-Welcome to the website of Tomas Serrien-

zwart wit Marijn

Copyright Marijn Smulders


Tomas Serrien (1992) tries to live in wonder, with philosophy and art as a guide. In 2015 he won the Geert Grote Pen, a thesis prize awarded to the best Dutch master’s thesis in philosophy. His thesis was the inspiration for his debut book Klank, published by Houtekiet/VBK in December 2017. With the establishment of the independent website Mirari he developed an online platform for free dialogue. Tomas Serrien also gives regular lectures on philosophical themes and he is a drummer in several bands.


‘Klank: een filosofie van de muzikale ervaring’

‘Sound: a philosophy of musical experience’.

Music can move us, soothe our pain or get our bodies to dance. But what do we experience exactly when we listen to Chopin, Pink Floyd or Bob Dylan? What makes our experience of music so unique?

In this book, Tomas Serrien tries to find out how we perceive music.

Although music is primarily for listening to, the author explains why thinking and writing about music can be particularly useful and he takes the reader on a musical quest full of profound contemplations.

On the basis of various pieces of music, which are bundled into easy-to-listen playlists, he searches for answers to various questions:

Do people listen carefully enough? What is the difference between music and sound? What is musical time? How do deaf people experience music? What is the role of emotions when listening to music? Can music cause violence or racism?

You can listen to the playlist on Spotify or Youtube

You can buy the book on Amazon.com

What do others think about Klank?

‘Ideal for people who wonder why “I See a Darkness” by Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy makes them so sad – apparently the 20th-century thinker Maurice Merleau-Ponty can help you on your way.’ – HUMO

‘A passionate story about the elusiveness of music.’ – Mauro Pawlowski, known from dEUS and Evil Superstars

***** ‘A great book about music. Recently I also read ‘How Music Works’ by David Byrne, and that was good, but what Tomas Serrien did is so much better (and at the same time much more concise). Serrien goes to the core: the musical experience. That is the essence of music. Not how something is played or recorded, but what experience these musical sounds offer us when we listen to it. Wow. Music journalists who do not read this book must be fired! “- Tim F. Van der Mensbrugghe, journalist at De Morgen.

‘Tomas Serrien has done something special. He investigates a phenomenon that we all know very well, but he does it in such a surprising way that every listener will hear their favorite music in a new way. “- De Boekenkrant

‘For the added value seeker who is looking for a better way to describe musical experiences, this book is a must.’ – Metro

‘A passionate philosophical view about the versatility of the musical experience.’ – Joke J. Hermsen, philosopher and author of ‘Stil de Tijd’ and ‘Kairos’

‘Serrien tries to describe the indescribable, makes the unheard more audible and the elusive more tangible. That reason is already enough to read this piece of work – a passionate plea for the versatile music experience ‘- Written In Music