Wyrd Question Daze : Peter Verwimp
I’m Peter Verwimp, hailing from Antwerp, Belgium, Europe. I’m a musician, curator, producer and shamanic healer.
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Where did you come from and where are you going?
I was born and raised near Antwerp, just at the border with the Netherlands. At age 17 I moved to the city and have been living there for most of my adult life. It’s my home base from were I travel around the world. For the past 10 years i’ve been living in an old gentleman’s house where I have my recording studio as well. The plan is now to move outside of Antwerp to a more quiet and possibly more remote area, to be more close to Nature and away from the busy city life.
Musically and art wise I’ve been doing a variety of things in the past. I played in mostly heavy bands, I was part of a sound art multimedia collective for 10 years with which I traveled all around Europe, the US and Asia for 10 years. I did a radioshow for about 5 years on local radio station Centraal and I worked at the promo section of the now defunct Conspiracy Records for many years.
I`ve been curating concerts, book readings and exhibitions at my house for more than a decade now and used to organise the ‘Ceremony of the Ascension’ art and ambient festival in various locations around the city. Next to that I became involved with shamanism and do shamanic healings from time to time. The Shamanic element plays an important role in the way I live and make my art.
What preoccupies your mind these days?
I’m constantly working on music these days. Since the first lock down in 2020 I lost my job as a chef and have been struggling to keep my head above water. Luckily I have a home studio where I can record my albums, music for movies and art videos. Being a solo artist I love to collaborate with people from different art disciplines. I work with other musicians, with video artists, writers and poets, contemporary dance artists, fashion designers and the like. Collaborations bring different points of views to the fold and that works really inspiring for me. It gives me the possibility to share ideas with others and to get to know them through their work.
Throughout the years there have been some very intense, worthwhile and ongoing collaborations with musicians and artist from around the globe. I’ve been working with Grey Malkin (The Hare and the Moon) from Scotland for about 10 years now. We’ve released 3 albums together and are now also part of a bigger collective called The Black Swan Triad, alongside musicians Menalaeh and Vinlansraud from Norway and fellow Belgian musician Stratosphere, with who I’m also involved with other sound projects. I worked with Chtonia from New Zealand, with video artist Jutta Prior from Australia and Poet Lois P. Jones from the US. With sound artist Jim Wylde from Canada, Tim Holehouse from the UK, No One (Mark Neys) from Belgium, Modular synth wizard Onsturicheit (Belgium) with Farid Nahid, a traditional percussionist from Iran, working with vocalist Marko Neuman (Finland) with filmmaker Marco Laguna, Corona Barathri and Endsdomir from Russia, Onasander from Italy….and so many others.
Currently I`m rehearsing with Steve Hermit, a percussionist / drummer from Belgium, for a future release and live performances. And I’m involved with a new project that will bring together the poems of Ruben de Somer, drawings by Felix Bosschaert and music by myself and Alan Trench (UK, Temple Music)…plenty things to be busy with!
Name a favourite taste, touch, sound, sight and smell
Even though I have a sweet tooth I absolutely love the taste of sour things a lot, from the citric acid on candy to Thai Tom Yum soup, lime on a Taco, a Margarita cocktail….sour has a way of highlighting the other tastes, it makes them stand out more. I love the touch of wind on skin, the sound of bells, the smell of freshly ground herbs and spices (and coffee of course!). And I have a soft spot for rocks and stones, big or small, mountains or standing stones…they all have a profound sense of mystery to them.
Describe one of your most vivid dreams or nightmares
A reoccurring dream / nightmare I had in my youth always started in a bar that I had only visited once in my waking hours. The bartender was the most friendly guy, even though later in the dream I saw he had hooves, which made it clear to me that he was the devil. He would invite me to his mysterious and antique house to meet his 3 bearded wives. They were most friendly too and showed me a very large book or manuscript they were working on. It was mostly about Botany and a special, spiky, Hedra Helix like plant in particular. The dream always started the same, but each time I dreamed it the story would unfold further. After some time, I’d gotten familiar with them and visited regularly, I was introduced to their beautiful daughter. The Devil and his wives were always dressed, but the daughter ran around naked all day. The last part of the dream was the union with their daughter that sprouted the plant to overgrow everything in it`s sight. The plant literally grew all around the world, on every object, every building and highway, bridges and towers…it took over everything on its way. After that I never dreamed that dream again, but the memory will always be vividly with me.
Have you ever had an uncanny experience?
Years ago I was doing a painting job at a retirement flat where the previous owner had recently died. It was a small appartement and there was the possibility for residents to call on a nurse via a button activating an alarm at the medical office in the building. After I had been at work there for about an hour there was a knock at the door. I openend the door and a nurse stood in front of me asking if everything was ok and why I pushed the button.
I did`t push the button, I said, not even by mistake because I was painting the other room in the appartement. Half an hour later the same thing happened and the nurse came to the door again. She thought of course that I was playing a game with her, but I assured her that was not the case at all. So she asked for an electrician to have a look at the wiring…turned out the alarm button was not even connected to their system anymore…
How does your sense of place affect the way you express yourself?
I`m not sure if a sense of place really has an influence on my work, but going for long walks in Nature certainly contribute to my inspiration and gives me fuel to go on in the crazy world we are living in right now. It brings me a sense of belonging. And when playing live, a place does have an influence on my improvisations. I`ve had the chance on several occasions to play in churches, in a forest or an old industrial plant and the feeling of those places does inspire me.
What has particularly touched or inspired you recently?
I think that this whole Pandemic thing the past two years has had a profound influence on me for sure. Being cut of from the world, friends and other collaborators, the conspiracy theories and propaganda from governments and media, the censorship of information and everything else that was going on was very inspiring. Tapping into the fear that could be felt all over, the dystopian state of the world… It has influenced me to make two albums that revolve around those themes and feelings.
Tell us a good story, anecdote or joke
For many years I had been wanting to play at the Vigeland Mausoleum in Oslo, Norway. Orryelle Defenestrate, an artist, filmmaker and musician from Australia that I had met through mutual friends had managed to get to rent the place for an evening of performances and he invited me along with Norwegian drone master Sysselman. My wife and myself where staying at a B&B not far from the Mausoleum. Because it seemed like we could do this on foot quickly., we decided to go for that option instead of taking a cab. So to get there we used Mappy or some other app to get us there. Both loaded with suitcases and musical gear we went on our way.
Little did we know that the app was so accurate. Instead of leading us there by road, the app took us through a forest and bramble bushes, over a ramshackle old bridge over a waterfall and through muddy uphill meadows. I must say we were glad to have finally reached our destination, we had faced some danger but we had great laughs on our way too!