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The Wandering Merchant, street-organ version

Released on September 22nd 2009.

This story begins with Alex writing his first truly self-composed song on March 7th 2009. André was very pleased indeed with Alex’ first stab at songwriting and adopted the song into the track list for the CD.
As Alex had stated, that he thought it would be fun to have “The Wandering Merchant” reappear on other occasions (or other CD’s), André started working on alternative versions of the song, which resulted first in the heavy guitar version, that is now the second half of the song.
He also came up with a quite different idea (inspired by Kayak): one of the alternative versions should be a played on a street-organ (market sounds, etc). Browsing the internet it soon became clear that it was absolutely feasible to either convert a composition to an organ book yourself or have someone do it for you. Even renting a street-organ could be done via the web. With Alex’ birthday coming up (July 27th), the occasion presented itself.
So at André’s birthday party, in April, André seized the first possible moment to secretly inform Bregje of his plans for a birthday surprise for Alex. Bregje was hooked from the start, they agreed that she would try to find out whether there was an organgrinder in their hometown.
As it turned out, there wasn’t, so she used the internet option and Mr. Aad de Vogel was contacted to see if he was able and willing to play at Alex’ birthday.
The actual date was then set for August 1st.
André then got into contact with a famous Dutch arranger for street-organ music, Mr. Tom Meijer, to get the song arranged and made into an organ book.
August 1st at 14:00 Alex got the surprise of a lifetime, as all of a sudden a street-organ appeared in front of his house and started playing a “Happy Birthday”-medley. André was there with his childhood best friend Rijk-Willem Schmelter, who had offered to record everything on video (view short clip here).
Alex was totally knocked off his feet when the street-organ started playing “the Wandering Merchant”! He now is the proud owner of an organ book of his first true composition!
As Alex and Bregje are living on quite a busy street, the recording of the entire proceedings was marred by the sound of cars passing by constantly, so Aad de Vogel kindly offered the guys the possibility to make a car-free recording at his storage facility, which took place on September 19th 2009.


Street-organ The Columbus

Alex holding the organ book


Aad de Vogel and André at the recording session