It seems like a great idea to release an album on the same day as 9/11, while also being a veteran of Afghanistan. Erik Krikke, his band 7even Bridges, thinks otherwise. It is not a coincidence that the musicians were overtaken in recent events. Erik Krikke is an individual with a special story.
It appears today Million VoicesThe successor to #breakthesilence(2018) by 7even Bridges of Gelderland and Overijssel. It’s more than any other album. It’s new, Million VoicesThis is based upon the experiences of Erik Krikke (44) of Steenwijk. He was deployed to Afghanistan in 2007 as a military surgeon assistant. This is quite a short period of time. However, those ten week were filled with many painful experiences for the strong-looking man. Erik Krikke was forever lost because of their deep impressions.
Good news: If MetroThe musician and writer says he is doing much better. Bas Rysavy, another band member, helped Erik Krikke get out of his own way through music. Rysavy has her own story. He worked at the hospital Uden in Brabant during the corona pandemic.
There is not misery, but there are many. Erik Krikke had already written a lot about the book in 2016 Operation Successful. Bas Rysavy met him through his story. Bas saw a new form for 7even Bridges, combining Krikke’s experience with music and stories with seven-part vocals. 7even Bridges used to be a party band, playing covers. Erik Krikke, “in Bas’s backyard”, auditioned for the band. This audition resulted in a first album, and almost four years of theater tours under the name. Operation Successful. There are now Million VoicesA sequel featuring a positive message in each of the fourteen songs. From ambient to pop/rock. All about love, friendship, hope, and growth.
“My story wasn’t finished yet and we wanted to keep making music as a band,” explains singer and storyteller Erik Krikke, 7even Bridges’ next step. “And it doesn’t stop there. My next book will be published in 2022 and we will set off with a new theater performance.”
Krikke seems to be doing well and can report with pleasure. But, he must admit that he was horrified by the events in Afghanistan in 2007. I’ve lost everything, including myself. My children were young when I was not being nice to them. It was impossible for them to play a game together. 2013 was the year that I finally sought help from the Ministry of Defense. It’s something I still feel, but it has helped me grow. It’s always there and will never go away, but it’s there. I accept it. I consider that last one a major victory. I used to do all I could to overcome my negative feelings and memories. Today, I am able to let them be. Although it sounds cliché, it is doable.
Erik Krikke was a freelancer who fled his work. Not at the Ministry of Defense anymore, but at a newly established medical wholesaler. He was able focus fully on the company’s growth. “I could lose all my energy there, but to be honest it was mainly a flight. I stayed in the medical world, but no longer had to work with patients.” He had had enough of that in a hospital in Kandahar in South Afghanistan. “It was terribly busy there. It went wrong because of lack of rest. While I tried to maintain a professional distance with the patients, I was able to communicate with the children who had suffered terrible injuries while on the operating table. These children were my own age, so I was touched from time to time. Although I was 100 kilos heavier than my actual weight, it wasn’t what I wanted. I then put everything away to become the child of the bill back in the Netherlands.”
Erik Krikke felt that he didn’t want to go further at first, but it never came to that point. In fact, no matter how terrible the memories: “I can now also see what beautiful things we have done in Afghanistan. All the good things that have happened to them. I couldn’t do that for a long time.”
Fourteen years after Krikke was deployed, the Taliban have retaken control of Afghanistan. Erik Krikke is Erik Krikke far enough in his journey that he can take any action? “I had hoped so. The first news reports about Taliban certainly affected my feelings. I made the conscious decision to hide my head in sand. I didn’t follow the media and news that came to me about the situation. I waited. I was done. Until that realization hit me. Million VoicesAn album about my 2007 stay in Afghanistan was to be released. It was difficult, but I am now ready to discuss it again. It’s something I can’t avoid, but I can try to keep my focus on the positive work we did for each patient. Helping people in their most difficult moments. I can see now how great of a job we did there. We have definitely not been to Afghanistan for nothing.”
Operation did indeed succeed, based on Erik Krikke’s book as well as the 7even Bridges theater tour. Bas Rysavy, who was mentioned earlier, is also to be credited. “We clicked right away, have the same clumsy humor and became blood brothers. While I didn’t dare to discuss my problems with anyone, he was the one who did. Perhaps because he also comes from the medical world, but I sometimes dared to take Bas into my world of thought.” Erik Krikke owes a lot to his buddy, but also sees that he mainly did ‘it’ himself. “I was once in hospital and in that Dutch operating room I saw Afghanistan all the way back. It could not continue this way. In my secret, I knew that this moment would come. It was obvious that I believed everything would improve. Well, forget it. The cesspool still had to open completely.”
Bas Rysavy told Erik Krikke that no matter how miserable life may seem, he still had a story. He saw that even a tough man could be vulnerable. He said: “I’ve been in a band for 25 years. The theatre is the best place to be vulnerable. This is a way to give others a boost. Everybody has experienced something in life, from veterans to those who witnessed a traffic accident. That is why your story needs to be heard.” The rest is – the previously described – Histories. 7even Bridges was a serious band. Erik’s story was eaten and the second album was released. Million VoicesIs there now. The day before 9/11. “A complete fluke”, says Erik Krikke. “Although it remains a loaded date for me.”