Marike van Dijk’s “Stranded”: An Odyssey of Sonic Exploration

Written by | New Releases, News

Dutch saxophonist, composer, and arranger Marike van Dijk has embarked on a musical odyssey that spans continents and cultures, giving birth to her fourth remarkable recording, “Stranded.” Released globally last week through Brooklyn Jazz Underground Records, this album is a testament to her musical evolution and her ability to weave diverse influences into a rich auditory tapestry.

Van Dijk’s journey as a musician has been a cosmopolitan one, traversing the landscapes of New York, the Netherlands, and Australia in recent years. Her prior albums have marked significant milestones in her career. Notably, “The Stereography Project Featuring Jeff Taylor and Katell Keineg” in 2018, the expansive “The Stereography Project” in 2015, and her debut quintet recording, “Patches Of Blue,” in 2010, set the stage for her current opus, “Stranded.”

A musician of versatility, van Dijk has graced the stage with various ensembles, both grand and intimate. From the European Jazz Orchestra to the Jazzmania Big Band, Konrad Koselleck Big Band, and the New Rotterdam Jazz Orchestra, she has demonstrated her prowess in diverse musical landscapes. Her teaching stints and collaborations with prestigious institutions such as the Antwerp Royal Conservatoire and the Institut fur Music in Osnabrück, Germany, have enriched her musical palette.

Renowned pianist and arranger Gil Goldstein aptly captures the essence of van Dijk’s music, particularly in “The Stereography Project.” He commends her writing for its organic, balanced nature, seemingly rooted in the fabric of nature itself. Goldstein’s words resonate with her latest offering, “Stranded,” embodying yet another step in her illustrious composing journey.

“Stranded” isn’t merely an album; it’s an exploration of open structures and collaborative artistry. Van Dijk was on a quest to create an environment where musicians could freely unveil their artistic selves. The pandemic-induced isolation in subtropical Brisbane during her PhD studies in Australia set the stage for much of the conceptualization and composition. This period of seclusion, often denoted by the album’s title, became a catalyst for her creative process.

The North Sea Jazz Festival commissioned “Stranded” in 2020, sparking the genesis of this sonic narrative. Over two years of development and refinement, the delayed premiere in 2022 unfolded with a sense of profound anticipation. The ensemble for “Stranded” was handpicked, their musical personalities integral to the composition process. Van Dijk envisaged their interpretations, their unique musical voices, as an integral part of the compositional journey.

In the realm of “Stranded,” the concept is all-encompassing. Each composition is a carefully crafted soundscape, an invitation into van Dijk’s intricate musical mind. The live recording aspect of the album adds a palpable energy, recreating the sensation of being on stage, immersed in the live performance. Van Dijk elaborated, “with this music I tried to stay as close as possible to what it feels like to be part of a live performance: the album was recorded in a live setting and produced to give listeners the sensation of sitting on stage, right there, with us.”

“Stranded” is an invitation to embark on a sonic voyage. It’s a tapestry woven with threads of collaboration, improvisation, and the artist’s musical heartbeats. Marike van Dijk has crafted a testament to the human spirit’s resilience and the boundless creative depths one can traverse even in the face of adversity. As you listen, you find yourself not stranded, but on a musical adventure, transcending boundaries and embracing the beauty of collective artistry.

Marike van Dijk’s Stranded is now available on CD and all streaming platform’s via Brooklyn Jazz Underground Records. You can check out the album here below on Spotify.




Last modified: October 4, 2023