It was this grey bulky computer of the 80s – the XT – that intrigued her. XT, standing for eXtending Technology. Growing up with computer technology, XTCYN embraces extended technology in her music.
She is a music educator, multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer and DJ. She took up piano lessons at the age of seven with Elieske Wisse and violin lessons at the age eight with Carmen Eberz. She soon discovered the magic of creating sound together, joined orchestras and formed bands that played classical, pop, jazz music at national and international level. It was Willem van Merwijk who taught her the knowledge of pop and jazz when she was 10.
At a very young age XTCYN was already known in the local music scene as the multi-instrumentalist of many genres as she was playing piano, violin, guitar, percussion, drums, saxophone and singing. During her secondary school she successfully auditioned for the North Holland Youth Orchestra in which she played first violin, viola and double bass for many years. With different orchestras she went on several tours through many cities in the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Croatia and Slovenia.
Connecting people through music
Besides her activities as a musician, at the age of 12, XTCYN co-founded a charity with a dual aim of developing young artistic talents and using these developed talents to contribute to the society by organizing a yearly concert in which all collections are donated to the local hospice and home for cancer patients and their families. As this project expanded in popularity, the GIG Haarlemmermeer foundation was formed of which she became the creative director, a job that she fulfils up to this day. At the age of 15, she hosted ‘Young Radio’ at her local radio station to promote young musicians and DJs. By the time she reached 18, she was giving music workshops to the needy and homeless in Amsterdam.
Amsterdam University Of Arts
XTCYN completed her secondary school at the age of 15. She was admitted to the Conservatory of Amsterdam when she just turned 16, studying a music degree in education and majoring classical violin under the guidance of Emma Breedveld. During her second year, she also majored classical piano under the guidance of Elisabeth Scarlet. At the conservatory she co-studied bass guitar under the guidance of Jaimie van Hek and Charly Angenois, drums under the guidance of Haye Jellema, jazz singing under the guidance of Sylvia Langelaan and choir & orchestra conducting under the guidance of Hans van den Brand and Edwin Paarlberg. In the meantime, she was teaching in several primary and secondary schools in Amsterdam, Zaandam, Amstelveen, and Hoofddorp. In her first year at the conservatory, her musical career progressed quickly, giving her the opportunity to perform at well-known venues in Amsterdam playing for thousands of people. Her performance during the yearly national television award, ‘De Gouden Televizier-Ring’ was broadcasted live on national TV from the Royal Theatre Carré in Amsterdam. Here she played classical music combined with dubstep. She also performed with an orchestra at the ‘Muziekgebouw aan het IJ’ in Amsterdam, with a gospel choir in the ‘Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam’ during a Christmas show which featured many Dutch celebrities.At the conservatory she cooperated with many talented artists which broadened her style and skills. For instance, she was concertmaster for the short movie ‘Patronen’ during the ‘Keep An Eye’ film festival in Amsterdam and performed live in the music theatre ‘Exit Expire Men’ in Antwerp, Belgium. In her final year, she was selected to be the music leader of an opera project known as Opera Forward to commemorate with the 50th anniversary of ‘De Nationale Opera’. Opera Forward gave her the opportunity to work with theatre masters like Paul Koek, Anthony Heidweiller and Jappe Groenendijk. These projects, gave her the knowledge of combining visual dimensions with her music. After studying four years at the conservatory, she graduated in 2016. At present she teaches at a secondary school in Hoofddorp and produces Live Electronic Dance – LED – music in her studio in Amsterdam.
At the beginning of her secondary school XTCYN developed an enormous curiosity for electric instruments, playing electric violins, guitars and synthesizers in bands. At that period, she was fascinated with Kraftwerk, Yellow Magic Orchestra, Vangelis and Jean Michel Jarre music. It was at school she taught herself how to DJ. However, she only started composing her own electronic dance music when she left secondary school. Due to the fact that she started teaching music at the age of 16 during her first year at the conservatory, she had the opportunity to understand the environment of her students, relating to their needs and music. Just like her students of her age, growing up with modern technology, she could associate with them and she decided to further integrate electronic music in her lessons. By doing so, her lessons were more lively and interesting to her students. She realized that she was not just teaching and she achieved the main goal: the students were learning. She is a strong advocate of applying extended technology in music education. Her final thesis at the conservatory was on how to effectively integrate live electronic music into music education curriculum. Her performance at the Royal Theatre Carré was the turning point in her career. As her interest in live electronics widened, she took up music production with Martin van den Oetelaar at the conservatory which opened a whole new world of electronic music for her. While composing a piece of EDM with the help of technology, she realized she could push the sounds to the brink with ease and yet stayed inside the fine line of dance music. It was exciting, hence she decided to use this knowledge for her live performance because she believes live electronic music is a complementary to DJ music. When she just started as a DJ she already performed at the ‘Melkweg’, a top venue in Amsterdam. It was here in September 2015 she started her first LED music performance.
In January 2017 she officially started her music studio in the NDSM in Amsterdam, specialising in LED music. Three months later she was contacted by the head of talents of ID&T. They were interested in her music and offered her a place in the line up of Mysteryland 2017. Mysteryland was her first performance on a dance festival.
EDM is evolving with roots dated in the 70s and 80s. In the early 80s, Roland designed the TR808, an analogue rhythm/drum machine which was meant for backing tracks and for studio musicians to create demos. However, the early creative musicians used it as a lead instrument that played a major role in the early disco and house music. In the 70s and 80s, four-on-the-floor beat was constantly played, disco had a key influence and house music was first created. Decades later the four-on-the-floor beat is still massively used in EDM producing. However, the EDM scene is evolving and waiting for something challenging. XTCYN is on a journey to take analogue and digital sounds to another space at real time. She is taking her generation to another playing field. She is searching for the next level of EDM music which she calls LED music. In addition, she is nurturing the next generation of Dutch DJ’s. She is not only a DJ but a musician, combining LED music and extended technology to redefine EDM.