Colin Benders, alias Kyteman, reached a peak in 2009 with his Hip Hop Orchestra, while already knowing when to stop. In his own free state of Kytopia, he is now looking deeper into the music, himself and the magic of friendship in cooperation.
How would you describe the way music is made in the Hip Hop Orchestra?
“With 24 people, you have a lot of possibilities based purely on intuition and action/reaction, without having to write a single chord or note. It all develops in the moment itself. When one person plays a line, someone else may think, ‘I know another chord here’ and introduce that chord to accompany that line. The person who plays that line thinks, ‘That’s cool I’m going to go deeper into that.’ Then you have two people who react to each other and you have another 22 who can react to that. Before you know it, an entire pallet of possibilities presents itself. At that point, the only thing you still need is a kind of traffic cop. You: stop. You: continue. The strangest things come out of it, things you could never have written; they develop out of sheer need. At some point you acquire a kind of symbiosis on the stage. And you acquire a kind of uprising. Somewhere in the left corner you have people who decide, this soft nonsense, we are going to go right over it here, which suddenly forms a kind of block that the rest of the stage almost wipes away. I think that’s fantastic; the best things that can happen at such a moment.”
How do you create freedom in creation?
“The Hip Hop Orchestra is not a democracy. The reason that there is freedom on all these fronts is because I decided that there should be freedom on these fronts. Other than that, it remains my thing. I always decide the course I take and people are always free to go along with it if they want to. I see it as a marble alley. I try to place the pieces of wood but I have no idea which way they will go. Starting from that direction, all the space can be given to continue.’’
How do you work together in Kytopia?
“It is a kind of anarchy here. We work on the basis of spreading enthusiasm. Who joins in? When you have a great idea, everyone joins in. Everyone has both an ‘I’ and a ‘we’ position here. You do not build on personal credit but on making a beautiful ‘thing.’ As soon as collecting credit becomes a direct objective, you block a lot of things and you miss out on opportunities.”
Can you see that your working method has an important message for these times?
‘’So much music is made primarily to earn money, which I actually find really scary. Because, first of all, it says that people remove their soul from the music and lose the actual significance of making music. You hear it in the music and you see it in the people. It’s only about success. You also have the category of people who earn money to make music. It would be a shame if something abstract like money could take away a beautiful plan. If you listen to the content, you hear that someone actually has something to say, that there is a plan behind it. That the intentions are entirely different from personal gain. It is all about that thing and it has to come out one way or another. Which of the two would you prefer?’’
Sacha Kluvers, Program Director and Trainer (email@example.com) and Miranda Huiden, Program Director (firstname.lastname@example.org)