Photographer:Fotograaf: Archive Serious Beans Project
Last Wednesday, seven Maastricht University students sold out the Muziekgieterij, the city’s only venue for music that falls slightly outside the mainstream. Their group, The Serious Beans Project, has been doing well in the past year, and last week’s performance was no different. Observant sat down with them in a kitchen to have a chat.
The group members – Marisol Bock (21, German/Venezuelan, Arts & Culture, trumpet), Florian Lüdtken (21, German, UCM, accordion), Valeria Pintus (21, Italian, UCM, vocals),
Marie-Florence Burki (20, Swiss, UCM, violin), Simon Rakovsky (23, French, UCM, guitar/vocals), Rogerio Sá (21, Portuguese, UCM, djembe/percussion) and Juan van der Werff, (23, Spanish/Dutch, UCM, guitar) – hail from countries diverse enough to live up to the image UM often tries to paint of itself. This afternoon, they are sitting comfortably around the kitchen table; the same one around which they first got together to play music.
“The name The Serious Beans Project came to us one day while we were eating before a practice”, says Pintus. “We had beans on our plates. Round, good, essential yet simple. That’s also how we got together – the group was sort of born out of a jam. We were having a meal, someone picked up a guitar, and it just happened.”
What kind of music do you play?
Sá: “It’s hard to say. People would call it ‘world music’, but that’s just a catch-all term anyway. We have many different influences, because we come from different countries and bring that music with us. There’s reggae in there, poetry, Balkan influences, blues …”
Last week’s performance was an anniversary of sorts; what has the year been like?
Pintus: “Well, we went to Italy, we spent the summer in Egypt, we travelled, played with random people in Cairo and Alexandria, had an amazing experience jamming with Egyptian musicians, and had a ‘musical retreat’ in the Sinai desert.” “We started to get more serious a year ago”, Burki says. “Yeah, we’re a bit more serious now”, adds Rakovsky. “There were times when we would be on stage, and, well, we used to get paid in beer, so …”
Where will you be one year from now?
“Madagascar”, Sá says, apropos of nothing. Lüdtken: “We’ll probably be playing at the German folk festival TFF Rudolstadt this summer.”
What are you hoping to achieve?
Bock: “To have fun.” “What we want to achieve is a 360-degree experience”, says Pintus. “It’s not just us, but to include the theatre, to have the audience as an integral part of the performance, chilling out. We want to extend the living room.”