7MNTN | Staff
Frerik de Jong/ Kleinman Audio
label owner and recording producer
Frerik de Jong is a very straightforward man: music, that’s his big devotion in life. In every way. He loves recreating music, by building speakers. He loves consuming music, by listening to everything from Allegri to Quincy Jones. He loves making music, as an enthusiastic pianist. But of all he loves working with music and musicians. By recording them.
He developed his blossoming recording practice already during his Music Registration study at the Royal Conservatoire The Hague. After finishing his degree, he vastly expanded his practice. Also known as Kleinman Audio, he has now worked with many major Dutch artists, among which are Willem Brons, Cello8ctet Amsterdam, Berlage Saxophone Quartet and Maria Fiselier. Major highlights so far are the Edison nomination with the Ebonit Saxophone Quartet in 2016 and in 2014: a ‘Gouden Kalf’ (Dutch Oscar) for best film music (which Frerik recorded) with composer Christiaan Verbeek. (All the 7MNTN-productions also received raving reviews, have a look at the ‘Timeline’ section on this website.)
Frerik: “I’m a pianist originally, although not a very active one any more. Maybe because of that I love music that’s being played without too much fringe, but with a clear understanding of rhythm, function and soul.”
But he wanted more: “From the beginning of my career I wanted to express the inner fire of the musicians. Just recording them felt too limiting: I simply did what I was assigned to do. By starting my own label, I can collaborate much more closely with my musicians. I now can create a dialogue from inspiration to an actual final product.”
So, in 2014, Frerik took the leap. He asked two of his closest and talented friends to join his dream: graphic designer Herco Dijk and writer Marten van der Meulen.
Together they started 7MNTN: A label with a strong philosophy of putting the artist first.
Herco Dijk/ Studio Kraft
Herco Dijk has two passions: music and graphic design. His passion for music stems from an early age, when he was fascinated by the word ‘synthesizer’. He started creating music shortly after, using sampling and very early computers. Nowadays he is a vociferous music consumer of everything from Charles Aznavour to Kendrick Lamar.
For 10 years now, Herco owns and runs his own graphic design company, Studio Kraft. He considers his work as more than just making artwork. “I design visual identities. In my work I aim to create a dialogue between the client and me. I want to capture his or her personality in the imagery of the product.”
This point of view meets 7MNTN’s philosophy, which is one of the reasons why Herco enjoys working for the label so much. “Designing artwork for CD’s unites my passion for music and my passion for graphic design.” Moreover, Herco has always had a soft spot for CD’s: “I think they are a great way of capturing music. I even wanted to own my own record store at some point!”
Marten van der Meulen/ Bureau Moulin
Marten van der Meulen lives for music and language. After receiving his bachelor in classical clarinet with Pierre Woudenberg, his love of music took Marten to the Middle East. In Amman, Jordan, he taught clarinet at the National Music Conservatory, played in the Amman Symphony Orchestra, and taught music at a SOS Children’s Village.
Nowadays, however, Marten mostly occupies himself with his second love: language. He just finished his MA-degree in linguistics from Leiden University, and is currently employed as a PhD-student at the Radboud University in Nijmegen.
Aside from language research he is a strong advocate of communicating science to the public. Writing liner notes for 7MNTN brings Marten’s passions together. “I really enjoy talking to musicians about their love for music and how they are inspired. In writing the liner notes, I translate what drives these musicians and how they are connected to the recorded music.” Marten is particular in his preferences for these texts: “Frankly, I could do without a long list of who you worked with, and what pieces you played before. I don’t care about where you’ve been: I want to know where you’re going! I want to understand why you do what you do. What are your views on music? That’s what interests me!”