Hi everybody, Marten here from SoundsLikeVanSpirit.

I spend the past two years driving around Europe in an old VW van rigged a music studio to record an album with only street musicians from over 20 countries. I'm currently working on transforming 10TB of material I shot throughout the journey into a full length documentary movie.

Yesterday someone posted a trailer I made here on reddit and it got quite some attention and more questions that I could have possibly answered. That's why and to welcome the reddit community I'm making a AmA tonight from 9pm German Time (3pm New York Time). But I'll stay awake as long as I can for you.

Links and all that...

Here's the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEblEp0FKW8

Crowdfunding for Album and Movie: https://www.ulule.com/sounds-like-van-spirit-europes-pavement-melodies/

Van Session Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLajxN38G6r6-5pW5u-A4NFFDSbM241753

Proof: https://www.instagram.com/p/ByVIK_0IGco/

A little something about the project and me already...

I'm 26 years old, studied MediaMusic at the ArtEZ conservatory in Enschede (NL) and I happened to record a old Dutch Street musician back in 2014. From this moment on I started to experience street music on a new level. I wanted to record more street musicians and share their story with the world.

Holland was too small, the world was too big. So it had to be Europe.

After one year of preparation and two years of being on the road my mission came to an end (for now).

Check the links for more and I see you tonight to answer all your questions :)

Cheers,Marten

Comments: 263 • Responses: 92  • Date: 

Zeruels194 karma

How did you handle the economical side of the project?

How did you sustain yourself for two years in a van?

Marten5892198 karma

  1. When I first made the idea public to my family my father only replied: "Son, thats a wonderful idea, but are you aware that you all you have is 140 EUR on your bank account and its not even the middle of the month?"The coming next 8 months I worked my ass off often more than 12 hours a day 7 days a week to be able to buy a old ice cream truck and pay the first reparations.Eventually I won a year long 700EUR / month scholarship, did a small crowdfunding and found a few product sponsors like shure for microphones.After some try outs and the building phase I left with enough money for 6 months.I was so broke twice that I only ate rice for weeks or went recycle food.But always after a phase like this someone believed in this project and supported it further without attaching strings. One of them was a Dutch Culture production house that is state funded for talent development.At the moment tbh my bank account is - 2000 so its about time to get this project into the world :DSo I would say it was a good mix of hard work, luck, stupidity and stubbornness.
  2. Already partly answered in 1. But I only went to campsites for a total of 7 days or so, and was usually when I was sick and I needed a toilet nearby :D
    For the rest I tried to live as cheap as I can, knowing I wont have enough money to finsih the journey. But hey I had money for 6 months, ive been on the road for two years and I didnt die. Far from it, after accepting the dignity hit of recycling food I really felt free and even more motivated to finish this project

crshbndct45 karma

Recycled food?

Like, food that's already been eaten and digested once?

Marten589299 karma

It happened twice that I with fellow broke artists or vanlifers checked the supermarkets garbage bins to find food that was just thrown out. Usually still sealed in plastic

Marten589237 karma

like food that supermarkets throw out

maximusje6 karma

I met a girl once in a bus who offered passengers some pie. She sat down in front of me. While i was eating the pie she started talking about her studies. Turns out she was researching food waste and the culture of eating food from dumpsters. I was starting to get a little worried about the pie i was eating. She continued that she found out you could live months without ever having to visit the supermarket. And - at least in the Netherlands - there is a whole network of people sharing with each other where the good dumpsters are, kind of like a Facebook group. Many people living this way weren’t even homeless people. So I finally found the confidence to ask her about the pie. It was freshly baked and, of course, from mostly thrown away products. Herself visited the supermarket once a month for some bread. So yeah eating from the dumpster doesnt even have to be that bad.

Marten58923 karma

didnt say it was. It was usually better than what would buy myself. But you have to get used before...

CGHJ28 karma

It was so worth it, you’ve contributed something truly amazing to the world

Marten589227 karma

Thanks a lot 🙏

ThugLifeAllDay7 karma

I hope he answers this lol

Marten589229 karma

I will answer every question. But I was planning to start in one hour from now.
I'll set everything up so I dont have to move for the next hours :D

Ptomb68 karma

Which city would you most want to live in?

Which city will you avoid in the future?

Marten589269 karma

Very hard question. I left also on this trip because I couldt decide between Germany and Holland. Now I cannot decide between so many places which in a way makes a really restless now.

Some that I would like to live in: Madrid, Budapest, Lisbon, Copenhagen, Berlin, Ljubljana

mrjowei25 karma

Madrid is awesome! I lived for a year there. So much art and great (affordable) food.

Marten589221 karma

yes just wow. What a vibe the city has. I was thinking about moving there.

I-LOVE-LIMES11 karma

Ljubljana is so lovely

Marten589215 karma

just wow. so tiny and everything you need is there. definitely will go back

Wild-flire48 karma

First i want to say that this is awesome!! My question is, how do you approach most musicians when you want to record with them?

Marten589277 karma

It changed througout the 2 years as you can imagine.
First I tried to meet them also online first but that wasnt the best solution.
But usually I just spend a lot of time walking through the capitals of Europe talking to every street musician I found. Depending on how thrilled I was I asked them first just some random questions about the city, the busking scene and then step by step telling them what I really do.
Actually no one ever said "no i dont wanna participate"

nmonty44 karma

“Hey! Wanna be famous? Step into my van!”

Marten589252 karma

Well what can I say I capture Street Musicians in my van :D

Blacky-Noir39 karma

I have a lot of questions, but I'll curtail some :)

Can you talk about the audio gear you used, its challenge, its good surprises, how it's setup, that kind of things.

On your sessions videos on Youtube, how deep is the sound massaged into submission from the raw track printing? Did you do things live during printing, or is it all done in post?

How did you power your audio gear? Did you have issue with the power, and interference?

Marten589246 karma

1) This is the gear I used
interface: Focusrite Saffiere Pro 56 / RME fireface 400 for backup and smaller sessions and Zoom H6 for backupbackup
Preamps: Focusrite ISA TWO, Focusrite Liquid
Mics (only shure because sponsored): SM7B, KSM131 , BETA 181, KSM 313, BETA 98, and various more
Monitors: YAMAHA NS 10 and headphones

My van is treated acoustically from the inside so its dry. Mostly I therefore tried to record the main instruments in there. However the door was usually open because of the camera angles.
Recording outside has the nice effect of not having too many reflections but you really have to be carfeful with wind.
In the end this minimal setup and the new environment taught me so much because I made so many mistakes because of it. Mistakes you would not easily do in a studio environment I mean. But you have to solve them anyways afterwards.

Which Leads me to processing. I try to keep it pure but I also want to bring street music into the living room. Thats why you find autotune, melodyne, delays, or any other sparkling.
But I did my best with EQ, Comps, and reverbs to make it sound as good as I can. And also in a way that you can listen to many different artists and styles but still thinking its one thing.

All power came from a 250 Watt solar panel which is more than enough in summer. In winter it was always a challange.

boar-kid20 karma

All power came from a 250 Watt solar panel which is more than enough in summer. In winter it was always a challange.

I can relate to this. We have a VW Vanagon (aka Westy) similar to yours on which we had installed a 190W solar panel to power an electric fridge, power inverter and a few other things. You start thinking about where you're parking relative to trees, angle of the sun in order to maximize charging.

This is a stupid geeky question but did you have a battery monitor and a charge controller with monitoring capabilities to have more info or did you just get by with more basic things like battery voltage?

Marten589226 karma

I had for the first few months until it broke. Then I just had a multimeter :D

seouled-out29 karma

Music is universally human. But music, and all art, is seasoned by the culture in which it is created.

You enjoy a unique viewpoint - recording so many musicians from various regions/nations in the exact same environment in your van, you would seem to have access to a rare and interesting perspective.

What sorts of reflections can you share regarding how regional or national culture is seasoning music in 2019?

Marten589227 karma

Difficult but really important question.
We are all one. We all care about the same things but under different names, and we are all scared of the things we dont know but only under different names.
My most important lesson I learned is "YOU ARE HERE TO CREATE" and "YOU HAVE TO DO WHAT YOU LOVE"

knoose24 karma

What was the most interesting or heartbreaking story you heard from the musicians you worked with?

Marten589237 karma

I'm not saying the name but one of them cannot stay in Europe anymore because of a foreign nationality but has two kids in Europe. Plus I saw how he struggled to even just sustain his own living as a artist and how playing so many hours in the cold is working on his body.

Rainiero20 karma

Do the musicians you record receive any compensation for their performance?

Marten589260 karma

If you are asking if I paid them to play a song, then no. There was barely budget for the diesel.
But every musician keeps 100% of their copyright and most of the work I recored is original music.
So every time a song is streamed, printed, downloaded played on the radio and more they get paid by their copyright organisation. Also if they don't have it yet they can still can claim all copyrights from the last two years.
Then when it comes to the profit of the album sales, 50% of it will be given to charity. Also because I am only a one man operation and I simply cannot do the royalty accounting for 40+ musicians.

Theopholus7 karma

So you're saying we should all stream this over and over again.

Marten58928 karma

Defenitly woulnt hurt. At the moment the videos have too few views to even enable monetization. Best would be if this is gonna be streamed on platforms like large radios, events and so on...

PotusThePlant3 karma

That really caught my attention and I honestly have no idea why the view count is so low. The videos are well shot and the sound is great. Not to mention that the videos are pretty interesting and quite varied.

I really hope the influx of traffic from this post makes the youtube algorithm notice them!

Marten58926 karma

benoliver99919 karma

Are you familiar with the work of Alan Lomax?

SoundMcSounderson17 karma

Alan Lomax’s Southern Journey is an awesome album and when I saw this trailer yesterday it’s exactly what I though of and why I went straight to buy Martens vinyl and book.

Marten58928 karma

thanks a lot!

SoundMcSounderson8 karma

You did an amazing thing and motivated me, (a feature film sound Supervisor) to push the envelope! Keep being a badass Marten

Marten58928 karma

We are here to create.

SoundMcSounderson4 karma

Not to hijack this thread, but a very close friend of mine was just voted (today in fact) best street musician of Los Angeles by LA Weekly. His name is Ben Bostick. He has two records out now and is a damn fine musician. If you have time between being your altruistic self and an 2.0 entrepreneur give him a listen.

Marten58925 karma

hahaha "altruistic self and an 2.0 entrepreneur" :D I had to laugh Sounds really great!

Marten589210 karma

absoultely!

Leftover-Craic16 karma

I'm interested in how you turned the van into a studio.

Could you tell us a bit more about that? What were the biggest challenges and unexpected expenses of setting up the van? If you had to do it again, what would you do differently? Any tips for people who are thinking of doing something similar?

Marten589230 karma

So many things I would do different now but maybe just because I'm bored of the old :D
The biggest expense hit me hard actually was just 2 weeks ago. After 2 years on the road I safely returned to my hometown without any considerable damage. However after 3 days being here and already checking on the van what kind of reparations I have to do my my engine broke down on my way to see a friend. 10km from home.
Had to buy a new engine...

You are ready. Do it. Whatever happens you dont die. Trust me. Just do it.

Leftover-Craic23 karma

Thanks for the advice!

I'm not planning to do this myself, I'm asking for a friend of mine. He's gonna convert an old ambulance into a recording studio, and then drive it around Africa stopping off at different locations. He'll invite local musicians to jam and record music, and then distribute it back here in the UK.

It's called the Jambulance!

Marten589219 karma

Great Idea! We need more projects like this. We can do it on our own. We dont need the music industry or the TV. we have our own two hands and we have reddit. Happy to hear about this :)

dedwards2013 karma

Out of all the countries you visited, which did you feel had the richest music culture?

Marten589223 karma

Spain and Greece

yahhhguy11 karma

Have you been inspired to take on any new musical projects from this? Learn a new instrument? Bring a band on tour in some of the cities you visited? What’s your next move?

Marten589217 karma

For me this project was also something i never did before. I was a studio workaholic nerd before.But I really fell in love with exploring new places and meeting people from closeby. And of course I care about music so yes I definitely see myself doing similar projects in the future. Before announcing anything I have some ideas in the oven, I just wait for more doors to open :)

For now my move is to get my engine ready, work on the documentary and put a real piano in my van. Because my piano is the one thing I REALLY missed during the 2 years

emperorgenghiskhan11 karma

Did you have any issues with musicians or did you get permission first?

Marten589219 karma

Never any issues just be friendly if you film on the street. They usually care much more about respect than about money. But before we recorded I told them that I have a consent form that I need everyone to sign which was fine every time

odix10 karma

Were there any scary instances with the street performers or just anyone in general? Did anybody try and nab your equipment?

Marten589215 karma

No also never. They usually invited me to their place and we shared meals together instead.
Drunk people that wanna touch the van at nights can be scary for a moment, but most of the times they just didnt assume someone sleeping in there...

trabnas10 karma

Hi Marten, awesome trailer, can't wait to see more.

I'd like to ask you what city was the most memorable on your trip and what is the memory?

Marten589220 karma

Maybe Lisbon, when I was about to stop everything after only half a year and then one day later I met the georgia on my mind dude called TIES
check this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmmrZ8EomeI

TJBRWN10 karma

Wow, way cool! I’ve been interested in busking for a while now and hope to hit the streets soon. Really curious about your doc, looks like it’s been very well edited too. Nice job! On to the q’s:

In your journey, what were some prominent themes in the street musicians stories?

Any tips for planning a euro street performance tour of my own?

Finally, what is the general follow-up plan? You record them, release film, release the cd(s), and then...?

Marten589220 karma

1) Freedom. They dont play there because they have no where else to play. They play there because they enjoy being free, and that the audience chooses them and not the other way around.

2) First of all just do it. Dont think too much, you wont die whatever happens. Be careful with amplificaion and dont do it for the money, do it so you can enjoy people enjoying your music

3) Album release is August. Movie probably Fall/Winter hard to say. Then I would like to have nothing on my mind for a few weeks and open myself again for a new adventure :)

TJBRWN5 karma

Thanks for the response! Just finished watching the playlist, and gotta say each one really holds a special charm. You did a fantastic job capturing a glimpse into their world.

One day when my health is good enough to travel I’ll make the trip happen.

One thing about money I might suggest is linking the artist’s Patreon in your video descriptions, or helping them get on it if they’d want to try. Your movie sounds like a solid chance to get strangers across the globe to fund the musicians directly. Seems like the kind of thing I might want to throw some cash at if I were a brand manager at big P...

Marten58923 karma

I don’t think any of them run a patreon atm

DkChauncy9 karma

Hey hey you did the AMA!

Marten what was the point in your planning where this trip became a reality? This must have been a long planning process with doubt in your brain at one point, right? What struggles do you have as you made this idea come to fruition?

Marten589217 karma

Everything seemed to be to big to handle, but I could not stop thinking about it.
And then at some point a old wise men told me. "Sometimes its easier just to do it than to not do it".
From then on there was no going back and I made one step at a time.
I remember when I had bought the van and nothing was going as expected, how my room mate asked me if I ever had thought of not doing this project. After thinking for a few seconds I just had to laugh at loud at say "actually no :D"

Money has always been an issue because I never knew how long the money I had that moment will last.

eleavor9 karma

What percentage of these musicians appeared to be dong this as their full time means of revenue? Where did they get their instruments?

Marten589216 karma

Most of them were at least full time artists or musicians. But some also have normal jobs and they do it as a hobby. I would say 80/20

calkel28 karma

Did you meet the street musicians by just driving around listening for music or did you already have something already planned out?

Marten589214 karma

I tried to plan. Especially in the beginning. But its really impossible.
The best I could do was do have a daily discipline of going to the city and see what I can find. Most of the time you find someone that at least knows where there usually is music.

vwsr7 karma

In your opinion, which countries had the best musicians?

Marten589217 karma

Maybe Portugal. It has a crazy active music scene. And then maybe Berlin. (I havent been to London)

Sir_Boldrat9 karma

I'd be happy to host you in London, I'm there from next week. It's my hometown and it would be awesome to spend some time watching you work with musicians. My brother is also an artist, sure you guys could do something.

Marten589211 karma

Oh wow I would love to take that offer this summer! I really wanted to explore that city without having the van with me. shoot me a direct message if you want.

AmericanKamikaze7 karma

How did you know you could just start your journey and feed yourself, stay safe, etc?

Marten589216 karma

All I knew was whatever happens, I'm not gonna die. I pictured even the worst case cannot be that bad. And eventually I also found that out in real life. I was eating rice for weeks and I was about to call my parents and beg them to pick me up because I failed. But somehow I modelled through.
And safety is really not a problem at all, you might get robbed but thats about it. So be careful...

ender_wiggin19887 karma

Did you record only original music, or covers as well?

Edit: Nevermind, the first song on the playlist is a cover of Paint It Black by Rolling Stones. Question answered!

Your work is fantastic!!!

Marten589210 karma

That one is actually a mashup of three songs.
However mostly originals!

ender_wiggin19884 karma

This whole playlist is proving to be wonderful to listen to. Maybe there's an album in the future we can buy??

Bardali6 karma

Was the idea based on the US example of playing for change (or at least how it started) ?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=15&v=EdhSe3lb7g8

Marten589210 karma

The initial idea I had before I knew about them, but they definitely inspired me after I saw it

NotThatEasily6 karma

How many times did people call the cops after you approached them on the street and asked them to come back to your windowless van to record music?

Marten589211 karma

:D:D:D never
But I did see some weird looks after I first told them. But nobody every said no :)

chaosdreamingsiren6 karma

Hey Marten, thanks for doing the AMA and I can't wait to see your documentary!! Are there any performers that have stuck out to you and stayed on your mind? Do you stay in touch with the performers you've worked with? Would you consider doing vinyl pressings or CD releases if you haven't already?

Marten589211 karma

Absolutely! But I really dont wanna make this about a winner or so. Most of them I can call now my friends. And even though its hard to stay in touch on a regular basis. But some of them I already met again, and I hope I can meet many more again :)

Vinyl and CD can already be ordered here: https://www.ulule.com/sounds-like-van-spirit-europes-pavement-melodies/

chaosdreamingsiren3 karma

Thank you so much for your reply, I can't wait for what I ordered to come in! I'm listening to the sessions you have available on youtube now, there's so much amazing talent.

Marten58925 karma

thanks for your support!

Marten58928 karma

The album will be available on vinyl and on CD. Check it out here: https://www.ulule.com/sounds-like-van-spirit-europes-pavement-melodies/

Most of them I can call my friends now. Though its hard to keep in touch on a regular basis, But some I've already met again :)

I really like this track: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkWAC2abgz0

sonusmind5 karma

I am assuming you had a lot of interactions with the street musicians.. aside from playing at venues, how else did the street musicians subsides their income?

Marten58927 karma

Most were pretty much full time artists

darkdaze5 karma

Which of the countries that you went to is the most underrated?

Marten589211 karma

Slovenia

tastelessbaguette5 karma

What are some of the best success stories that have come from the project? Thanks!

Marten58929 karma

good question... The project is probably not big enough yet so lets make one happen :)

Marten58925 karma

Thank you for all these questions. I’m having dinner and then I’ll start answering the questions, from around 9pm German time. So let the questions coming. I’ll respond to all of them

Wdeflect4 karma

Did you pay to have that trailer posted in any way?

Marten589212 karma

Nope. Actually I tried myself to post it a few times but it was always taken down because of spam. Until somebody posted it and changed the title to a third person title...

DerLang4 karma

[deleted]

Marten58924 karma

AMAs?

drkste4 karma

Ich habe öfter gesehen, das du an Parkplätzen Standest und andere Van reisende getroffen hast. Wie hast du solche Parkplätze gefunden? Gibts da ne Seite/Community?

Marten58924 karma

Es gibt ne Stellplatz App und dort trifft man dann einige. Ansonsten auch viel Instagram

tomoyopop4 karma

What are your long-term career goals after this project? I don't mean "career" as in like an office job but in general - I'm sure this project made a big impact on your life so where do you see yourself going from here? And then, how do you hope to fund an unusual life path?

Marten58928 karma

I am a music producer. And I would like to go back to make music with many musicians. But I also really like to follow the path of music documentary making and I hope I can see many other countries and doing projects there. Other than that I will only take an office job as you said when it’s really need it financially.

baker20024 karma

Let me ask, how do you get them to initially step foot into the van?

Marten58929 karma

:D I love how everybody wants to know that. It was never a single problem at all.

I usually showed them the van on pictures or videos before and then they wanted to see it:)

lilh0e4 karma

ヽ༼ ຈل͜ຈ༼ ▀̿̿Ĺ̯̿̿▀̿ ̿༽Ɵ͆ل͜Ɵ͆ ༽ノ What keeps you driving everyday?

Marten58929 karma

The joy of creating what I myself care about

drkste3 karma

Super danke. Kannst du eine empfehlen?

Marten58923 karma

Park4Night

ess_tee_you3 karma

If you'd given the street musicians a lift home you could have called the project Van Hailin'.

Or skip the lift and call it Van Wailin'.

If you'd recorded them in a UK supermarket car park it could have been Van Morrisons.

If you could rename the project, would you?

Marten58922 karma

no :D

colorfulfool3 karma

Whoa I saw you in Stockholm with the guitar girl. I mean, I saw your van from a distance before the ferry terminal :)

Do you have some kind of a map of infographic to visualize the journey? If not, I could make you one.

Marten58922 karma

What a coincidence!!! Unbelievable :D That would be really cool 😎

Madreverse3 karma

I think that what you did/are doing is such a courageous and amazing thing. Good luck for the rest of the project!

I don't really have anything special to ask, so I'll just go with this:
In which country did you see the most attractive women? (Or men, I don't judge) 😂

Marten58925 karma

I would go with Spain 😁

juampi1233 karma

Wow, incredible ! Do you need an assistant? haha is my dream!

Marten58927 karma

Yes! Please!

gwhh3 karma

How you fund this project?

Marten58926 karma

Scholarschip, Sponsors, Crowdfunding, Personal Savings and a One Meal a Day discipline :D

bobinator603 karma

Do you know the history of the song “Smoke on the Water” by Deep Purple, and did it have any influence on your project?

Marten58927 karma

actually no! Even though thats the music I grew up with. What is it about?

bobinator608 karma

It tells the true story of Deep Purple recording an album in Montreaux Switzerland using The Rolling Stones’ mobile studio.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smoke_on_the_Water#History

Marten58927 karma

wow highly interesting! thanks for this!

eldestsauce2 karma

How did no one notice that King Théoden became a 150 year old invalid overnight?

Marten58923 karma

King Théoden

damn I dont get it :D

Xayd3r2 karma

are you going to answer the question asked here?

Marten589213 karma

Yes from 9pm German time :)

StinkyAssTurd2 karma

Hey Marten, fellow sound engineer here! I absolutely love your idea and you have executed it extremely well, both audio and video.

Which brings me to my question - what experience did you have with filming before this adventure? And what camera equipment did you use?

Marten58922 karma

basically no experience at all. I just watched as many tutorials I could before I left. I had these cameras: Lumix GH3, Lumix GX85, Sony RX100ii, GoPro 5, Iphone 7. But the Sony I sold on my journey and the gopro I broke :D

gwn_2 karma

What made you change from Smells to Sounds? Did you realize that it would be more accurate during your trip? Someone told you?

Marten58923 karma

someone told me and then I realized :D

LubbockGuy2 karma

Man ... you are living my life.

I wanted to buy an old scamp camper and set it up as a small recording studio and do a similar concept but across the US with bands or artist I love.

Did you have to carry a lot of gear to make this all possible?

Marten58922 karma

Quite a bit yes. But I mean my van is really not the biggest

Masterpiecesn2 karma

I just wanted to say that you are a very good person and i fully support your goals and ideas.

Is there any place i can do a small donation?

Dont have much, but would give just as much as these people give throughout their music.

Marten58923 karma

Thank you I really appreciate it! You can and get preorder the album too. Check this here https://ulule.com/sounds-like-van-spirit-europes-pavement-melodies/?lang=en

Danither2 karma

Hey. Thanks for coming to Reddit. I've been loving a few of the bands you've posted, the hot teapots and Ramm tamm tilda have already shot to number 1 in my brain.

Here's my question however: do you take requests?

I knew a man 10 years ago called Graham Jones, he lives in Bournemouth and does the open mic scene, but hadn't recorded anything at the time.

But for many years I thought he could break the ceiling if he only had the chance, but I wasn't even able to help him get his own copy of cubase at the time because I suck.

So a decade later as soon as I saw your endeavour I thought of him. he goes by the name of basic blues Jones this is really the only info I can find on him.

But Im sure if you asked at buffalo in Winton they'd know how to find him.

Go give this man the break he deserves.

Marten58923 karma

I'm listening it right now. I'll add it to my map :)

crystalclearbuffon2 karma

Do you think about collaborating with other like minded people settled in different continents , and collectively document those places ?

Marten58922 karma

For sure!

IHateTomatoes2 karma

In terms of instruments people played, was there anything really unique? Any particular instrumental talent that really stood out?

XanJamZ2 karma

I have a van I’ve always wanted to turn into a mobile studio and live out of. How do you go about powering all your equipment? Also do you need to protect it from extreme temperatures, especially from sitting unattended in the sun? I hope you reply to my questions!

Marten58923 karma

Cold is more a problem I would say. My Macbooks battery really didnt like it and i have to replace it. I have a 250 Watt solar panel and a mppt charger. This is more than enough in summer. Winter was always a struggle...

jramsi202 karma

I really enjoyed the clip that was posted yesterday.

Have you considered more projects in other areas? It would be an amazing series to take around the world.

Edit: Almost forgot, I was wondering about your equipment while I was watching - is there somewhere I could check out what gear you’re using?

Marten58925 karma

absolutely. I have some ideas in the oven. Some you might guess, others probably not :9 but I, waiting for more doors to open.

Gear I answered a bit more above if you dont mind looking

Xano402 karma

Are you a musician/ singer yourself?

Marten58925 karma

Yes I play piano, guitar and I like composing/ producing

fpotw2 karma

You’re an inspiration man, your video is so beautiful and moving. My question is, how do the street performers react when you tell them you want to record them?

I love what you do, I’m short on money and just had to pay for my future degree but the day I have something extra I would love to contribute to your cause. Wish you the absolute best. Also looks like you had the time of your life.

Marten58926 karma

I dont approach them and then make my pitch. I usually just hang out there take some pictures, offer them a beer. Hang out a little, talk about music. And then when I feel the time is right I tell them what I really do. But I only say this when i already have the intention of recording. Otherwise they could be frustrated...

Pahoalili2 karma

Have you heard Vans Song ?

Marten58925 karma

no but I saved it in aother tab :)

Marten58923 karma

no and its not available in my country :(

DrBimboo2 karma

I have no question, just need to say that this is awesome.

Oh, so I do have a question. The Trailer looked great, will there be a longer video? And when?

Marten58924 karma

I'm working on turning this into a full length movie. Will be out this fall/winter :)

reddragon1053 karma

Need any help from an experienced documentary film maker?

Marten58922 karma

I have send you a DM. Where are you based?

Marten58922 karma

That would be amazing!

gwn_2 karma

Do I need to put another 7 euros if I already ordered the book ? I really want to see that movie :))

Love your work man <3

Marten58924 karma

I'm working on the movie atm. Everyone that buys the stream as a preorder will get the stream the day after the premiere. Would be amazing if you wanna support it. I tried to keep the prices very affordable.

bori_27911 karma

When will you answer a question?

Marten58924 karma

Started :)

MapleRussian1 karma

[deleted]

Marten58923 karma

1) I dont fully understand

2) The better one is the less he talks about it

jasonisnuts1 karma

How long do you think you will continue this project? I want to say I love what you are doing and wish you the best of luck on your journey. The music you have recorded is amazing and I look forward to the full documentary and more music! Cheers!

Marten58922 karma

This journey is finished for now. Maybe I’ll do something similar but shorter next year

MixedGamer1 karma

Are you from the Netherlands? If so Are you going to visit Suriname?

Marten58921 karma

I’m German, I only lived in NL for 5 years

Bad--Sauce1 karma

Did you get the entire Soros Street players. Like the Bucket drummers ?

Marten58921 karma

No some of them I just recorded with a field recorder and filmed them.

Ipecactus1 karma

How long have you been a hipster and do you have a man bun?

Marten58922 karma

Haha no im more the Short hair guy

Marten58921 karma

It’s a really beautiful city and many creative people are running around I love this

LubbockGuy1 karma

Marten -

I read through all the comments and checked out the trailer, awesome stuff man.

What do you think it cost you to set this all up with the van, recording gear, and camera / travel gear?

Do you remember what you shot with video wise?

Again I love the idea of it and would love to see it come over to the states some time.

Marten58921 karma

My van was not that expensive at all (1400) and But these prices also exploded in Germany recently. Reparation and Conversion with all technical stuff too another 2500. My audio gear was quite expensive but mostly sponsored (luckily). But luckily the basics in audio are also not that expensive anymore. Then of course you need a powerful laptop, some camping gear and Fuel, ferry tickets, park tickets, tolls, I also spend a substantial amount on cameras and that stuff. I used a GH3, a GX85, 12-35mm 2.8, 14-140mm 3.5 - 5.4 all from Panasonic, Olympus 25mm 1.8, and a GoPro hero 5

But really I would have bought less if I knew better.

LubbockGuy1 karma

I believe the rise in price is due to the world cup coming up and people using them to travel in.

What would you take camera gear wise different?

Thanks so much and please let me know how we can support the project.

Marten58921 karma

Maybe a more dedicated video camera like black magic or GH5

You can support this project here if you want by ordering the album: https://www.ulule.com/sounds-like-van-spirit-europes-pavement-melodies/

LubbockGuy2 karma

Got ya!

Ordered the album just now, thanks again.

Marten58921 karma

Thank you 🙏

BestInDaGame0 karma

This was posted 3 hours ago and I can't find one response from Marten, I hope he's able to answer some of these. My question is how you found all these people and how easy it was to get them to come record in your van. What were the interactions like? Do any in particular stand out?

Marten58926 karma

Hi I’m starting to reply at 9pm German time as i wrote. It’s my first AMA so hopefully I don’t blew it already completely