In September 2014 I arrived in Den Haag, Netherlands to begin my year of Fulbright Study.  I am making many field recordings with my portable recorder (Zoom H4n), plus photos of the recording events.
This page features the Audio Postkaarten (Audio Postcards) of my sonic experiences this year.

Happy Listening!!!



Audio Postkaart 1: Trein Lied (Train Song)

This first Audio Postcard originates from my train ride en route to Den Haag, Netherlands. The sounds was rich in rhythm, layers, and even melody.

Postkaart2_Train_door_photo2Audio Postkaart 2: Trein Deuren (Train Doors)

This second Audio Postcard captures the mechanical opening and closing of doors on the train, and how they change our sonic experience.

Postkaart3_Happygulls_photoAudio Postkaart 3: Gelukkig Meeuwen (Happy Gulls)

I stumbled upon a large flock of seagulls feasting on a very large chunk of frozen fish. They were so happy and celebrating with such cacophony!

Postkaart4_Scheveningen_beachAudio Postkaart 4: Oceaangolven (Ocean Waves)

Recorded at close range at Scheveningen Beach on September 5, 2014.

Postkaart5_Begging_gullAudio Postkaart 5: Bedelen Meeuw (Begging gull)

A seagull chases away a competitor and begins to beg for Dutch fries.

Postkaart6_escalatorAudio Postkaart 6: Roltrap (Escalator)

Escalator in Den Haag Centraal Station, recorded September 9, 2014.

Postkaart7_DHCentraalTramsignalAudio Postkaart 7: Tram Signaal (Tram Signal)

Closeup of tram warning signal. It consists of a yellow tram picture and a loudspeaker on a pole above the yield sign. Recorded September 9, 2014 near Den Haag Centraal Station.

Postkaart8_CowlickedAudio Postkaart 8: Cowlicked

My friend Paolo and I went to the Dutch countryside to meet some cows. We were greeted by a very curious bunch who sniffed the microphone and let me pet them. Let’s just say those cows have powerful, pleasantly rough tongues.

Postkaart9_incheckenuitcheckenAudio Postkaart 9: In-/uitchecken

The classic inchecken/uitchecken sound of the public transit in the Netherlands. All tickets and rides are paid by a chipcard. Inchecken = 1 beep, uitchecken = 3 beeps. Recording made September 9, 2014 in Den Haag Centraal.

Postkaart10_demonstrationAudio Postkaart 10: Demonstration

On October 4, 2014 I happened upon the end of a demonstration in Den Haag’s city center (outside Dr. Anton Philips Zaal) in support of the Kurds in Kobani against ISIS. One of the banners read “STEUN DE KOERDEN IN KOBANI TEGEN ISIS”, and men and women were leading the chants.

Postkaart11_kermissenAudio Postkaart 11: Kermissen (Fairgrounds)

Fairgrounds are one of the most aggressive places in terms of visual and sonic stimulation. This track is about the overlapping ‘muzak’, and how this creates the quintessential fairground atmosphere.

September 15, 2014 (Malieveld, Den Haag, Netherlands)

Postkaart12_StedelijkMusRoltrapAudio Postkaart 12: Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam Escalator

On Tuesday, October 21, we went to the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, and viewed paintings, sculptures and multimedia art. (2,0054 m2 gallery and program space) Many were by world masters of the discipline. This is a recording of the 1-minute escalator sound installation from the basement to the ground floor. Also, the inside walls are painted.

Postkaart13_kermissen_ducksAudio Postkaart 13: Fairground Bobbing Duck Stand

Fairground sounds, including the people enjoying the fishing for bobbing ducks game.
September 15, 2014 (Malieveld, Den Haag, Netherlands)

Postkaart14_fieldhockey1Audio Postkaart 14: Field Hockey #1

Field hockey is another favorite pastime in the Netherlands. A friend took us to his field hockey club, which has 30 adult teams (men’s and women’s), plus many children’s teams. This Sunday afternoon/evening had three fields of games going on at one time. In this recording you can hear the #1 men’s team of Were Di, plus some of a women’s game overlapped with it.

Recording: October 27, 2014 (on my smart phone since I did not have my Zoom H4N)

Postkaart15_fieldhockey2Audio Postkaart 15: Field Hockey #2

Field hockey is another favorite pastime in the Netherlands. A friend took us to his field hockey club, which has 30 adult teams(men’s and women’s), plus many children’s teams. This Sunday afternoon/evening had three fields of games going on at one time. In this recording you can hear the #1 men’s team of Were Di, plus a very engaged audience.

Recording: October 27, 2014 (on my smart phone since I did not have my Zoom H4N)

Postkaart16_BasiliekvdNicolaasAudio Postkaart 16: Basiliek van den H. Nicolaas

Afternoon visit in the Basiliek van den H. Nicolaas (Basilica of St. Nicholas) in Amsterdam diagonally across from Central Station. Celebrations of its 125th year finished last December. Various tourists, visitors, people praying, and an organist practicing.

Recording Nov. 5, 2014

Postkaart17_coinshakerAudio Postkaart 17: Coinshaker with Musicbox

Apart from the silent human statues and other street performers a blind man stood shaking a metal coin purse to a little music box. A passerby suggested I donate to thank him for the recording, so I did. 🙂

Recording: November 5, 2014, near Royal Palace square.

Postkaart18_VingerAudio Postkaart 18: De Vinger

After the CASS Concert (featuring sonology, art science, and composition students), there was an afterparty at De Vinger with sonology students DJing. When standing outside, I noticed that the beats made the whole window/large door vibrate in rhythm.

Recording: November 4, 2014

Postkaart19_ChildrenAudio Postkaart 19: Children’s Concert

Joyous cacophony drew me to the square in front of the Dr. Anton v. Philipszaal. Hundreds of children waiting for a morning concert created a concert of their own. I recommend listening to this track with headphones.

Recording: November 13, 2014

Postkaart20_DemonstrationNov20Audio Postkaart 20: Demonstration by young students, parents, and teachers

Demonstration by young students, parents and teachers protesting the planned closing of a school. Signs read slogans such as “AC Acoysius College BLIJFT!”

Outside of the Gemeente Den Haag

Recording: November 20, 2014

Postkaart21_MagnaPlazaAudio Postkaart 21: Magna Plaza

Magna Plaza, now a shopping mall, was once the central post office of Amsterdam. Architect Cornelis H. Peters (1874-1932) designed it in a neo-gothic style, and this building is considered a monument in the city, and a Dutch heritage site (July 9, 1974). In 1991 significant changes were made inside to allow the public access to all levels of the building, which were restricting while used as a post office, and a large main entrance added to accommodate pedestrian traffic. H. Ruijssenaars led the renovation.

The exterior is very ornate and worth seeing as well. The audio is of a walk of the ground floor.

Recording: November 5, 2014

Postkaart22_StraatorgelAudio Postkaart 22: Straatorgel (Street Organ)

One of the joys of downtown Den Haag is the giant street organ that you can hear from several blocks away. Beautifully painted and manned by two gentlemen, these pipes on wheels liven up the pedestrian shopping area. There are two figurines that play the bells. On the back you can see two big cranks, but I have a feeling this street organ is powered by a generator.

Also, since the favorite Dutch holiday Sintaklaas is approaching (December 5), the little banner reads “Welkom Sint & en Piet.”

Recording: November 22, 2014, Den Haag, between C&A
and HEMA.

Postkaart23_ResidencieOrkest_TrulsMorkAudio Postkaart 23: Residentieorkest rehearsal with Truls Mork

Rehearsal of Dvorák Cello Concerto. Neeme Järvi, conductor, and Truls Mørk, cello. Attended the concert the next night. Such a beautiful performance. Program included: H. Andriessen “Ricercare”, Dvorák “Celloconcert”, and Shostakovich “Symfonie nr. 5”.

Recording: Hall in Dr Anton Philipszaal in Den Haag. November 20, 2014

Postkaart24_GroteKerk_verticalAudio Postkaart 24: Grote Kerk Den Haag

Grote Kerk in the heart of Den Haag. Given the musicality and variety of repertoire, I think it was a carillion concert in the 12 o’clock hour. Excerpt.

Recording: November 28, 2014

Postkaart25_streetsweeperAudio Postkaart 25: Streetsweeper

A walk around Oude Kerk

Recorded November 5, 2014

Postkaart26_ValkenburgKerstmanAudio Postkaart 26: Valkenburg Kerstman

The underground Christmas market In Valkenburg near Maastricht is a festive curiosity indeed. The labyrinth of tunnels filled with shops and lights and wall drawings was a ball to explore! Of course there is also an above-ground version in the city center.

Recording: Dec. 14, 2014

Postkaart27_ValkenburgSandsculpturesAudio Postkaart 27: Valkenburg Sand Sculptures

In yet another series of caves in Valkenburg, I saw impressive, detailed, and varied sand sculptures detailing the Christmas story. How many hours these sculptures must take. What patience.

Recording: Dec. 14, 2014. Made in the largest, most cavernous room of the exhibition.


Photos and Recordings (c) 2014 and (c) 2015 by Yvonne Freckmann

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