Francis Kuipers: Keep Fighting The Blues

August 2, 2017,
Interview by Michael Limnios

Guitarist/composer Francis Kuipers talks about his travels, Champion Jack Dupree, Blues and Gregory Corso

“This not only proves that the Blues spread from the Mississippi Delta to grow into a vital world music, but that a musical formula can work for everyone. Every person who is free, or who wants to be, identifies with the Blues.

Anglo/Dutch guitarist, master of “flat-picking” and composer Francis “Superguitar” Kuipers lives mainly in Italy and The Netherlands. He has collaborated with worldfamous directors and composers including Godfrey Reggio and Philip Glass for the films Anima Mundi, Evidence and Naqoyqatsi. From 2005 he has composed the original music scores for Mary, Napoli Napoli Napoli, Go Go Tales with the voice of Grace Jones and 4:44 The Last Day on Earth directed by Abel Ferrara. For a number of years Francis Kuipers performed and recorded in duo with Beat Generation poet Gregory Corso.

From 1992-96 he directed the Music & Sound Department at Fabrica, the school of Multimedia Communications founded by Luciano Benetton and Oliviero Toscani near Treviso. Benetton international radio spots, created by him (with script by Fabrizio Andreella) won the European Grand Prix best radio publicity 1995- 1996. On his travels, Francis Kuipers collected and studied ethnic and experimental music. This activity developed into ongoing research into sound and music, and its numerous functions, and the sound environment, as well as the creation of a unique and extensive archive of sounds. A multi-lingual professional musician, musicologist and radio broadcaster, Francis Kuipers works  internationally, often collaborating with major artists. Important travels include: Australasia and Polynesia 61-65; East Africa and the Seychelles Islands 67-69; Nepal 69-70; India 74-75; The Philippines, 87-88 and frequent sojourns in the USA, South America and other parts of the world. Francis Kuipers has conducted numerous radio series on music, principally for the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation and for the Italian RAI networks. Vedette, Red Records, Durium, Fonit-Cetra, Fabbri Editori, Folkstudio Records, Gypsy Records and Milan Records have published his recorded work. Francis Kuipers has travelled the world for over thirty years, engaged in ethno-musical research, broadcasting, working as a composer and sound designer for film and, above all, performing. Although its roots are in blues and folk, Francis Kuipers’ music is extraordinary, apart from his technique, in that it has evolved in a highly original manner, drawing inspiration from all of the music he has been immersed in. “Blindfold Blues” (2014) is a new album of Francis Kuipers with 14 original songs. Kings of Lies is the name of the new band featuring Francis Kuipers, during his many travels, he collected and studied ethnic and experimental music. This resulted in a still ongoing interest and research into sound and music. Dutch / English artist, musician and composer, as well as writer and poet created a unique and comprehensive archive of sounds. At this time, Francis mainly lives and works in Italy and the Netherlands. It is worth mentioning that the music of Kings of Lies is a hybrid of various music styles. The background of the band members, Francis Kuipers – voice, guitar, Franc auf dem Brinke on drums and Sam Tjioe on bass, is very different. The main influence is, of course, that of Francis Kuipers, author of the songs and lyrics. He comes from a tradition of folk and blues. Set in Italy during the late 1970’s and early 80’s, DISASTER BLUES (2017 by Barncott) is a book written with an insider’s view by Francis Kuipers who recounts an especially crazy music tour called “The Last Beachhead”. Boogie Baker, a talented but washed out musician and proclaimed failure, originally from Sheffield, England, is summoned to Italy to play at a music festival that never comes off. Luckily his faith and determination are limitless. He will need all of it.

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