Guy Turned His Van Into A Recording Studio & Spent Two Years Traveling The World Recording Street Musicians

A group of people playing instruments

This guy is a damn genius.

Living in Chicago, I’m no stranger to street musicians, but if you live in just about any big city, they’re not hard to find. While they may only perform for a few bucks here and there, a ton of them are incredibly talented. Unfortunately, many of these talented musicians have no way of recording and/or sharing their music. Enter Marten.

Marten, who just so happens to be a sound engineer, made it his mission to spend the last two years traveling around Europe in a van that he converted into a traveling recording studio on wheels, recording some of these hidden gems. And now, he’s gearing up to release a movie, album, and book featuring many of these recording songs, along with the stories of the musicians that wrote them.

Marten’s Mission:

During my third year studying MediaMusic in the Netherlands, I encountered a Dutch busker that changed the way I perceived street music. His voice and music was so raw and pure, I haven’t felt many times before. His guitar was slightly detuned and he didn’t play his instrument in a virtuosic way. Yet, it were these imperfections that caught me.

I felt that his music had to be heard and offered to him to record his album. And just a few weeks later we met at my university’s studio to do so. It was the beginning of a special friendship for me. 
Months passed and I couldn’t stop thinking about how cool it would be to do this not just in the Netherlands, but everywhere. The world seemed to big and Holland too small.

Being German and living in the Netherlands I couldn’t decide where I wanted to start my professional life after university and wanted to see more places of this world before making that choice. This was the perfect opportunity for me to travel and take my job and passion with me, and that’s how the “SoundsLikeVanSpirit” idea was born.

Later this fall, Marten will drop Sounds Like Van Spirit: A Collection of Europe’s Pavement Melodies.

Check out the incredibly inspiring trailer.

For more info, including how you can help out, visit Marten’s Indigogo page.

A kitchen with a sink and a toaster oven

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock