Long story short
Judging by Maarten Rischen’s portfolio it seems he has been on a personal crusade against the Dutch neo-calvinistic attitude, by profiling himself in an ever-expanding multitude of shapes and forms in the musical and artistic field.
But it’s a profound curiosity in – and untamable drive to explore – all possible means of genuine expression a man can have in his short life, that made him frantically bounce around from one instrument to the other, from smelly punk rock stages to the grandeur of the modern dance theatre, and everything in between.
Short story long
After having received classical piano training and falling madly in love with the instrument, the still prepubescent Maarten had his first extramarital affair when discovering the drumset. But instead of running off with his newfound love he merged the two by installing a rudimentary home recording setup, thus enabling himself to record both instruments in layers. This triggered a whole new fascination in itself, and his first teenage high school bands were the grateful test cases for his developing production skills. Soon he set up his own simple home recording studio next to his parents’ house, which slowly developed into a serious facility for countless regional acts. Meanwhile, Maarten was gaining lots of live experience as a drummer and keyboard player in several bands ranging from cheeky Britpop to over-the-pop progressive rock. Thankfully most of the material from this period has been lost.
The bulky inconvenience of piano and drums became apparent soon after Maarten moved to the north of Holland to study music at the University of Groningen, which led to him having a short flirt with the bass guitar in postrock-outfit Lawn. During this same period, he got casted to portray the role of a renown guitar player in the movie Wild Romance, which meant for him to follow a crash course on yet another instrument. And once again, both of these instruments remained part of his daily musical routine.
After being in a whole series of semi-prolific local bands up north, Maarten established a long lasting musical relationship with singer-songwriter Tommy Ebben. Besides recording and producing his first two records, he accompanied the artist on keys for a long streak of gigs to an ever-expanding audience and press response. Tommy Ebben & The Small Town Villains managed to play at nearly all of the A-list venues and festivals, and made several appearances on prime-time radio and tv.
For the first four years after his studies, whilst touring with The Small Town Villains, Maarten found himself a side job as a journalist for musicians’ magazine Musicmaker. Eventually he even set up a new magazine, Home Recording Magazine, solely focused on the production side of music.
In 2010 Maarten formed Shaking Godspeed with guitar player Wout Kemkens. Originally starting out on keys and bass guitar, he switched to the drum throne during the recording of the first full-length album and remained there to this day. Shaking Godspeed have been (internationally) releasing multiple extremely well received records, did multiple headline tours within and across the border, appeared on the bill of festivals like Sziget and as support for the likes of Deep Purple.
To counteract the tireless routine that the band implemented upon itself – but mostly to answer to his broad spectrum of different interests, Maarten started to profile himself in the more ‘context based’ forms of music making. Specifically contemporary musical theatre, with its merging of all artistic expressions, appealed to him. Since 2011 then he composed for – and most of the time also performed in – multiple theatre, dance and even circus productions on a national scale. Currently, Maarten is writing for and touring with productions of PIPS:LAB Amsterdam and Theater Strahl Berlin whilst also still performing with Shaking Godspeed.