Classically trained pianist Frerik de Jong studied BaMu Music Registration at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. After graduating in 2008 he initiated Kleinman Audio (a small joke about being over 2 meters tall), offering independent facilities for recording and editing classical music. Without exception, all musicians house a vibrant world of musical ideas. Capturing them is Kleinman Audio’s goal.
Frerik/Kleinman Audio takes recording music as a real craft. Furthermore, Frerik is convinced attention for the human being who is performing is crucial. Re-adjusting a microphone or choosing an even more refined pre-amp doesn’t make up for a musician who is not feeling comfortable or (worse!) understood. Hence Frerik came up with a holistic approach in which musicians are challenged but also heard. Their input and musical ideas are the start of every co-operation.
Musical and of course also technical knowledge is key, but a recording producer should have a musical taste as well. Sharing ideas always freshens up a performance! As many musicians working with Frerik like to say: ‘he feels like an extra musician brought to our group.’
Only recording is not the entire story. All those precious takes need to be shaped and refined to form a musically coherent narrative during the postproduction. This is a solitary and often intense process, considered by Frerik as an important artistic part of a recording project.
Usually a full-length CD comprises hundreds of edits (transitions between takes). One could argue the soloist or ensemble wasn’t able to play the music properly, but that’s actually never the case. Musicians can amaze you with new perceptions and interpretations. A session recording, capturing the musical performance in parts, is very well suited to reveal these ideas, if guided by a skilled recording producer. It’s no exception after four profound days in a church or studio there are hundreds of takes, all safely snatched on a hard drive.
Assisted by a sophisticated way of notating remarks in the scores and cutting-edge ‘source/destination editing’ audio software, Frerik dives into those takes. Later on, together with the artists, further refinement will round of the editing process.
With his vast experience and well-trained ears, it’s fair to say Frerik levels with the very best in his league concerning the editing of classical music recordings.
In 2021 two productions at his label 7 Mountain Records, Katharine Dain & Sam Armstrong: Regards sur l’Infini and Steuart Pincombe: the cello in my life have won an Edison Award (in the categories ‘Debut’ and ‘Discovery’).
Some quotes from musicians
Gregory Charette, artistic leader Oerknal Ensemble:
“Frerik de Jong is a recording producer of unique talent and singular ability. I had the great pleasure to work with Frerik during the recording of Oerknal’s debut album “narrow numerous.” It was, from start to finish, an immensely inspirational and gratifying process. He possesses all of the key attributes of a great recording engineer – a sharp ear, the ability to swiftly analyse a given situation, a natural instinct toward individualised problem solving, and an almost obsessive concentration on minute details. However, what sets him apart is the high level of musicianship and creative input he brings to the recording process. I am not exaggerating when I say that he functioned as an extra member of the ensemble during those recording days, with a collaborative spirit and musical understanding that is often woefully absent from the world of recording. A stellar engineer, top musician and wonderful person.”
Caspar Vos, pianist:
“Frerik de Jong belongs to the finest Dutch recording producers and I’ve had the honour to record two solo productions with him. Frerik works from complete dedication, combined with a high sensitivity for the contact with the musician. This causes a real chemistry at the studio ending up, time after time, in exceptionally personal and very substantial productions. Frerik is the kind of person who exactly knows what to say and, probably even more important, what not to say!”
Katharine Dain, soprano and member of Damask Vocal Quartet:
“Frerik is consummately kind and professional, has amazing ears and musical sensibility, and knows just how to encourage a performer to achieve the best possible result in the studio. He balances a high artistic standard with a sense of playfulness and adventure. Working with him is a joy and a privilege.”
Arthur Klaassens, oboist:
“Frerik is not only a recording engineer, but an artist, whose incomparable ear for detail and ability to evoke atmosphere elevate every recording he makes.”
Maria Fiselier, mezzo soprano:
“My collaboration with Frerik was one I will never forget. Frerik has the ability to get the best out of the artist he’s working with, by creating a safe, very inspiring environment. Throughout our recording process I felt free of judgement and could therefore explore with all the colours in my palet. I would definitely work with him again and would highly recommend him (and his label 7 Mountain Records) to all artists that are looking to go beyond their “safe space” and let Frerik capture the beauty of being in the moment.”