In May 2020, the coronavirus makes it impossible (or at least unwise) for musicians to meet up and do what they do best. Dekoor Close Harmony decides to spread their music in new ways. Following the success of their first quarantine video, people all over the world are asked to submit a video of themselves singing a single note in the key of F major. 270 submissions later, Teun is asked to put everything together in a new composition, forming the prelude for Fix You by Coldplay, as arranged by Malene Rigtrup.
The unique task was challenging in several ways, both musically and technically. The gargantuan amount of files had to be organised by note and subtly edited to make sure less experienced singers and disturbances in the recordings (mostly from phones) did not distract from the music. The progression had to sound monumental, the voicings bombastic but not too dissonant. Lastly, everything had to be passed on to video editor Lukas Arts in a way that enabled him to convert it to a video capturing the sheer scale of it all.
The project was in collaboration with Jos Mulkens, who took the distanced recordings from Dekoor and made them blend as if they were standing on one stage again. Christoph Mac-Carthy and Daan Jansen also lended their professional ears for Fix You.
Teun Cornelis Buwalda (Utrecht, 2000), grew up in the small town of Culemborg, where his parents soon sent him to music lessons. Rather than following a traditional music education, Teun started playing the West African djembe as well as piano at the age of six. Before going to middle school, he had already sung in multiple youth choirs and performed with bands. When he was twelve, Teun went to O.R.S. Lek en Linge, a school praised for its focus on culture. In his six years there, he assembled a network of anyone he could find who could play an instrument, which he turned to each year to perform at the school’s yearly Culture Festival. Meanwhile he conducted musicals, arranged for his a capella group and dozens of bands, and participated in the composing contest set out each year by the Netherlands Wind Ensemble. Teun could be found on his school’s auditorium stage so much that his senior quote was easy to find: “I am the Culture Festival.” During his final year at high school, he followed a preparatory year for Composition at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam.
Teun describes his own work as a middle ground between easy listening and complex jazz. A sucker for music theory, he has a sense for a particular, innovative kind of rhythm and complex harmonies unbound to a specific scale, but at the same time he wants his music to be aesthetically pleasing; everyone should be able to enjoy it. Teun doesn’t consider himself an instrumentalist, even though he sings and plays the piano and trombone in many different ensembles. Furthermore he composes, arranges, coaches and conducts – whatever is necessary for the project he’s currently working on.
Teun can always be reached via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org