When I recorded my own music for the first time, in Greece, without an actual plan what to do with the results, one of the musicians said: “you should make a proper album out of this.” I said OK. Somebody back home heard the album and said: “I want to write a review of it, but this means that the readers should be able to buy it.” I said OK. When I approached a distributor, they said: “you need a label.” I said OK, to find out later that this actually entails more than having a sticker or logo. So here it is: TouMilou. A micro record label that exists primarily to share my own music. Indie, for sure.
Michiel van der Meulen
Erato / Contemporary Modal Music / Michiel van der Meulen & Kairos Collective / TouMilou #6, forthcoming
Kairos Collective is the occasional ensemble that, to date, recorded three albums with contemporary modal compositions by Michiel van der Meulen. Kairos, in ancient Greek mythology, is the personification of the right moment, the time to act or an opportunity to be seized, representing inspiration and enthusiasm. This perfectly matches the atmosphere and co-operation during both recording sessions, the results of which are genuine collaborative efforts that carry the ideas of each contributor.
- Marius Roeting, New Folk Sounds (November 20, 2019; in Dutch): “Van der Meulen deserves a statue!”
- Holly Moors, Moors Magazine (June 25, 2019; in Dutch): “The unique musical voice of Michiel van der Meulen.”
- Dani Heyvaert, Rootstime.be (May 1, 2017; in Dutch): “experience the unbelievable power and beauty of its six long pieces.”
- Crispijn Oomes, MixedWorldMusic.com (August 4, 2017; in Dutch): “Michiel van der Meulen […] passed cum laude.”
If you are Dutch and enjoy Balkan, Turkish, Arabic and/or Central Asian music, then you are bound to know the famous Dutch ensemble Čalgija (1962-1967 and 1969-1995). Even if you are not Dutch and don’t particularly like Turkish, Arabic and Central Asian music, you might know them because their music features in a song by Kate Bush (The Sensual World) and was covered by Andy Irvine and Davy Spillane. Čalgija released three albums: Balkan Orchestra Čalgija (EP, 1966), Music from the Balkans and Anatolia #1 (LP, 1978) and Music from the Balkans and Anatolia #2 (CD, 1991). TouMilou Records reissued the EP and produced, in co-operation with Pan Records, two additional albums from unreleased studio and live material from the late 1970s and early 1980s: the ensemble in its heyday.
- Dani Heyvaert, Rootstime.be (November 3, 2021; in Dutch): “one of the absolute best world music releases of the year”
- Joop Wierenga, New Folk Sounds (August 22, 2021; in Dutch): “a great historical novel about the Balkans”
- Holly Moors, Moors Magazine (July 18, 2021; in Dutch): “A lovely, unexpected discovery from the archives”
- Jan Willem Broek, De Subjectivisten (September 22, 2017; in Dutch): “so overwhelmingly beautiful”
Traditionele Turkse Kunstmuziek (book, in Dutch) / W. Swets / 2e editie bewerkt door M.J. van der Meulen / ISBN 978-94-641829-9-6 / Verwacht eind 2022
- Albums are streamed on all major platforms
- Digital albums are available at Bandcamp
- CD’s can be purchased online from the distributor Xango Music, resellers such as bol.com and amazon.com, and directly from TouMilou at Bandcamp
- Hardcopies of score books can be purchased online at Bandcamp (€ 5.00, shipping excluded)
Bandcamp is an online platform that allows you to buy music directly from the people who make it. Unlike other channels, most revenue goes to the makers. Streaming platforms are a great gateway to music, but you must bear in mind that only massive numbers of plays will generate a significant income. Independent artists need independent listeners!