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Meirminnen – Zwollo/Couperus

Inspired by the image of the mermaid as a symbol for a forbidden love (that beckons as a siren, but will never become reality), I made many trips – from Stockholm to Saint Petersburg and from Helsinki to Azerbaijan. But not all treasures are hidden at a great distance. Last year, I boarded the train to my neighbouring city The Hague, for some good old-fashioned musicological strolling in the analogue archives. The gem that attracted me? A 1918 song called “Meirminnen”. For the Dutch journal “De Liedvriend” (the friend of the art song), I wrote a short article about this charming song, that just got published. Sheet music and piano in the YouTube below… enjoy!



The article in its beautiful lay-out can be read here (via my Academia.edu), but it is in Dutch, an English version will follow.


BWQ: First Love

The theme for BWQ’s Spring issue is “Firsts” and I wrote a personal essay – with soundtrack! – about two of my first experiences: the first time I felt rejected, judged and excluded as a bi-romantic misfit, and the first time I felt how I could claim my place in space.

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The Google Stadia

As a (ludo)musicologist, I was delighted to see today’s Google doodle: an ‘AI’ powered Bach simulator. But that is not the only Google product I am excited about, the American multinational made waves earlier this week when it unveiled its long-awaited console project, the Stadia. What is this Stadia thing and why are gamers so excited about it?

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Redefining Love

Last week, I re-read one of the books I loved when I was a teenager: The Scarlet Letter (click on the title to read it online for free). This blogpost explores how this 1850 novel illustrates that love can actively resist patriarchal and neoliberal structures.

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You – Me – Her => Us?

Romantic comedies, who doesn’t watch them every now and then? Cozy in your onesie, with Ben & Jerry’s on the couch, swept away by the handsome man and the beautiful woman in the familiar plots. At first they hate each, but eventually they fall in love (which, unfortunately, I see reversed more often). Or: they have to overcome all kinds of obstacles in the outside world in order to live happily ever after (at least that is what the characters think at the time). Since the early beginnings of movie making, the so-called “romcom” has been a popular genre, which served as an identification for heterosexual, monogamous, cis-gender viewers (and made their expectations unrealistically high). And then, last year, on the Dutch Netflix suddenly an alternative romcom popped up, about polyamory: You – Me – Her

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Canada vs Feminism

This morning, I was chatting with a friend about how we feel that most policies fail: because they do not consider the uniqueness of women’s and girls’ issues and needs. My friend recently spent some time in Canada, and told me about Canadian politics, in particular about their foreign policy. I am not a political scientist (and have no ambitions in that direction either), but much of what I learned about Canada this morning seems to resonate with the feminist framework that I use for the Cyborg Mermaid. I decided to write a blog about these connections, to generate some discussion and perhaps inspire soms real political scientists.

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BWQ: Bisexuality & Autism

Two and a half years ago, my partner and I went to EuroBicon, the European Bisexual Conference in Amsterdam. There, I presented a paper about queer mermaids, hosted a workshop on the bisexual mermaid, played games both analog and digital, went to an awesome 80-90’s disco, had fabulous food and… met Robyn Ochs. As an academic cum activist, Robyn immediately made an indelible impression on me. Therefore, I am very happy that she invited me to write for her grassroots publication Bi Women Quarterly – aka BWQ – and that my writing even made it to the front page. Thank you so much, Robyn! With her permission, I publish the integral essay in this website.

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Martial Arts Festival 2019

On February the 16th 2019, the third edition of the Martial Arts Festival in Utrecht will take place. Whether you are already practicing martial arts and want to broaden your horizons or you have always want to practise martial arts, but never knew where to start, this is the day for you!

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#spoonie

For me, one of the most puzzling aspects of autism is still the “road-to-overload”. Sometimes the day seems like a four-lane highway that you smoothly cross over, another time you feel like rope dancing over an abyss… through snow and blizzards! But quite recently, I encountered the hashtag #spoonie, that refers to people who use the so-called “spoon theory”, a metaphor that enables users to concretise their energy levels.

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(the lack of) musical life in Utrecht 1800-1830

My hometown, Utrecht, is arguably one of the cultural marvels of Netherlands. But this has not always been the case. While working on an article about the conductor and composer Johann Hermann Kufferath (1797-1864), my friend Mirjam & I discovered that, at the beginning of the 19th century, there was a nadir in Utrecht’s musical life. The overall Dutch music scene of the period 1800-1830 was interesting, because well-known musical figures lived in Amsterdam and The Hague. But not in Utrecht. This blog post explores four possible reasons for this gap in fairly recent Dutch music history.

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