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Franck van der Heijden

Meseka Productions

Slide background

Franck van der Heijden

Meseka Productions

Slide background

Franck van der Heijden

Meseka Productions

Traces of Love Booklet

1998

Since 1995 I had been writing orchestral arrangements for Night of the Proms, a big event with famous artists. They all performed their big hits with Il Novecento, a big symphony orchestra supported by a rock band. A live cd was released every year, so I came up with the idea to make a special album with my own songs performed by the orchestra and artists that were guests at the Night of the Proms. When I discussed this with the orchestra manager and played him the demos he asked: 'but who is singing on the demos?' When I replied it was me he said: 'why don’t you do the lead vocals on the album?’

I became very ambitious and I started to work out an idea to create an album with a story. The theme would be love, not in a trivial romantic way, but how it can be found in many different forms. From simply falling in love, the love for your own child, ups and downs in a relationship, temptation, acceptance of yourself, to saying farewell to a loved one. I wanted to use unconventional arrangements, painting with orchestral sounds in pop songs, but also cinematic transitions that connect the songs. The result was a concept album where all songs have a connection and the themes of the transitions eventually re-appear in the epic penultimate piece. I used songs that I had written before and wrote some new ones

1999

I started the first recordings with a band, wrote all the orchestral parts and not much later I recorded the orchestra conducted by Robert Groslot. During the next period, while I was recording my vocals, there were some collaborations. John Miles did a duet, Ole Edvard Antonson played a trumpet solo, Alannah Myles did additional vocals and read a poem. Then came the hardest part: the mix, and even worse, trying to get a record label interested. Because this was such an extraordinary project it was very difficult to place it in one category. Due to many factors and mainly because I was never happy with the end result, I decided not to release the album.

2018

Twenty years later I decided it was time to finish the project. Why wait for so long? Apart from the fact I was never happy with some details like the recorded parts or the sound, another reason was that I never had any time because all these years I was working nonstop for other artists and projects. This year I took the time and had all the modern technology to refine and change everything that wasn’t to my liking. I re-arranged some of the tracks, re-recorded parts and did a lot of editing. A nice detail is that my son Bodi played the drums on 5 tracks, including the song that I wrote 16 years earlier as his birth announcement.

2019

Like a person reaching maturity, my album is released, 21 years after the birth of the initial idea. I now proudly present: Traces of Love.

Franck