Archives for category: Newspaper Article

Aviation noise, especially in a densely populated country like The Netherlands, has become a serious problem for many citizens over the past 5 decades or so. On 21 February 2021, the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment has published a new report in which it says that more and more people are suffering from aviation noise, even though there’s no significant increase of the amount of dBs. The Institute concludes that their current research methodology might fall short as they cannot take into account “non-acoustic factors.” Well, besides those important non-acoustic factors, other acoustic factors besides dBs can also be relevant to take into account. See my reactions on the report in the Dutch daily Algemeen Dagblad and the news site of RTL Nieuws.


A brief article in Dutch with a sonic impression of Beirut on the importance of sonic design in urban environments. Co-author: Dr. Irene van Kamp. See here!

Geluid auto's -> Maud Dohmen e.a. 2019

Today, Saturday 22 February, a nice interview with me about sounds in and of the city. With attention to my collaborative projects in Leiden – the sound installation Fluisterende Wind and the report on the improvement of the sonic quality at the Garenmarkt – as well as to Jian Kang’s project in Sheffield and Brigitte Schulte-Fortkamp’s work in Berlin.

The interview can be found here, in the Dutch daily Trouw (therefore the text is also in Dutch).

A recent interview about the Garenmarkt project in Leiden – I’ve formulated some recommendations for a sonic design of this urban space.

In today’s RTL Nieuws EditieNL a short interview with me why Q Music‘s radio quiz “Het Geluid” was so difficult. (The text is in Dutch.)

Q Music.jpg


Conclusion of a research done by a Dutch Professor of pop music: adolescents listening to ‘non-conventional’ music – metal, gothic, hardcore house, hip hop – have a much greater chance of becoming involved in vandalism, shoplifting, or brawls than kids listening to top 40, classical music, jazz, or singer-songwriters.

What do this Dutch Professor, the Taliban, Richard Taruskin, and Frank Zappa (although with a wink) have in common? Somehow they all seem to agree with what Plato said some 25 centuries ago: (certain) music should be forbidden in order to create and maintain a decent and stable society. Yeah, music is dangerous …

Want to read the whole article? Click here (in Dutch)

According to the German studio Finally one cannot understand music. One can be seduced by music, or simply enjoy it. But to understand it – that’s impossible. See their animation below.

The main idea reminds me of an interview Pierre Boulez once had on a French television station with a writer whose name I’ve forgotten. First music is a mystery, the writer told Boulez. Then, after studying it, everything becomes clear. But, finally, with the performance, it becomes a mystery again.

The central question, however, remains: can some knowledge about music enhance the enjoyment or is knowledge sometimes obstructing certain encounters with music? Or do both statements contain some kind of truth?

British scientists have ‘discovered’ the most annoying sound: not the famous nail scraping on a blackboard, but scratching a glass with a knife. The more annoying, the more activity in the amygdala, the part of the brain controlling our emotions. A second category of annoying sounds consists of sounds that evoke bad associations.

To read more about this research, click here (in Dutch)

On September 12 elections were held in The Netherlands. What kind of music did the political parties choose while they were waiting for the final results and just before the party leaders went on stage to give their speech? The choice for a particular tune says a lot about the party’s mood, whether they’ve lost or won. Sometimes the choice is rather awkward: the liberal (right-winged) party playing Coldplay’s ‘Viva la Vida’ for example. Did they really understand the lyrics? Moreover, the clip of ‘Viva la Vida’ starts with a bursting red rose – the symbol of their biggest adversary, the social democrats.
Read more here (in Dutch)

Toshiyuki Anzai is a cab driver in central Tokyo whose love of jazz drove him to start a unique Jazz Taxi service. His 90-minute cruises pair cityscapes with the most fitting music. Anzai plays songs that match not only the view but his passengers’ moods — though he is partial to jazz, he sometimes throws Deep Purple and Wagner into the mix. The article is from 2009 but still worth reading …

Jazz Taxi driver Toshiyuki Anzai | The Japan Times Online.