den Hertog

“Well done chaps! Nice melodies! You must have studied music?” This would be a regularly asked question at break time. Luckily, we have Carel among us. Where we just do as we please, he actually graduated and received his degree in music. Classical music that is. Carel narrows everything down to the ‘Great Three’, with which he unfortunately doesn’t mean us, but Bach (the father), Mozart (the son) and Beethoven (the holy ghost). The ‘son’ is especially admired by Carel, since they are a bit similar: driven, passionate, full of fire and forever young. For those who have seen the film Amadeus know exactly what we mean. No dull, classical music lover, but an all-rounder who doesn’t just cross the boundaries of the impossible, but who knows no boundaries at all. He is involved in various orchestra’s, set-up his own string orchestra, coaches cabaret shows, directs and collects music for radio 4 and produces melodies which big night clubs want their audiences to listen to. He does it all.

But there is so much more than music. Most of his passions have no boundaries: enjoying bacon-cheese-pineapple (skipping the peppers), whole wheat pancakes at the Potsemaker, playing squash with our clarinet player (in the same passionate manner he plays the violin), reading novels (he studies Dutch for your years, just as a past-time), taking afternoon naps (at which he is very good indeed), and baby-sitting his nephews and nieces to whom he is the favourite uncle. To us, he is our favourite violin player. It may be considered a miracle that combined with all the above activities, he still finds time to be part of our trio. From hushed melodies and grooving guidance patterns up to fierce and inimitable solo’s, that Mozart in his wildest dreams would not have been able to compose. A guy with so many sides and possibilities, one would almost start to wonder who he really is. To us, the answer is simple: a great colleague and a wonderful friend.


Coos, once our next-door neighbour, later our classmate, roommate, study friend and praised colleague, nowadays our head of the family, the father figure of the family that we call Trio C the third. The fact that we now see Coos as our fatherly figure is undoubtedly linked to him becoming a dad in his private life. “What? His private life? Isn’t that just Trio C the third?” Well yes, also, but for accordionists it is common to take the best of both worlds: buttons on the left side, keys on the right. Which buttons he touches at home, and which ones he touches in his musical life may be left to the fantasy of our reader. But that Coos as our harmonious and rhythmic team player, also touches the buttons figuratively speaking may be clear. In the year 2010 Coos became father to a beautiful son. This breakthrough in his private life had, besides the temporary lack of sleep, a positive impact on our trio as he continued his father role outside of his private home. Before his son was born, Coos could turn up at a performance completely unprepared, not knowing what and where to play, not having shaved or washed or combed his hair, he now has everything well prepared. Sometimes he even had to fix his accordion using duct tape or whatever was at hand, he now knows all songs by heart, has looked at possible request songs and shows up wearing a suit, shiny shoes and a gentleman’s hair style. He carries a threefold copy of all e-mail correspondence and notes of telephone calls with the client. A carefully selected plastic folder serves to keep all possible routes to our place of performance printed out from Google Maps, Routenet, ANWB and what have you, in case of any traffic jams or road blocks. On the road he is a serious and alert driver, while we sing silly songs on the back seat. Coos is also the calm factor during our performances: he keeps the pace while we run off doing our own little solo’s. When after the performance we sit in a corner with a glass of apple juice, Coos comes to life and with a beer in his hand starts playing all the Dutch songs ever made between 1900 and now for the small audience who have stayed until the bitter end. Just like he used to do a few years back. After the Coos-show all three of us return home, tired but satisfied, following one of Coos’ carefully selected routes taking him home to his only true family: his loving girlfriend and child.


Caspar, our stable factor, our light in the darkness, our captain on the ship: “C to the third”. We – the ordinary sailors – have to adjust the sails to follow his stream of consciousness. Caspar is our creative brain. Not only a very talented clarinettist – virtuoso, both in moving, hushed as well as in outrages, ecstatic play - but also as a creator of unique rhythms, harmonies and melodies. We, as a simple violin player and accordion player, profit of his musical talents but also do our utmost best to make his compositions shine.

This profit doesn’t limit itself to the mere artistic aspect within our trio. Many companies would pinch their own cheeks with such an accurate and detailed administrator. But how could they not be pinching their cheeks? For Caspar it wouldn’t work to do matters just vaguely. If he does something, he’ll give his full one-hundred percent. Not just in music, but in anything. In case you – after having read the above – thought he only studies, administers, plays and composes music, you thought wrong. He is also a life artist.

Caspar doesn’t just drink any beer, he specialises in tasting special beers from across the world – attempting to recognise the taste of different hop, malt and subtle aroma’s of almost flavour to citrus. He doesn’t read just any book, no, with iron disciple he sets his teeth in the Ulysses, the collected correspondence by James Joyce, with the Oxford Guide to Literature at his side. He doesn’t hit just any squash ball, no, with an extremely annoying precision he knows how to drive his squash buddy and musical colleague up the wall by showing him all corners of the field. Continuously varying gently played balls with nasty impossible ones. He doesn’t watch just any television show, no, aided by the television guide he starts the night by making a careful selection of programs which are worth to be watched. He creates the right balance between cult docs, absurd humour and sports, and when necessary combines it with one of his own VHS recorded (remember those?) programmes. He doesn’t do just any yoga exercises, no, he never misses his morning breathing and meditation exercises, not even after having had one of those nights washing down his special beers, when we are still knock out on some couch or other.

In short, a healthy spirit in a healthy body, still all but predictable. He keeps surprising us as a friend but also in his musical compositions, even after all those years.