Herbert Meets: Sarah Neutkens
Sarah Neutkens is a Dutch composer and visual artist that is currently finishing her studies in the Netherlands. I was drawn to speak to Sarah having heard a couple of her tracks, which had a freshness and complexity that I wanted to understand more about. I reached out to Sarah at a time at which artists around the world are also trying to adapt to a new normal, curious to see how she was getting on.
Sarah Neutkens by Anna Perger
A lot of musicians’ lives have been affected by this crisis, what is your experience looking like?
Not a huge amount is different for me but it is a very strange time. I am staying with my parents who live in a village on the border of Belgium. I am lucky because I just heard that the entire apartment block where I usually live is on lockdown and no one can leave the building. I have noticed a change here too, because we used to go for many walks across the border Belgium but now because of the new enforcements, we can’t … that has been strange too.
I see a huge impact on my father’s life who is also a musician (lute and theorbo) because he would usually be playing concerts at the moment but of course they have all been cancelled. My mum’s a teacher so she’s teaching her students virtually, which is also surreal.
You must have grown up in a house filled with music – do you remember the first time you heard a melody or a piece of music?
Yes, absolutely! The first memory I have of hearing music is my father playing Chaconne en la mineur by Robert de Visée. It was that piece that made me fall in love with the expressive and melancholic quality of music.
I then learnt the recorder like all the children in my village but I wanted to learn my own instrument..I was drawn to the piano. My parents found a teacher who I stayed with until I finished all my exams and then I went to study something totally different!