Mathijs Leeuwis (Waalwijk, 1985) has been active as a professional musician for more than 12 years. For a long time he focused on songwriting and performing his own songs, but from 2014 his attention shifted completely to the pedal steel guitar. The introduction to this instrument became a search for new sounds, atmospheres and applications for the pedal steel guitar in general.
Inspired by his other passion – cycling – GALIBIER was born, a musical ode to the most beautiful and painful climbs a person can encounter. In November 2018, GALIBIER came out as an album and immediately sparked a stir: “Mathijs has pushed boundaries with this album” (Written in Music, NL), ”An intoxicating exploration of an instrument that can be pushed in all directions seemingly effortlessly” (Gonzo Magazine, BE), “This is a mesmerizing instrumental work of art” (Santa Rosa, US). GALIBIER has appeared on the Dutch TV program VPRO Vrije Geluiden and played at the most important Dutch festivals for contemporary music November Music and Grasnapolsky.
Researching new applications for the pedal steel guitar is a continuous process for Mathijs, and in collaboration with producer Mathijn den Duijf a completely analog sound-installation was created around his pedal steel guitar. Through the use of tape loops, the pedal steel guitar and ambient sounds, new sound landscapes are forged on the spot. Improvisation with an impressively large sound at the cutting edge.
Mathijs is part of the band Things I Can’t Control, a trio with guitarist Marzio Scholten and drummer Jimmi Hueting. The shared love for simple harmonies and sounds that can be found in roots and indie rock are elevated by this company to a universe of their own. Songs, improvisation, soundscapes and – inevitably – chaos.
With his recent work Mathijs was selected for the Music Hub Brabant: the musical talent development trajectory of the province of Brabant. Within this process Mathijs will focus on creating new music and deepening knowledge through various collaborations, study and writing sessions. The beating heart within this development is – of course – his pedal steel guitar.
Mathijs is constantly looking for new sounds, methods and always curious about the limits of his own abilities, be it on the bike in the French Alps or sitting behind his pedal steel guitar.