“I made this recording last week in Gouda, the Netherlands. I live in Utrecht, but during this quarantine period, I’m staying with my mother in the centre of Gouda. I suddenly heard this music flooding into the house and went outside to see where it came from. Apparently there’s a street organ warehouse right behind where my mum lives. They had taken one of the organs out to play it for a few neighbors, so I stood out on the bridge to listen to it.
Normally I hate street organs. I’ll usually go down another street when I hear them playing in town. But this time I stood and listened and it all felt really nostalgic and comforting. Maybe because they were playing Dutch songs from my childhood, maybe because this time, there were no large crowds of people or operators shaking a can of pennies in your face asking for money. There was something really beautiful about hearing this kind of music out of context, in complete calm, with just a few passing cars and bikes breaking the silence that the organ played to. “