Nils Vermeulen is a Belgian double bass player active in all varieties of adventurous music. He has played with Paul Lytton, Seppe Gebruers, William Parker, John Dikeman, Luis Vicente, among others. He works across many scenes, from free improv to jazz to contemporary classical music, and in many distinct constellations, such as his own groups Kabas and Jukwaa, a string duo with Elisabeth Klinck, and as a member of Nemo ensemble.
Vermeulen is part of the musicians collective Troika <3 and is an artistic researcher, affiliated with KASK & Conservatorium Ghent. He investigates the acoustic possibilities of the double bass, focussing mainly on strings, their vibrations, and their impact on the artistic output.
He also studied instrument building. With this combined knowledge, he decided to make his own gut strings. Through experimenting with different tensions, thicknesses and tunings, he traces the age-old dialogue between how the material is made, and how it sounds. What emerges when those two interdependent processes – that of making the strings, and playing or composing with them – are bound up in one practitioner?
Photography (c) Charlotte Jacobs