Self-portrait, 2008

koen de wit


Born in ’77, I am a self-taught free improvising clarinettist and film photographer. I fell in love with the clarinet in ’97 and switched from Boehm (French) system to Oehler (German) system clarinets in ’02 when I got my very own handcrafted soloist A clarinet, built by Winfried Otto Nürnberger. I have been privileged to play with classical, jazz, electronic and pop musicians as well as with writers, poets, dancers and visual artists.

My main musical influences come from contemporary composed and improvised music, jazz, electro-acoustical, classical and folk music as well as the clarinet itself which allows me to express myself, pure and direct.




Please feel free to contact me regarding all kinds of venues and projects, especially those in atypical locations and / or surroundings, spaces with challenging acoustics and extreme sustain and / or reverberation. I am most interested in solo and small ensemble work based upon free improvisation and the experiment. Inter-disciplinary projects also have my preference. I enjoy working with classical, jazz and (live-)electronic musicians, dancers, poets, writers, visual artists, theatre-makers, animators and filmmakers.




I play on a clarinet (solist A, Oehler system) built by Winfried O. Nürnberger, Markneukirchen (Saxony), Germany. If you care to read about how I came to play an Oehler system clarinet you can read the ‘Vogtland Journeys, from Boehm to Oehler‘ posts I and II.

I am also honored to represent Fa. W.O. Nürnberger for the Benelux and all non-German speaking parts of the world, so if you would like to know more about Fa. W.O. Nürnberger clarinets do not hesitate to contact me.



philosophy / interests

As a clarinettist I am first and foremost inspired by the instrument itself, its demands and technical challenges, its air-flow resistance, its vast dynamics between penetrating brilliance and soothing warmth, and its infinite personalities expressed with a single rich tone (except in multiphonics).


In improvisation I find music and the moment of its creation become timeless. Detached from but simultaneously based on physical space, connection and each and every of my associations, conscious as well as subconscious. In the best of those moments music seemingly creates itself as I become its instrument. These profound experiences of ‘stillness within movement’ – being the center of the vortex – are of fundamental importance to me. And making music, improvising, and my non judgmental and unprejudiced acceptance (letting go) of its form has become a goal in itself.


“When you hear music, after it’s over, it’s gone in the air. You can never capture it again…” — Eric Dolphy


As with music, almost everything has been said about photography. But if I were to try and explain why I photograph, my motivation would be very similar to what I wrote above on playing clarinet. The technical challenge, the endless possibilities and types of photography, focus. The capturing of the moment, detaching it from time and context. At times composing it, or simply just observing it. Either way, it reminds me that reality is infinitely more complex than what we allow ourselves to see.


“The eye should learn to listen before it looks.” Robert Frank