Meet s t a r g a z e / by Liquid Music

Over the course of the season, there's been a lot of noise about Liquid Music's Artists in Virtual Residence, Poliça and s t a r g a z e. In November of 2016, musicians from s t a r g a z e will travel across the pond to perform onstage at the Fitzgerald Theater with members of Poliça. Now that you’ve had a chance to meet André de Ridder and Channy Leaneagh, our interview mini series continues with introductions to the musicians who form the core of s t a r g a z e.

Up Next: Meet Chris Bierden, Ben Ivascu and Drew Christopherson from Poliça!  


How did you become involved with stargaze?
I met Bryce Dessner when I was playing a piece he wrote for Bang On A Can with a Dutch ensemble called Luna Park. He was there and we talked endlessly about the music by Steve Reich and so forth. After the concert he asked my details so I could replace him during a festival by Nico Muhly in the Barbican. There I played his solo part in his double guitar concerto, conducted by, indeed, André de Ridder. That's where it all started!

If you could perform at any venue in the world, where would it be?
A completely unknown (so I wouldn't know where it's located yet!) little church, with a wooden ceiling. Authentic and just the most lovely acoustics. I mostly prefer these places over pop-venues.

What was the last piece of music you listened to?
Nine Inch Nails - Copy of A

If you found $10 on the street, what would you do?
Call a friend and have a coffee or 2 at the cosiest spot I know around

When you first heard that Poliça and stargaze would be collaborating for a Liquid Music show, what was your first reaction?
(...) Ohhhh YEAHHH! 


How did you become involved with s t a r g a z e? 
Through the french horn player Morris. He was asked to join the ensemble and then they needed an oboist as well. 

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Ow, this is an easy one: it would definitely be Wadi Rum - also known as The Valley of the Moon. It's a desert in Jordan. I would live as a bedouin musician with three camels and a telescope. 

What is your favorite word or phrase?
Noemarou. It's not a real word, it's made up to express amazement.

What was the last piece of music you listened to?
This morning while waking up i listened to W H O K I L L by TuNe-YaRds! I can't think of a better way to start the morning.


How did you become involved with stargaze?
I was studying at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London when I met André after a Villagers concert in the Barbican Centre. I did a fantastic master's degree which was mainly focussing on developing creative musical ideas, cross art and community projects and with a very open approach to very diverse musical genres. We were talking about how it was to be trained as a classical musician but always wanting to play in bands too. Back then André was just starting with stargaze and collecting people from all over Europe, there was no flute player yet and I was the lucky one... the first show I did with stargaze was with Villagers at Haldern Pop and I never left.

What did you eat for breakfast today?
I'm now in Amsterdam but this morning I was still in Berlin at André’s place. I was there to meet the people from Poliça and have a first jam and listening session! It was really great, yesterday we visited their concert in Berghain Kantine and this morning they came over for late breakfast at André’s place where Justin, Marlies and I were staying too. I had croissants and grapefruit and cappuccino for breakfast.

What is your favorite word or phrase?
Petrichor: The smell of rain after a long period of drought and heat.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I'm really happy in Amsterdam actually... I love this city and I live in an amazing apartment in the centre, it's kind of a commune where everyone has their own apartment. In this house live people who used to squat this place - a former school building - in the early 80's. Everyone is much older than I am and I really like that... It's not like it's a house full of moms and dads, just great friends with more life experience and good advice. I travel a lot for concerts and projects and that is very easy from Amsterdam too. But if I would have to move.... I think I would move to a simple cottage in the mountains and in the forest because I do miss being in nature a lot. I would love to live in a place where there's no light and sound pollution and where I am surrounded by sounds from nature.  I would love to have a fireplace too!

When you first heard that Poliça and stargaze would be collaborating for a Liquid Music show, what was your first reaction?
YES!!! And now that I've met them and things become real, I'm even more excited and I think everyone is!