Willem de Ridder
Monday, 10 December 2007
One of the people that influenced my life several times through the radio shows that he did, is Willem de Ridder. It is too much to mention here now: Spannende Splookjes, the Radiola Improvisatie Salon, his talk radio shows and most of all his interviews with people who have deviant ideas about things and who were often ignored by the mean stream media.
I still have a box with cassette tapes of some of the best shows that I have recorded over the years, and I still hope to meet people who have taped more than I did, so I can trade.
Willem was deep into tapes, and he released many productions on cassette. Like the famous Spiral Tapes, that I have not mentioned yet in this Soundtrack, like 1001 other important things.
Willem also made a few LP’s. All three LP’s that I have ( Doodsangst therapie is a double LP) are off spins of his radio shows. And all artwork for these LP’s is done by Peter Pontiac. Peter did the artwork for many other Willem de Ridder projects too, but it seems that they don’t work together anymore. I must admit that I stopped listening to Willem when he began making radio for the Internet only. I only listen to podcasts; the idea that I can only listen to something on Thursday evenings at ten o’clock seems totally absurd to me now. I rather wait till these recordings show up as mp3’s somewhere. And I am sure they will one day.
Among the many things that Willem de Ridder did, was improvising hearplays. He did that for the radio, often with listeners, and although it didn’t always work out, it was always exciting. And often it did work out wonderful. On the Doodsangst Therapie double LP, released by the radio station that Willem worked for at that time, the VPRO, are two horror stories, that caused quite a bit of commotion back then. The idea behind these hearplays was to comfront himself, and his audience, with his deepest fears. If you have never heard this, and if you speak Dutch, you can check out why here and here. The woman is played by Barbara de Vries, and remember, this improvisation was recorded in 1977!