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May 11 / andrew

Diederick Van Eck = Vincent Van Gogh, To Some Degree


What do these two names have in common other then both being of Dutch descent? Diederick Van Eck, former financier with Lehman Brothers had a change of heart regarding his career about 7 years ago, and found himself shortly thereafter departing the company on an adventure unraveling Van Goghs’ life, through music!

EM sat with Diederick Van Eck over lunch at Bali Nusa Indah in Manhattan’s Hells Kitchen and discussed a wide range of topics, but most importantly, his recent musical journey through all that is Vincent Van Gogh. More about the restaurant and the lunch we ate will be discussed later on in the article.

The album “Van Gogh by Van Eck” unravels the painters life through Van Eck’s interpretation of his life and 12 of his most well known paintings. What one must understand is the music and lyrics especially are to be understood through Van Gogh’s eyes and as he saw things which was undoubtedly accomplished as Van Eck immersed himself in the air and environment that Van Gogh was in.


A key element that Van Eck learned while recording with Quincy Jones incorporates the idea that one can “see” sounds, or “hear” colors as sounds. A 44-page art book accompanies the CD to allow the listener to delve further into the song and art that each song corresponds to.

For more information and to purchase the CD: Van Gogh by Van Eck


Before meeting with Diederick, we gave him a few days to think about an appropriate place for lunch and Bali Nusa Indah fit the bill, for a number of reasons.

“Rijsttafel is a an elaborate meal adapted by the Dutch during their occupation of Indonesia. This was my first experience with the meal, and would say it’s most similar to Thai in my opinion. Elements of coconut, citrus, and similar spices were found in most dishes. Many combinations led to spring rolls and satay’s of various sorts.  They use a lot of chicken and shrimp through out their dishes. Before they bring out the heartier aspects of the meal, they give you a very bold and tangy lemon chicken soup that was quite enjoyable.”

Diederick on growing up in Holland

“Like the French, the way I was brought up, having dinner all together was the most important moment of the day. It’s a moment of rest,  a moment of quality of time, and the moment you communicate with one another. My mother was always against having food on your lap and watching television. My father always had his cocktail hour, no matter what time it was, some whiskey or a glass of wine – it was routine.

“They would always have a bottle of wine and sometimes we’d have half a bottle and save the rest. But my mother always enjoyed cooking and bringing out an enjoyable meal. Even if it was just beef with vegetables and potatoes. She would make Indonesian food sometimes, not as many as we’re eating but maybe a few dishes with some rice.”

“Typical Sunday would be Chicken and there would be Meatloaf on Wednesday, it was in schedule with the butcher. The catholics, Friday you had fish which was very important and those things influenced me.”

Future plans with Van Gogh

Do not think that this is where the train stops, this album/art book collaboration is merely the beginning. Diederick envisions a broadway musical amongst other interpretations of the music, remixed by some of the most profound DJs in the business.

I have a feeling you’ll be hearing more and more about Diederick in the not too distant future!

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