Look back, look up, look on.
Realizing The Jam Sessions.

“It’s hard to believe we released The Hermit Sessions just five years ago. If it weren’t for these people,
none of this would ever have existed.”

  • Donning the Kyte
  • Collecting renegades
  • Always in our corner
  • Credits
  • Isabelle Renate la Poutré's Photobook #1: Bus Call
  • Isabelle Renate la Poutré's Photobook #2: chilling
  • McSharq's photobook: De Effenaar april 3
  • Gabriel's photobook: the rehearsals

Donning the Kyte

Kyteman started out kind of as a joke. Made up the name on a camping trip with my parents. It was a cool camp site. They wanted to leave, I disapproved. So I tied a kite to my back. Became Kyteman, the epic superhero that would save us from ever having to leave that place. Anyway, I’ve used the name ever since. At least for the music that I was making on my own. As time went on, people got to know me simply as ‘Kyte’, so when I released The Hermit Sessions that name was a given.

When I play or write for others, I go by Colin Benders. But Kyteman… that will always be saved for projects where I have the full creative freedom to take any risk I want. And as the name grows, the experiments grow along with it.

My interest in music has been there for as long as I can remember. One of my first and clearest memories was at a party with my family. I was 3, may be 4 years old. My uncle had brought a trumpet with him and I was completely fascinated by it. I couldn’t even hold it, never mind playing it. But as soon as I was physically able, I started taking lessons. My love for the instrument grew into a more universal love for music. I decided to do everything within my powers to help out in the process of developing music for me and for others to enjoy.

Be it by making it or by enabling it.


Collecting renegades

Again, the orchestra idea started out kind of as a joke. After I had completed The Hermit Sessions, I didn’t really want to perform them with a laptop. So I floated the idea of an orchestra. When I found out that people were actually interested, we just sort of went for it. Initially, I felt ashamed that I didn’t have anything more interesting for them to play. But once I realized that I now had an entire orchestra at my disposal, I just needed to up the challenge. That’s where we are today, kind of using the dolphin philosophy of “never play the same game too long”.

The musicians come from all over the place. There’s a reggae bass player, a rock drummer and a classical percussionist. With a hip hop obsession. The horn section is a result of random encounters, whereas the string section heard of us and just wanted to join. One keys player I sent away, because I thought he wasn’t good enough. Turns out he’s one of the biggest musical masterminds I’ve ever met. Another keys player wanted to quit performing altogether. He still plays with us, though. The MCs are all people I sort of grew up with. Pax is the closest thing to a brother I will ever have.

It truly is a renegade group of musicians. You’d never imagine them being related to one another, except for when you see them together. Then it all fits. And that’s really all that matters.

The rest will come naturally.


Always in our corner

Even though I love getting my hands dirty when it comes to music, that’s not necessarily the case with everything else. I feel like I’m probably the most chaotic person that has ever walked the earth. Like: I have no wallet. Because I know it’s harder to replace all of my cards at once than replacing them one by one over time. My organisational skills… they’re simply not there. That’s where my parents come in.

My father manages me, the business, the orchestra, everything really. And my mother manages the people in it. Those two together is what drives The Kyteman Orchestra and Kytopia. Without their dedication, none of this would exist. Then there’s Sjoerd and Freek: without Sjoerd there is no sound, without Freek there’s no lights. Sjoerd and I have been working together for about 10 years now and he has never disappointed me. And Freek, well he’s the only person I trust with the visuals. Anything we do, especially the jams, he just feels it and makes sure that everything is as it should be.

Last but not least, there’s Storm – the dog! She’s old, blind and a bit deaf from hanging out with musicians her entire life, but she is oh so happy when she smells you. I think she’s heard more of our music than I would ever be able to release. Oh and on The Hermit Sessions, if you thought you heard a dog barking in the intro of No More Singin’ The Blues, you did.

It’s her.





Bas Vermolen
Pieter van den Boogert
Dongwei Su
Roel Determeijer
Gabriel Eisenmeier

Gabriel Eisenmeier


Live recording:

Sjoerd Terpstra


Kytopia, Utrecht