My work philosophy
An essential directive for me to determine the requirements that a good recorder needs to meet, more precisely to realize the kind of sound I have in mind, is the fact that I am a recorder player myself. For that reason I only make recorders, no other (historical) wind instruments. Thus I can judge well what I’ve made and where changes and improvements are necessary.
There are still quite a lot of 17th– and 18th– century instruments nowadays, both in musea as in private collections, that are the starting points of the modern recorder maker’s work.
My approach to re-creating each model is, whilst keeping the chracteristics of the antique instrument, making instruments that invite the player to be active in finding his or her own sound (obviously included in a nice playing sensation, correct tuning and an overall well-functioning instrument).
A good playing sensation is of course a very individual matter but I notice time and again that flexibility is an important element in that, for me as well as for many other players. That’s why I put an emphasis on creating instruments with maximum air flexibility. In practice, this means that my instruments have a relatively open windway and a warm, round sound.
In recent years I’ve been focusing on working after recorders from the important collections of the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. On the one hand I do this because I like to stay as close to the source as possible, but also because I like to establish a new kind of tradition: using beautiful and inspirational material from close by. A good example of this is the Bressan tenor recorder, which I have documented for the museum. Other instruments from this range that I have taken into my program are the famous Terton soprano, the Debey alto and the Aardenberg sopranino.
The picture on the bottom right hand side shows instruments made of ivory. Counter to what many people think, ivory can still be used, provided that this is legal, CITES-certified material. I exclusively use this legal ivory, that I purchase from an acknowledged German trader. Each separate piece of ivory comes with its individual CITES-documents.