A short questions and answers
as conducted by Elenka Freikkar via e-mail, Norway
Elenka: Welcome Freek! I’m so happy you are willing to have this chat with me!
Freek: My pleasure.
Elenka: What is your motivation to make music?
Freek: I love to work with words and music, make them fit, give them meaning. To me, creating is an organic part of day to day life.
Elenka: What is the importance of titles in your work?
Freek: The titles of songs are an integral part of the song and are often clues to certain things – it’s like a treasure hunt. I enjoy treasure hunts.
Elenka: What is the difference between Beequeen, Brunnen and other projects?
Freek: The music of Beequeen was a combination of two, later three very different personalities. Brunnen was a solo song-based project which, after many years, has run its course. The Beautiful Glassbottom Boat displays my love for the king of instruments: the organ. I intend to record more under my own name. Then there is The Blue Mask, a Lou Reed tribute project, which sprang to life in 2016. And then there is are The Soul Sleepers and the British Institute of Dreams… but only in my dreams.
Elenka: I am looking for a copy of the cassette Cris en Mouvements released by Tranches De Vie, which has a track called Faustus Opus Magum by you. Where can I find it?
Freek: If only I knew. This was my first contributions to a compilation cassette and I was never sent a copy (or it never arrived). I tried to contact Tranches De Vie but they appear to be all out for lunch indefinitely. If anyone has a copy of the cassette I would be thrilled to hear about it.
Elenka: What is the first record you ever bought?
Freek: Tarzans Nuts by Madness, which I still have. Originally I wanted to buy Embarrassment by Madness on single, but bought this one by mistake as I couldn’t remember the title when I got in the store.
Elenka: You collect records by Adam and the Ants. Why is this?
Freek: Because they’re great! In February 1980 I watched Top Pop, a Dutch music TV-programme, that aired 30 seconds of Antmusic by Adam and the Ants. It was a revelation; this was what I had been waiting for, somewhere between Punk, New Wave and the New Romantics – exiting and colourful music. The next day I went to town and bought Antmusic, my first Adam and the Ants record. This time I remembered to write the title down.
Elenka: What is the record you would never part with?
Freek: Probably the ones that would be hardest to replace, such as the acetate to the Scars’ Author! Author! Album, which was the soundtrack to my youth. Karel Appel’s Musique Barbare of which the ultra-rare lithography is hanging on my wall. Lots of industrial music, such as original Nurse With Wound, Maurizio Bianchi and Throbbing Gristle records. The An Anna Blume/Ursonate album featuring German artist Kurt Schwitters reciting his Dada-poetry is almost impossible to find – much like Ja Ja Ja, Nee Nee Nee by Joseph Beuys. I have a very weak spot for original packaging and cassettes. I would probably never part with my copy of Only Dreaming, the debut cassette by The Legendary Pink Dots of which only 9 or 10 copies were made. 78 rpm discs, such as the one that has Errol Flynn singing Lilly Of Laguna or Christopher Robin, son of Winnie-The-Pooh’s author A.A. Milne, reciting and singing and the 1939 Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs soundtrack on a beautifully-packed double 78 rpm disc.
Elenka: What are some of your favourite books?
Freek: Glad you asked! My all time favourite book has to be The Coming Of Joachim Stiller, a beautifully surreal story written by Hubert Lampo in the late 50s. Translated in English, but best read in Dutch. Other favourites are Errol Flynn’s Beam Ends, his book about his adventurous sea travels in the late 1930s. And what about Haruki Murakami’s Hard-boiled Wonderland And The End Of The World, The Wind-up Bird Chronicles and Dance, Dance, Dance, J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher In The Rye, J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, Colin MacInnes’ Absolute Beginners, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams, The Jewel Of Seven Stars and Dracula by Bram Stoker, Kobo Abe’s The Woman In The Dunes, most books by Tennessee Williams, Yasunari Kawabata and later books by John Irving… Great books – I enjoy good surreal storytelling.
Elenka: What are some of your all time favourite TV-programmes or movies?
Freek: I don’t really watch a lot of television, but I love to go to the cinema. Some of my all time favourite movies are West Side Story, Ghost World, Mulholland Drive, Rear Window, Night Of The Iguana, Singing In The Rain, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, La Dolce Vita, Midnight Cowboy, Tokyo Story and Fire Walk With Me. TV-series such as The Avengers with Diana Rigg or, perhaps slightly more contemporary, Twin Peaks, Sherlock, Fargo (season 1 and 2) and Lewis are close to my heart as well.
Elenka: Should I want to surprise you with a record as a gift, which record would be appropriate?
Freek: I used to have a copy of the South African Decca records pressing of the Young Parizians 1978 single by Adam and the Ants, but sold it in a moment of total delusion. I’m tearing my hair out now of course. If you have one to spare, please contact me. Please. Please. Please me.
Elenka: If I would like to take you out to dinner, where would I best take you?
Freek: Any good Indian restaurant.
Elenka: What do you think about Scandinavia, say for instance Norway?
Freek: Unfortunately I have never been to Norway, but would love to go there and enjoy nature.
Elenka: Do you like being massaged?
Freek: I love being massaged, but……
Elenka: Are you a good lover?
Freek: I beg your pardon?