My name is Anouk Kool and I make clipsongs under the alias Noukko. Popsongs with a video. During my whole life I spent hours and hours watching music videos and they still intrigue me immensely. Sometimes at first there is the video and I make a song that goes with it. Sometimes at first there is a song and I make a video that goes with it. Sometimes both exist at the same time.
I write, record, play, produce, edit and mix everything myself, in my studio. I love nearly every bit of the process and I feel the need to master it, or to get better at it at least. After I produced the latest song ‘The soup’ I followed a mix course. This is the first song I mixed with actual mix-skills. I still have a long way to go, but for now it is what it is. I’m looking for perfection, but I believe there is a chance you can find it by embracing imperfection (this is what ‘Just there’ is about). And ofcourse it’s also a practical matter: the best of the best has its price tag. But again: I think creations with flaws shouldn’t necessarily be overlooked. They may have the right to exist within the arena of ‘serious’ productions. This is also why I love the horror-genre (in the broadest sense) in films so much: there’s a great chance you can experience what filmmaking is all about, because everything is possible, not only within the story, but in all the parameters. Conventions are for fun and not to be obeyed. By the way: I’m clearly not referring to those ‘typical’ horror-movies with the children’s voices singing a lullaby, or solely aiming on flat scare-moments, or other infantile cliches. The films I’m talking about arise from complete dedication and true love for the project and the medium including all the disciplines that make a film, instead of money, politics and lack of dare. I want to be moved, so this is what I consider to be my most important motive when I’m making things.
I love creating it all (why choose?), website and artwork included. ‘Cause I’ve got a very clear idea about how I want it and I’m very keen on puzzling. I love to see it all come together.
‘The soup’ is yet another idea about a little thing called ‘our existence’. It haunted me for a few weeks, while I was working on the lyrics. Our own mortality is one thing, but eternity is another. Thank god we’re human, so we let daily business forget this beyond vertigo-experience.
In the case of ‘Away we go’ I knew I was going on a trip and I could imagine how nice it would be if I could make a video of it. But first I had to make a song, ofcourse. Even before we went, I felt a little nostalgic about it. So the song and video have a little nostalgia-touch, which was totally in place, because that’s exactly how I feel now, looking back at this trip.
‘See some more’ is a video I made while I was in a moving train. I was listening to a song and all of a sudden the music and the train poles flashing by came (and stayed!) together. Something that doesn’t happen very often, and I’m an expert on this (music and train poles). So I started filming and a few weeks later I started to make a beat ‘on the poles’.
‘Just there’ also derived from the video. In this case, also the lyrics are based on the video. I’m always surprised with ‘whatever happens’ has to offer me. In the song I’m wondering why (in popular culture) this is never enough; things have to be processed and processed and processed by the best of every discipline until they are considered ready. Ofcourse I understand how this works and often I love ‘the best of the best’-productions. But I think those approaches can exist next to each other more equally. Without the ‘just-there-products’ being framed like that. For example: I don’t believe in singer-songwriter as a genre. And it shouldn’t be a ‘rule’ that in every serious production the-best-of-the-best is actually required. So this is basically what the song is about: sometimes it’s right in front of you and it cán be enough. All you have to do is notice it.
The song ‘Slow my motion’ existed at the same time as I was making the video. I took photos from a construction area, where a block of houses was built. I was closely watching this process and every time something interesting was happening, I took a photo every few seconds. This went on for months. If you have young children, a couple of months is a big leap. I started to write the lyrics from noticing a parallel in time speed between children growing up and a construction being built. The video is ofcourse a place where time speeds up, but looking back, the speeded time in the video actually lasts longer than how I remember it. So my memories are even more compressed and fragmented than how I featured it in the video. ‘Slow my motion’ is something I deeply feel, every day. Time is all we’ve got.
I play the piano, but I also love the synth. I work in ProTools. As opposed to the digital, I blend in all sorts of analogue sounds. Sounds I really like: a seventies-telephone (dialling a ‘0’, so the sound lasts the longest), a rattling match box, a tap on a knife, a pan with water in it, toys, and so on. Or other kinds of sound, like (old) footsteps from movies; I’ve been watching a lot of movies in search for the most clean, long and beautiful footsteps (‘Walking’). But also just the regular analogue percussion instruments, my old piano, drums, guitar, an old organ, Solina, that kind of stuff. Most of the times, I write the songs whilst I’m producing. If possible, I’ll have my string-arrangements played by real strings (which I prefer).
© Anouk Siemons