Marijke and Michiel Wiesenekker have sent me the following review of their compilation Wouldn’t Listen 2000 ~ 2020 by Rick Bella from the Oregon Mandolin Orchestra.
New album from Marijke and Michiel Wiesenekker
Marijke Wiesenekker and her brother, Michiel, have released a compilation album that samples the best of 20 years of recording together.
Wouldn’t Listen 2000 ~ 2020 is Marijke and Michiel Wiesenekker’s latest digitalrelease album, featuring a wide-ranging, 21-piece compilation of ear-tickling remakes and originals.
The esteemed Dutch brother-sister duo now based in Wuppertal, Germany, has performed together for 21 years, deftly entwining Michiel’s inventive guitar musings with Marijke’s musical dance on mandolin.
“With this album, we celebrate the 20th jubilee of our duo,” said Michiel. “We have made friends in the U.S.A., Japan, Germany, Italy, Austria, Russia, Finland and Spain, — all connected by the pleasures of making music. Now, it’s time to look back and dress up some of our old favorites with new outfits. We hope you will enjoy the music.”
Started young together
Marijke and Michiel began playing music together as children growing up in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. They both studied at the Music Conservatory in Cologne, Germany, and later thrived in the dynamic music scene percolating in nearby Wuppertal.
After playing together so long, there hardly is a genre of music the duo hasn’t explored — and Wouldn’t Listen touches on most of them. Marijke and Michiel feel at home playing pop and rock, bluegrass, folk, light jazz and classical, performing on a variety of electric and acoustic instruments.
They also sing, with Michiel doing a credible job on growling, American-born blues. On some pieces, Marijke adds sweet, clean harmonies over Michiel’s baritone.
A menu of good listening
Wouldn’t Listen 2000 ~ 2020 serves up a tantalizing mix that draws from earlier albums: Family Life (2020); Saevis Tranquillus in Undis (2016); Baumstrasse 14 (2013); May We Have This Dance (2010); Beresjiet (2008); The Inner Sound & Beyond (2004); and Wouldn’t Listen, the Wiesenekkers’ debut album of 2000:
The mandolin is not a popular instrument in Turkey today. The baglama is the plucked strings instrument that is mostly played in Turkey. But there are a few videos by Turkish musicians with mandolin. Some time ago I was told about the videos by Kerim & Selim Altinok. After I had watched several videos I found that both brothers began losing their sight when they were 4, and are completely blind since they were 18.
Despite of this they studied at the university and established their own company. They did also study music and started a successful carreer as musicians. And they are also fantastic players of chess and took part in international chess competitions.
Between 1940 and 1954 the so called Village Institutes existed in Turkey, institutes to educate teachers for schools for the education of boys and girls in rural countries. In those schols music played an important rule, and in many cases mandolin was taught to the students. I have found many pictures showing groups of mandolin players from this time.
There are some mandolin methods in Turkish language, one method is shown on the website of Kerim and Selim Altinok:
Selim, the mandolin player, has used youtube to discover the many ways the mandolin is played in the world. He would like that the mandolin gets a better place in the musical life in Turkey.
Brothers Kerim and Selim Altinok were born just 45 seconds apart. They partially lost their sight at the age of four and totally lost it a few days before their 18th birthday. Although they had to overcome difficulties fully sighted people would not have to, they have never stopped fighting.
They finished primary school, and at university, they graduated with honors from the Istanbul University Faculty of Law. They specialized in financial law. The brothers have also represented Turkey in the field of chess and Selim has drawn with world chess champion Anatoly Karpov.
Career and art
The Altinok brothers got involved in art while they were building their careers. They started playing various instruments at an early age and decided to become professional musicians. They passed the exams at the Istanbul State Conservatory.
As part of the Bakirköy Association for the Blind, the brothers formed a choir named Gözder, composed entirely of blind members, in 1991. They aim to share their knowledge from the conservatory with the choir and prove that all disabilities can be overcome with good music education.
At soundcloud you can find a playlist with instrumental pieces, played with mandolins and guitar, including popular pieces like O Sole Mio, an arrangement of the Aranjuez guitar concerto by Rodrigo, ot the popular Southamerican tune El Condor Pasa.
I have recently discovered the domra and guitar duet 9 String Theory from Atlanta, USA. They have just gievn an interview to present their next concert. It is available on the website of WABE
9 String Theory is not just a catchy name but also a straightforward calculation. It’s a musical duo featuring Angelina Galashenkova on the domra, which has three strings, and John Huston on classical guitar, which has six strings.
Playlist 9 String Theory – Domra and Classical Guitar