The story behind the student big band’s Daft Punk medley

20 Apr 2020

Quarantine is not an ideal situation for a student big band. Student Big Band Nijmegen didn't take things lying down and posted a Daft Punk medley on YouTube today.

The video shows the members of the big band playing numbers such as ‘One More Time’, ‘Get Lucky’ and ‘Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger’ in their student rooms. The drummer solved the lack of a drum kit by making his début on pots and pans. In addition to the permanent wind, keyboard and drum sections, there were also strings.

‘We’re just trying to keep things a little lively,’ explains saxophonist Kim Witteveen. ‘We had seen a few other online performances and thought it would be a nice challenge.’

How does everyone manage to keep the same tempo? ‘The conductor sends a digital version to all band members which we have to play through headphones,’ Witteveen explains. ‘We tick the first four beats really loudly on the floor to make it clear where the number starts.’ Afterwards, three band members collect all the recordings and make one video of them.

Witteveen was satisfied with her saxophone part after four tries. ‘It’s really strange at first. You don’t hear anything around you. But once you hear the song in your headphones, you get into the flow and you just play.’

The big band still gets together on a weekly basis for drinks and to come up with activities. Insofar as it’s possible to do at home, the musicians are also working on a new live project for when the quarantine is lifted. ‘But I can’t reveal any details yet.’


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