Rufus van Baardwijk is a Composer, Musician and Sound Engineer. Rufus is also the owner of a Studio in Amsterdam where he works on a myriad of projects related to sound and music, for example a fairly new project where he made soothing music to relax, meditate or study to, called Medistate. Rufus has become a member of the Zoku community mainly through helping and playing at the After Work Music Sessions at Zoku on Fridays – you may recognise him if you’ve been!
What path has your career taken?
While studying Philosophy at the University of Amsterdam, I kept getting more and more music related work, which led me to decide to give starting my own company a shot. Now I have a small music studio in the west of Amsterdam (which is located in an old dentistry academy), which I took over from a film score composer two and a half years ago. I do all kinds of projects there; scoring films or commercials, sound design, recording bands and mixing and mastering. Working on projects for others is nice because you have to put yourself in service of the project or person you’re recording for/with. I have to bring the best out of someone, or someone’s film/commercial etc., which also gets me out of my comfort zone. Having this variety of projects makes it so that I still keep learning a lot every day.
What is your vision with your studio and what are the next steps for you?
Three years ago I was still working in hospitality on the side to provide for myself, and slowly I’ve been able to make my studio work into a living. I can stay at the location where I am right now until 2024. So for now I would like to keep growing and learning, and hopefully by the time I have to leave this place, be able to build a bigger and more badass studio somewhere in Amsterdam! Also there’s some personal projects that have been brewing that I want to start releasing this year and the coming year…
What brings you to Amsterdam?
I was born in Amsterdam 🙂
What is your relationship with Zoku Amsterdam, and what are your thoughts?
A friend of mine, Dean Medina, takes care of most live music events at Zoku Amsterdam. He regularly asks me to help out with sound and setting up the bands and I’ve also played at Zoku quite often. By now I know lots of the staff members and I love the friendly atmosphere and great look (and view!) Zoku has, it’s a really unique place that you would never guess would be there looking at the outside facade.
What’s a life-changing song, film, event or book you’d like to recommend to others?
Life-changing is quite something.. haha. There have been lots of songs, films that have inspired me. I can say that one of my favourite song of all-time is ‘Shine on you Crazy Diamond’ by Pink Floyd. I love how it builds up slowly and takes you on a journey, there’s no moment of boredom even though it’s about nine minutes long. The lyrics are about a previous band member (Syd Barrett) that got lost in drug use in his search for meaning, and I feel like the song portrays this beautifully.
What advice would you give to your 20-year-old self?
I was insecure about working in the creative industry. With so much talent around, what could I add to it? I would try to give myself some more confidence.
What’s your current/newly discovered go-to product, service or app you would recommend to others?
Screen Time haha, I think we all need it..
How do you manage to keep up your mental health/wellbeing while working from home during these times?
I’m actually not experiencing any wellbeing or mental health problems (yet) hahaha. I’m pretty used to having to lock myself into the studio for many days in a row when working on something to really immerse myself in that particular project. So it feels as though I’ve been training for something like this all these years haha. Even though I lost quite some work regarding live shows, I try to use the extra time as an opportunity to revisit projects that I’ve left on the shelf until now.
Which book/product have you gifted the most?
As a joke I always gift people nose flutes, a great way to unleash your musical abilities! 😛
If you could pick one project to work on for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I would just like to be able to make music for the rest of my life!
What does home mean to you?
Home to me means Amsterdam 🙂
What is one piece of advice or tip in your field of work that you want to give to people?
Never stop experimenting and try not to be too self-critical!