Archive for June, 2008

the journey so far

June 27, 2008

This last winter, as I played in a small church in Groningen with my program of Winterliederen / winter songs, a man came up to us with a story that almost seemed too good to be true. He asked us if we wanted to come along on a collective journey of two months over land to Bhutan to visit the festivities there of the crowning of the King, making music as we travelled in Turkey, Iran, Pakistan and India, in a spirit of friendship. All would be filmed..

It took many months before all was confirmed, but it immediately felt good. Since then we’ve met the other group members and things are falling into place. Though we will leave end of September 2008, it seems like we’re already on our way. The project has brought us to surprising, new places  within our own country and we’ve met people that we wouldn’t have otherwise.

Last week we met a man, for instance, who will very kindly borrow his Landrover Discovery to us. This will become the ‘music car’ of the total of 8 cars that are going to undertake the journey. Rogier, as the man is called, lives in a beautiful house in the middle of The Netherlands. He’s a business man.  Sitting outside in his garden,  we were treated to colourful stories about his earlier travels with the car, as well as to bread, cheese and drinks.

Some sort of a symbol during the journey has become the cittern. This beautiful 10 stringed instrument that Bert often uses on our recordings and during concerts can also be found on Renaissance paintings. ‘Road to Bhutan’ will acquire a cittern especially for the journey that will be used by Bert in concerts while we’re travelling. Finally after all it’s adventures the instrument will be donated to the Kilu Music School in Bhutan. In a few weeks when Bert and I are in the UK for concerts at two festivals, we will bring a special cittern back to The Netherlands with us. There it will be painted by Henk Helmantel, the famous Dutch painter, who lives in a small village called Westeremden in Groningen not far from where we live.

So..the cittern, that will travel over land and sea via England to The Netherlands, to Bhutan, will be studied and painted by Henk. Then it will sound in all these other countries as all will be filmed. Finally it will get a new home in a Himalaya Kingdom. How beautiful!!

Linde (Groningen, The Netherlands)


Sandy Denny anniversary tribute

June 20, 2008


Troubadours at The Troubadour (London)

Linde Nijland and Bert Ridderbos at the Sandy Denny anniversary tribute at the Troubadour, 20th of April 2008 (with Linda Thompson, Joe Boyd, Martin Carthy and others)