Vincent Swierstra, based in Amsterdam, is one the few sarangi players in the Netherlands. He discovered the sarangi on his first trip to India in 2003 and immediately fell in love with the instrument. He bought a beautiful old sarangi and started taking lessons. Because of the ten years of violin lessons as a child he picked up the technique quite fast.

It is said that, of all the instruments in the world, the sarangi resembles the sound of the human voice the most. Three gutstrings are played with a bow and nails. The thirty-six sympathetic strings contribute to the mystic sound that make the sarangi so beautiful.

His teacher in Amsterdam is Joep Bor, author of the book ‘The Voice of the Sarangi’ and former principal of Codartz, the Conservatory of World Music in Rotterdam. After Vincent finished his bachelor in Cultural Anthropology at the UvA in 2011 he went back to India three times to study with Grammy winner Dhruba Ghosh in Mumbai, who sadly suddenly passed away in 2017.

In 2015 guitar builder Roy Willems amplified Vincent’s sarangi, which gave him the opportunity to experiment with effect pedals and finally play along with loud music. Since then, Vincent has performed a lot. At parties, festivals and other events at various places in the Netherlands. He prefers giving meditation concerts and playing with DJ’s but he also performed with poets, storytellers and various occasional formations. He played at the Landjuweel, Psy Fi, and Mysteryland festivals, among others, and in the big halls of the 013 and Paradiso.

Besides being a musician, Vincent is also a writer. In 2017 he released his debut novel The Magician, Memoires of a Fool. An English translation is being worked on at the moment. At the same time, a documentary about Vincent was released in 2017, Voices of Vincent. On this site you can find information about all his projects.

You can book Vincent for performances, film screenings and lectures. If you’re interested, please send an email to info@vincentswierstra.nl