Leeuwarden, the cultural capital of my dreams

Peter van der Ploeg (59) and Dick Jongman (69) are not just artists, they are also friends. They feel honoured that they are allowed to be part of Leeuwarden-Fryslân Cultural Capital 2018. The two friends made a tribute to Leeuwarden by means of creating a song. Dick is the singer and Peter guides him whilst playing the guitar in a beautiful, classical way.

By: Joël Werle & Deveny Artendes – published before in @MEM

Peter (59) was involved in the music business when he was very young. He grew up in a very music orientated family. This led to his love for music. He started a band named ‘De Kast’ (‘The Closet’), together with his cousin Syb van der Ploeg. The interview took place at Peter’s studio; a lot of rehearsals were in that same studio.

Dick (69) used to be a tourist guide, because he has learned a lot of languages. He loves to learn new languages and that’s why the song has been translated into 8 other languages. Besides his great speaking abilities, he likes playing the guitar and writing songs. Dick used to have a guitar teacher that was drunk most of the time. One day he had had enough and searched for another teacher and this turned out to be Peter. Because there are a lot of people named ‘Van der Ploeg’, Dick didn’t know this Peter was the Peter from the famous band ‘De Kast’.

Great connection
Since the first lesson, the two had a great connection and collaboration. Peter believes it’s important that everyone is original with their creations. Dick has the same mentality and because of their same opinions, they have grown closer. The lyrics that Dick has written were recorded by Peter. It started very simple and they made songs quickly.

Dick has been out of the country a lot due to his work, mostly in Spain. He loves the Spanish ambiance and music, so he thought of adding Spanish into the song. When they heard Leeuwarden was going to be the cultural capital of 2018, they saw a great challenge and opportunity to add something to the community. Dick thought up the idea to add Spanish to the song and Peter created the musical arrangements. They’ve added a lot of chords and this led to a lot of work to perfect the song. After recording, Dick sent the song to the organization of Leeuwarden 2018. He received a speed dial of the organization and they asked if the song could be presented at the gathering the next day. The organization adored the song and they found it to be a great tribute to Leeuwarden.

,,People from Leeuwarden are sober and cynical people. The city has a lot to offer and you feel comfortable there. There for, Leeuwarden deserves an ordinary tribute. We both have a connection with the city”, Peter mentioned. ,,Both my parents have worked in Leeuwarden and the city just has a great history for me. Besides that, I think the language of Friesland is important for me.” Dick: ,, I’ve worked in Leeuwarden and I sing in a choir there. In the past, I could always be found in the city and I have great memories with the pub crawls too. The city’s nostalgias, the homesickness, and craving to be back in that great atmosphere by the canals, the small streets and the squares are processed into the song.”

The target group of the song ‘Leeuwarden cultural capital of my dreams?’ is for everybody that wants to know something about Leeuwarden. The other target group is that Dick and Peter want to reach people from other European cities. Hence the song has been translated into seven languages and one dialect: Dutch, Frisian, English, German, French, Spanish and Swedish, the dialect is Gronings. Peter and Dick hope that the song will be well received. They are open minded to everything and if the song isn’t a success, so be it. They support their own song completely and make music for their amusement.