Released on September 22nd 2009.
This story begins with Alex writing his first truly
self-composed song on March 7th 2009. André
was very pleased indeed with Alex first stab
at songwriting and adopted the song into the track list for the CD.
As Alex had stated, that he thought it would be fun
to have The Wandering Merchant reappear
on other occasions (or other CDs), André
started working on alternative versions of the song,
which resulted first in the heavy guitar version, that is
now the second half of the song.
He also came up with a quite different idea (inspired
by Kayak): one of the alternative versions should
be a played on a street-organ (market sounds, etc).
Browsing the internet it soon became clear that it
was absolutely feasible to either convert a composition
to an organ book yourself or have someone do it for you. Even renting
a street-organ could be done via the web. With Alex
birthday coming up (July 27th), the occasion presented
So at Andrés birthday party, in April,
André seized the first possible moment to secretly inform
Bregje of his plans for a birthday surprise for Alex.
Bregje was hooked from the start, they agreed that
she would try to find out whether there was an organgrinder
in their hometown.
As it turned out, there wasnt, so she used the
internet option and Mr. Aad de Vogel was contacted
to see if he was able and willing to play at Alex
The actual date was then set for August 1st.
André then got into contact with a famous Dutch
arranger for street-organ music, Mr. Tom Meijer, to
get the song arranged and made into an organ book.
August 1st at 14:00 Alex got the surprise of a lifetime,
as all of a sudden a street-organ appeared in front
of his house and started playing a Happy Birthday-medley.
André was there with his childhood best friend
Rijk-Willem Schmelter, who had offered to record everything
on video (view short clip here).
Alex was totally knocked off his feet when the street-organ
started playing the Wandering Merchant!
He now is the proud owner of an organ book of his
first true composition!
As Alex and Bregje are living on quite a busy street,
the recording of the entire proceedings was marred
by the sound of cars passing by constantly, so Aad
de Vogel kindly offered the guys the possibility
to make a car-free recording at his storage facility,
which took place on September 19th 2009.