The Greenman started off in 1991 as a project besides my work as a drummer, bassist to explore and experiment with new forms, proportions, and instruments with a lyric search of what myself could be in words or how the world around me represents in events on me. For that I needed an alter ego so I could make a piece of art next to what I really am. So why not a voice of one who’s been here for long, a Greenman for instance, he could fix the job for me.
Incantare is a little story of a standstill in the flow of life and is balancing for further steps or changes that in everyone appears and where we have to listen to if we want to reach a higher level in ourselves.
Written and performed by John Groenen who played all instruments. Recorded at Studio SGN engineer Gerdo Nieuwenhuizen and mixed by Jos Jore and John Groenen. Artwork, Liesbeth.
The nursery school 1966
Greenman Johnny sings AA
Johnny Groenen, who is the bass player in Solid Basis as well as drummer in Yo’Mama, recently released ‘Incantare.’ Normally, these types of recordings are being used by bands for demo purposes, in order to get publicity. However, Incantare (‘enchanting’) was not made for that reason.
The Greenman aimed to discover a new structure in his own songs and see if there were more ways to play ‘em. Incantare is developed, composed and performed by John Groenen. Altogether this is what makes the tape worthwhile.
The cover of Incantare mentions six titles. Actually, it is one song, consisting of six different overlapping parts. The first (close harmony) song, Eyes, tells the story of a man with existential questions regarding the future, present time as well as in retrospect. “Music strengthens the lyrics,” says the composer/musician. To reach the final result John used the Atari computer which offered him a ‘clicktrack,’ strings and harpsichord. In the studio of Gerdo Nieuwenhuizen (SGN, de TOL), additional drums, bass, and vocals were recorded. Afterward, John recorded the acoustic piano at his home.
Most parts of Incantare were recorded in one or two takes. Although this way of working John likes best, it requires a solid preparation.
The public and some record companies positively received Incantare. Although John made Incantare for the reason as mentioned, positive reviews are of course nice to hear for the composer. Musicmaker, a leading magazine for musicians, believes that the songs are missing a certain consistency in type and sound-coloring/timbre. “But that was just what I had in mind with different structures, so that’s more a compliment,” says John. Musicmaker also describes Incantare as melodic pop, a bit like Steely Dan, Thomas Dolby and Joe Jackson.
Incantare is a remarkable, well-sounding cassette. The fact that the tracks are all composed and played by John himself adds value. Besides compliments, some critical notes are in order. The inlay of the cassette and the enclosed biography could be more thoughtful.
Piet van Vught
Imaginary Door is an attempt to describe how some big themes of life like, wisdom, loneliness, love and religion spring out of the unconscious through dreams and facing us in a Jungian way, based on the archetypes who are dormant in everyone,
Written and performed by John Groenen who played all instruments accept Bass and Guitar which were played by Hans Keuken and Brand Kruithof was playing Sax. Recorded at Studio SGN mixed by Gerdo Nieuwenhuizen and John Groenen. Artwork, Liesbeth
Imaginary Door is an attempt to describe how some big themes of life like, wisdom, loneliness, love and religion spring out of the unconscious through dreams and facing us in a Jungian way, based on the archetypes who are dormant in everyone. Read More...