Erasing Mountains

by Ruud Houweling

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  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    Deluxe pressing with a sturdy inner sleeve with pictures and the song lyrics. Song lyrics, set in old real ribbon typewriter text, that was scanned and treated.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Erasing Mountains via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Sealed deluxe CD with CD 16 p. booklet printed on recycled offset paper, glued inside the 4 page Digisleeve cover. Song lyrics included, set in old real typewriter text, that was scanned and treated.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Erasing Mountains via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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03:45
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03:58
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about

I tried to imagine what my songs would sound like if I had been influenced by a long tradition of Dutch folk music. Why not try to make a record like that? I felt a need to have a sense of home. To feel like I do when I sit near the water of the lake where I spent many summers in my youth. How the lake itself never changes despite what’s happening near or on it nowadays. Like we don’t change inside.

How could I capture my Dutch roots musically? Popular roots music never represented them. Music from our sailing, farming and windmilling days disappeared a long time ago. Alas, we lack deep musical traditions heard in other European countries such as Ireland, Scotland, Sweden, Spain or the Balkans. But we do have some musical folklore. Accordion music was played in cafés. Hymns were sung in churches accompanied by pump organs. Villages had brass bands. There were sailor songs. We may not have flamenco but we did have graceful ice dancers in winter, swaying in slomo on frozen lakes and canals. And our forefathers must have been chanting when they were cutting peat for heating or reed for roofing. Or when they were building dykes, to fight off the ever present threat of flooding. This intrigued me.

I picked instruments I felt represented the light of my country, arranging songs for portable instruments only. It should be possible to walk into a room and just start playing. I worked on these arrangements for a year before assembling a group of musicians I admire, to record with. We came together a few days in a vintage studio in Weesp and recorded the basic tracks without rehearsing them. All in about to three to four takes, often with seven people playing. Our engineer was Oz Fritz (USA), who I’d worked with before and knew to be great at capturing a flow and keeping it alive, despite incidental vintage gear trouble. Oz is known for his work on a few Tom Waits records I love for their warm and organic sound. After I had worked on my vocals and guitars by myself for some time, we then mixed the album on great equipment at Prairie Sun Recording in Cotati, California. The same studio where some of the forementioned albums were recorded.

That’s the basic story of this album. The songs have their own stories to tell. They all mean something to me. I write them to transcend experiences or events that left an impression. Trying to embrace them. Saying yes to everything. I am hoping they may reflect things from your life.

credits

released February 17, 2017

Ruud Houweling: vocals and guitars
Egon Kracht: double bass
Rob Wijtman: percussion
Patrick Votrian: tuba and bass tuba
Kobi Arditi: trombone
Michiel van Dijk: clarinet
Ro Krauss: viola
David Faber: cello

Bertolf: backing vocals on 2 & 9
Ricky Koole: backing vocals on 2 & 9

All songs written, arranged and produced by Ruud Houweling

Recorded at E-Sound, Weesp The Netherlands
Engineered by Oz Fritz
Vocals and guitars recorded by Ruud Houweling,
Zandvoort, The Netherlands
Mixed at Prairie Sun Recording, Cotati, California, USA
Engineered by Oz Fritz
Mastered at Ancient Wave. Nevada City, California, USA
Engineered by Oz Fritz
Songs published by Innercore Publishing/Sounds Like Publishing, Amsterdam The Netherlands

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Ruud Houweling Netherlands

Ruud Houweling quietly established a reputation in the Netherlands as a fine and genre-transcending craftsman. As guitar playing singer-songwriter with his former band Cloudmachine and now solo. But also as a composer for Dutch national public television, NPO. His songs have been recorded by international artists with awards in Germany, USA, Finland, Russia, and the Czech Republic. ... more

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