Pro Bodyboarder Joana Schenker portrait at the beach  for the cafe interview

Creating music & art makes life worth living.


SARAH NEUTKENS

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COMPOSER, PIANIST, ARTIST, THE NETHERLANDS


Sarah's search for "essence and beauty" has lead her to explore creativity through different angles. Her professional focus is now music. At the age of 21, Sarah is a classical music composer and a pianist. 

A guest at the Café, Sarah explains how she brings back her creative flow when it seems to have run away and why music and art fill her life with purpose.
Pro bodyboarder Joana Schenker from Portugal surfing a tube wave

Bits & pieces of Sarah's world.

WHERE ARE YOU FROM AND WHAT IS SPECIAL ABOUT THAT PLACE?


SARAH: I grew up in a small village in the south of The Netherlands. I used to feel like I didn’t belong there, that I could never fit in, but over the last few years I have started to realise that I do feel a very strong connection to this place, the quirks of village life and the beautiful nature surrounding it. I currently live in the city and I must admit: city life is not what makes me happy at this point in my life. It’s too quick a pace, too stressful. Coming home to a green village with lots of space and quiet is something I need at least once a week to connect with ‘real’ life! 

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR MUSIC TO SOMEONE WHO COULDN'T HEAR IT?


SARAH: I speak in music because there are many things I cannot express with words. I would like to think of my music as something very concrete, bare-boned. It expresses as much beauty as possible, without it referring to something outside of the music. Often people tell me my music sounds like a soundtrack without a film: the music simply exists on its own.

WHAT LEAD YOU TO EMBRACE THIS PATH?


SARAH: At first I wrote pieces for my cats (secretly I still do: they are my muses), later on I discovered I could really try to capture my essence – how I feel, who I am at the exact moment of writing – in my compositions. Not once have I felt the need to really think about what I was doing when I was writing: it simply happens.

WHAT DO YOU DO THE DAYS YOU FEEL THAT YOU ARE LACKING INSPIRATION?


SARAH: I totally dread those days! They make me feel useless, a bit empty. I really love long walks: it’s very meditative, the rhythm of the steps, seeing things pass without actually having to do something with it. Walking organises thoughts, creates space for new ideas - or I cuddle my cats, drink green tea, and cook something.



DO YOU HAVE AN ADVICE TO SOMEONE WHO'D LOVE DOING WHAT YOU DO?


SARAH: Go out and do it! No rules, academia or conventions should stop anyone from doing what they love. You only need yourself: you are the instrument, a unique voice, that is able to express what’s inside.

Pro bodyboarder Joana Schenker from Portugal surfing a tube wave

Sarah's personal interpretation of the Mini Bag.



The Quick Round

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WHAT DOES FASHION MEANS TO YOU?


SARAH: Fashion means being yourself, expressing yourself: there is only one "you" on this planet, so you can enrich the world by being yourself! 



WHAT'S THE FAVORITE PIECE IN YOUR CLOSET?


SARAH: I think it must be one of the kimonos my dad got while he was travelling around the world – I am now the same age as he was back then. Or perhaps my mother’s blue overalls! 



IF YOU WOKE UP AS THE PRESIDENT OF YOUR COUNTRY, WHAT WOULD YOUR FIRST DECISION BE?


SARAH: Less talking about economic growth, more talking about things that make people really happy: culture, nature, taking care of each other, slowing down and being satisfied with the beauty we can experience close to ourselves.



WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE COLOR AND WHY?


SARAH: Cobalt blue, the colour of a summer’s night sky.



"FOLLOW THE ARROW" IS JENAH ST.'S MOTTO. WHAT IS THE LITTLE ARROW YOU FOLLOW EVERYDAY?


SARAH: My little arrow points towards the big unknown full of dreams I can’t wait to discover!

Sarah's Work & Inspirations 

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1. A book: basically all of Allen Ginsberg’s poems.

2.Film:Drowning by Numbers by Peter Greenaway (music by Michael Nyman). 

3. ArtistFrancis Bacon and my father, Harjo! He has also created the works on the album covers of "Cumulus" and "Pieces for Strings".

4. Music: This is a playlist with some of the most beautiful pieces of music in it >> LISTEN HERE.


Find Sarah's work here www.sarahneutkens.com and on instagram @sarahneutkens and on Spotify here.


SEND SARAH YOUR QUESTIONS

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