Bram Stadhouders (1987)- guitar/guitarsynthesizer/laptop
Jasper Lekkerkerk (1980)- keyboard/effects
Onno Govaert (1987)- drums
"Tonelist" is 20 year old Bram’s third album, full of beautiful, ethereal, live improvised guitar/laptop compositions with keyboard and drums added.
Believe it or not, but it's all improvised, meaning: playing without talking or writing before, just thoughts, dense emotions, an ode, being inspired by nice Dutch meadows for example.
Bram uses his personal set of connecting his (jazz)guitar to a guitarsynthesizer and laptop, creating many melodic, wide, dreamy sounds. In addition, Jasper Lekkerkerk's keyboard and effect skills make a nice contrast, and the drummer Onno Govaert makes sure the whole thing sparkles as sunlight on a misty lake.
CD contains 72 minutes of totally free improvised pieces.
Some Bram bio:
Bram was born on 23 january 1987 (when it was freezing -18°C outside) in the city of Tilburg, which lies in Europe, The Netherlands, in the mystical, mysterious, legendary province called Noord-Brabant (some pictures of this area are in the pictures page). When he was 0 years old, he already listened to jazz and classical music (thanks to his father who is guitar teacher and his mother who is pianoteacher), and it has been said that his first word as a baby was Pat Metheny (great guitarist/composer). From day 1 it's been music.
When he was 6 years old his father started a long and intensive period of teaching him to play the guitar, until he was 14. In this time he got 2 classical guitar awards at the age of 8 and 9, plus performing experience at a young age.
At the age of 11 he got his first electric guitar, with which he played in a rockband called Grab. With members of his age at that time, they played in important venues and festivals (like the biggest stage on Festival Mundial), and there were a few documentaries and tv-shows about them, and some videoclips, and they were in the local newspapers quite often... They played some own tracks and covers. It was fun to see, too... During that time, Bram also played with Noel Redding, the bassist of Jimi Hendrix, at the National Guitar Awards.
At 12 he totally got into jazz after seeing a video from the Pat Metheny Group. He started exploiting his dads jazz vinyl and cd collection, and started a jazzband called Solar, with which he played a lot of gigs, jazzfestivals, in the Heinken Music Hall, Jazz in Duketown, opening gig before Jan Akkerman and Russel Malone, the winning on the Prinses Christina Concours. at the North Sea Jazz Festival in 2002 and much more.
At 17, when the jazzband stopped, he played a lot on jam sessions and gigs with great dutch jazz musicians like Harmen Fraanje and Hein van de Geyn. He had a lot of great experiences in the jam sessions in Tilburg, where there were always progressive musicians who were feeling the need to go further than standard jazz. In these times he recorded a soundscape-like record and a trio-record with improvisations, all hearable in the sounds section.
He's also always been into electronics, recording his own music since he was 14, and seeking for other ways of playing his guitar. Now he's 20, studying at the Utrecht School of Music and Technology (music production/composition/performance) in Hilversum, but he's living in Amsterdam. He's playing a lot with his new personal set of guitar and guitarsynthesizer connected to his laptop, which provides a totally new galaxy of sounds.
Review by Andreas Ervik for Norwegian music magazine !Hissig:
"Last year I stumbled across the music of Dutch jazz artist Bram Stadhouders. He has been a star guitarist since his early childhood. Before he had turned ten he had won prizes in classical guitar and jazz. When he was eleven he toured with his own rock band, and the next year with a jazz band.
Young rock talents have an unfortunate tendency to start experimenting with drugs, as much as with musical structures. Young jazz wonders, on the other hand, discover free-improvisation, and therefore have no need to resort to chemical substances to reach ecstasy. From Stadhouders was 17 years old he started improvising, and experimenting with electronics.
The artist is now 20 years old, and here is his first CD with the Tonelist Trio, which also consists of Onno Govart on drums and Jasper Lekkerk on keyboards. Stadhouders plays guitar and guitarsynthesizer connected to a computer. The trio plays music with complex structures, which on initial listening sounds impenetrable. But, the suggestive sound is easy to disappear in, so the music floats past with as effortless ease as the clouds pictured on the album cover. Stadhouders warm, electronic guitarsound is in the centre, completed by carefully rattling cymbals, soft drumming and colouring keyboard effects.
Of course the musicians sometimes fumble, and there are moments when the music seems to lack direction. Nevertheless, they interact excellently with each other, which is rather admirable when you take into account how young they are, and the short time they have been playing together. Just listen to how the track “Groonemin” after about three minutes explode into feedback, which after a while is followed by something I would characterize as harmonic noise. It sounds quite like a climax from a song by Sigur Ros, with guitar played with a violin bow.
Another natural reference point to this young trio is Supersilent, but then a friendlier version of the Norwegian electroimprov-quartet. Stadhouders’ music could perhaps be compared to Supersilent’s releases 5 and 6, and it has the same ether, over-worldly quality.
If you do not understand the music, then listen to it again. And again. After a while the improvised pieces will open up, like the flowers on the back of the album cover. Because, this is music that demands a lot of the listener. If one does not focus it will become a undifferentiated mass, just as a clouded sky might seem, when you just let it float over your head without looking at it. But it is possible to discover fantastic formations and incredible colours in the music, just like you can in clouds, by paying attention and being observant.
The structures and timbres that Bram Stadhouders’ trio use have few cultural associations attached to them, which means that it is easy for the listener to create his or her own pictures. This trio is going to reach far; _Tonelist_ is merely the beginning, but they have already created an album of indescribable beauty, which calms the listener by moving him or her. Bram Stadhouders is going to continue developing as an artist, and I for one am going to follow him."