q&A with Jan Turkenburg...

*Name: Jan Turkenburg

*Are there any additional names used to describe this project: “De Zwervende Keien,” “Marcel, Jan and the Dutch birds”

*Members: Well, it's mostly a one-man project by yours truly: Jan Turkenburg. On some pieces I get some help from my wife Wilma Turkenburg. We used to perform as a cheesy kind of folk duo, but now Wilma only appears very rarely on tracks. Even more rarely I get some help from my friend and colleague music teacher Marcel van der Wulp playing horn. On pieces where Wilma is involved we still use our former group name: De Zwervende Keien (Dutch= The Drifting Boulders) and Marcel and I call ourselves Marcel, Jan and the Dutch birds.

*Tape manipulations, digital deconstructions or turntable creations: Well, these are difficult ones to answer for me. I refer to my pieces as "splogwroughts.” I use any kind of sound carrier or live musical instrument to make the works I'm making. My first digital works consisted of cut and paste works using samples only, but I gradually started to add flute, keyboard, guitar and later other instruments on top of it. I try to construct pieces like I've been taught to paint in secondary school. Most of the time I begin with rough outlines of the whole composition. But sometimes, like the first two 365 days tributes, I just start with a few samples and intuitively just cut and paste along. It really depends on what mood I'm in.

*Another genre descriptor: splogwroughts

*Why you use this descriptor: Splogwroughts (also sometimes named splogworks) naturally comes from Splogman's wroughts or works. The name Splogman originally has nothing to do with today's meaning of splog (spam/blog). I began using the pseudonym Splogman, around 2000 when googling on splog or splogman still didn't lead to any result. It's a Dutch abbreviation of flexidisc log (Slappe Platen LOG), because one of my first websites was a weekly log on flexible corporate records.

*Location: The Netherlands

*Original Location: I'm very, very Dutch. My father's family records go back to the fourteenth century Netherlands. From my mother's part I might have inherited some 18th and 19th century German and Jewish genes ;-)

*What is your creative/artistic background: My father gave me my first music lessons when I was a kid. After school I took recorder lessons when I was between 8 and 12 years old. I gradually switched to flute when I was a teenager. I learned a bit piano from a friend. I took saxophone lessons at 22 years, after which I was a busker in Antwerp, Belgium. After that I played and sang in the British-Dutch-Belgian band The Stepping Stone Visit. Finally I went to the music academy in Zwolle, The Netherlands to get a full degree as a music teacher on all Dutch school types (from kindergarten to secundary school/highschool). Now I'm a fulltime music teacher at one of the biggest primary schools of this region.

*History: I started creating music this way in 2003, after a long period of hardly having composed anything anymore. It was pretty much Otis Fodder's challenge to make music based on 365 days material that pulled the composing trigger again.

*Born: I was born in 1964 in Vinkeveen, a small farmer's village near Amsterdam. Wilma was born in Zwolle where we live now.

*Motivations: I've always been fascinated by the possibility of recording and manipulating sounds, cutting bits and pieces out of their original context and giving them a new meaning in another context. But it's also a strong urge, an inexplicable need, a neurotic disorder or compulsion to create music and produce sounds.

*Philosophy: Music is just vibrating air. Beauty is in the ear of the beholder.

*How would you like to be remembered: Someone with a contagious obsession for music.

*Web address:

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