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Ruben Wijga is a musician from The Netherlands. Over the last years he has been involved in different bands and projects, both on stage and behind the scenes.
Ruben is probably most well known as the keyboard player of metal band ReVamp. As a classically trained violin player, with an education at the conservatory of Groningen (The Netherlands) in composition, music production and studio production, and with a special interest in metal, electronic instruments and sounds, Ruben is an all-round musician. Over the last years he worked on different projects, varying from playing keyboards in metal bands to scoring for a theater show and from fiddling irish tunes to making movie scores.
For his keyboard related work, Ruben mostly uses software synths combined with analogue synths. Also in his studio he has a solid collection of software, sample libraries and nifty electronic (DIY) instruments. Brands he uses include Logic Pro, MainStage, Finale, Native Instruments Komplete, Vienna Symphonic Library, Arturia, XLN Audio, Waves, Røde, Akai, Dave Smith Instruments, MFB and Doepfer.
As a violin player Ruben uses a 1947 violin and a NS Design WAV4 electric violin.
Epicakeyboards · live Metal band · The Netherlands
Ruben temporarily replaced Epica’s keyboard player Coen Janssen for the first eight shows of their 2015 European Tour. Due to personal circumstances Coen couldn’t attend at these shows, therefore Epica asked Ruben if he could play these shows.About client
Epica is a Dutch symphonic metal band, founded by guitarist and vocalist Mark Jansen subsequent to his departure from After Forever. A band that has enjoyed as much worldwide success and acclaim as EPICA should have every right to rest on their laurels and stick to the proverbial “winning formula.” And yet, as their fans across the globe are well aware, EPICA has never been a band to play it safe, and they’ve never made the same album twice. EPICA has earned its reputation as one of the foremost symphonic metal bands by repeatedly shattering expectations and pushing the very limits in the genre.
ReVampkeyboards · live · studio Metal band · The Netherlands
Ruben joined ReVamp in 2010 as their keyboard player. When they started to write the second album, Ruben also became one of the main songwriters.About client
ReVamp is a metal band from The Netherlands, formed by singer Floor Jansen in 2009. In 2010 Floor audited new band members and assembled the live band. Also the first album ‘ReVamp’ got released, labeled under Nuclear Blast. The band started out gigging by doing many successful club shows and festivals, and joined Epica on their European tour. After a burn-out of Floor in 2011 the band picked up the writing process of the second album. Guitarist Jord Otto and keyboardist Ruben Wijga became the two writers. Joost van den Broek became the producer and co-writer and together with Floor they wrote the album ‘Wild Card’ which was released in August 2013. Since this release ReVamp has done more successful gigs and tours. In 2014 they joined Sabaton and Iced earth on their North-America tour. After this they toured in South-America, partially together with Children of Bodom. ReVamp also joined Kamelot on their European tour.
The Theater Equationkeyboards · live Theater show · The Netherlands
Ruben was asked to play keyboards ad manage backing tracks for this special project.About client
The Theater Equation is the theater adaption of Ayreon’s The Human Equation. The Human Equation was composed by multi-instrumentalist Arjen Anthony Lucassen who released several rock operas with his Ayreon project starting in 1995. The Human Equation double album was released as the sixth Ayreon CD in 2004. Some great artist were involved in this project, like James LaBrie (Dream Theater), Marcela Bovio (Stream of Passion), Anneke van Giersbergen and many others. The story: After being involved in a car-crash, a man has slipped into a coma. His wife and his best friend are with him at the hospital, worried that they might be responsible for what happened. Unaware of his condition, the man discovers a strange realm inside his head where his emotions have come to life. It is clear that some of them don’t want him to wake up ever again. Will he fight for his life, or give in to his physical pain and mental anguish, and die?
Christmas Metal Symphonykeyboards · live Touring project · Europe
In 2013 Ruben was one of the two keyboard players for Christmas Metal Symphony. He also wrote a last minut orchestra arrangement during the tour.About client
Christmas Metal Symphony is a project which consists of an orchestra, a band and some of the greatest singers in the metal and rock genre. at the 2013 edition they played several shows in Germany, Czech Republic and Sweden. The singers were Joey Belladonna (Anthrax), Joacim Cans (Hammerfall), Floor Jansen (ReVamp, Nightwish), Udo Dirkschneider (Ex-Accept), Chuck Billy (Testament) and Michael Kiske (Helloween).
Celestial Ruinkeyboards · studio Metal band · Canada
In February 2015 Ruben was asked to make the keyboard and orchestra arrangement for Celestial Ruin’s newest full-length album. There are a lot of epic orchestra parts interspersed with horror elements and FX. Together with some nice supporting but ruthless synth lines and the solid riffing you can expect from Celestial Ruin it resulted in a great coherent album with an own sound and atmosphere.About client
The Canadian band Celestial Ruin is styled after European Symphonic Metal but executed with a decidedly North American flavor. Celestial Ruin's sound combines heavy rock rhythms and riffs with catchy, singable melodies, and rich symphonic textures, the likes of which have never been heard before. The combination is "epic" by all accounts. Lyrical themes are drawn from fantasy and horror, sometimes implying deeper meanings, sometimes just celebrating the subject matter. Celestial Ruin's live performance is close to the recording but organically so. Their music is written as organically as it is performed, a collaborative effort on the part of all project members.
Souring Highs & Brutal Lowsfilms · studio Documentary · USA
Director Mark Harwood made an interesting documentary on women in metal. For this film, Mark followed several metal bands, including ReVamp. Through this way Mark Harwood and Ruben got to know each other and Mark asked Ruben to do the scoring for this film. As Ruben did some film scoring before and found this project very cool, he immediately said yes.
The premier of the film will be as part of FemME (Female Metal Event) in the Netherlands on 15 october 2015.About client
Explore the energy and emotion of heavy metal through the stories and voices of some of the most prominent women who bring it to life. Follow the paths of these artists working to achieve their dreams, learn what drives them, and how their journeys have unfolded so far. The film combines interview, concert, and archival footage to highlight the growth in popularity of this music internationally.
13 Stepsstudio · violin Hardcore / Metal band · The Netherlands
Dutch Hardcore / Metal band 13 steps asked Ruben to lay down some violin tracks for their album Maleficent Thoughts, released in 2015.About client
Nothing New, Just Fucking Loud! with this intention 13 Steps made its entrance in the Hardcore scene. The band, with members of Summon the Flood and Chelsea Smile, released their first EP in 2011. In 2012 13 Steps released their EP 'A Shattered Diamond'. Their first full length album 'Maleficent Thoughts' was released in 2015.
Ademfilms · studio Short Film · The Netherlands
This Dutch short arthouse film was directed by Justus van den Elsen. He was looking for a film composer and got in touch with Ruben through a synthesizer forum. At their first meeting they talked about the film, music and Ruben’s portfolio and they were both enthusiastic about this new collaboration. The film premiered in February 2013.About client
[Dutch] Een oudere man zit vast in zijn leven. Vast in zijn routines en eenzaamheid. Langzaam beraamt hij een plan dat hem uit zijn isolement moet halen. Een vastomlijnd doel, waardoor de schijnbare oplossing steeds dichter bij hem komt. Een worsteling tussen ethiek en misdaad, wat leidt tot een melancholisch portret van een man die weer adem wil gaan halen.
Andrei Lugovskiother · studio Popera Singer · Belgium
Andrei Lugovski is a Belarusian-Belgian singer. For his album ‘Reason to believe’ (2014) Ruben made the scores for the purpose of the studio recordings on the basis of arrangements producer Joost van den Broek made.
Later on, Ruben made an arrangement for band and small ensemble for a live show of Andrei.
Ensemble: Violin I / Violin II / Viola / Cello / Piano / Keyboards / Guitar / (Double) Bass / Percussion / Drums
The Irish Vikingslive · violin Irish Folk Rock Band · Norway
Since 2013 Ruben is a permanent member of The Irish Vikings. They regularly play pub gigs and festivals in Norway.About client
The Norwegian band The Irish Vikings mainly plays Irish music with a rock vibe and rock songs with an Irish twist.
Leta Bellother · studio Theater Show · The Netherlands
For this Dutch theater show Ruben made the scores on the basis of arrangements Joost van den Broek made. The music is influenced by french chansons and has an intimate character.
Ensemble: Piano / Accordeon / Clarinet / Viola / Cello / Double BassAbout client
[Dutch] Vier het Leven Lief is het eerste grote solo project van Leta Bell. Natuurlijk kennen we haar als zangeres van vele liedjes. Maar nog nooit zong ze haar eigen composities en teksten. Vier het Leven lief zegt eigenlijk alles over de wijze waarop Leta in het leven staat en is de basis voor alle liedjes. Met dit muzikale project wil Leta uitstralen dat het ontzettend belangrijk is om ondanks bergen en dalen altijd het leven lief te blijven hebben. En dat we daarbij gebruik mogen maken van deze wereld is een groot geschenk. Dat is niet zoet. Integendeel. Er zal altijd hard gewerkt moeten worden om dat te bereiken wat in je zit. Voor Leta is het belangrijk altijd het positieve te blijven zien. En dat horen we ook terug in de teksten van de liedjes die altijd een positieve wending hebben. De stijl van de muziek is niet zomaar te benoemen. Natuurlijk horen we invloeden van de Franse chansons maar beter is het onbevangen te luisteren naar Vier het Leven Lief.
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Recent Blog Posts
februari 15, 2016 / By Ruben Wijga
This month I purchased some real nice (the best?) woodwind samples and I made a special composition for this occasion. Read here all about it and have a listen to this piece.
oktober 25, 2015 / By Ruben Wijga
Hello world! I am happy to welcome you to my new website. Here you can check out my musical activities and which projects I have done in the past. When I get more musical adventures on my path, I will update you with new blog posts.
For now, I want to point out one of my latest projects I was involved in: The Theater Equation. When you navigate to Projects on my website, you can find more information and pictures about this exciting theater adaption of Arjen Lucassen’s The Human Equation.
If you are interested in one of Ruben’s musical services you can contact him through this form.