Julija listening to Enya on her travels JULIJA MALDUTYTĖ WITH PERMISSION FOR VARSITY

Having got to know Julija Maldutytė through our shared passion for the electronic DJ Mall Grab, I couldn’t help but be intrigued by the role dance music played in another one of Julija’s pastimes: yacht racing. I sat down with Julija, previously the social and welfare officer of Cambridge University Yacht Club, and Callum Henderson, its commodore, to talk about the connection between the nautical and the musical.

Attempting to come up with a novel way to interview Julija and Callum, I thought: what better place to start than having them review nautical themed music lyrics, to see how accurate they might be?!

“TLC may have been more inspired by canoeists than yacht sailors”

In response to TLC’s “Don’t go chasing waterfalls, please stick to the rivers and lakes that you’re used to”, Julija noted that sailors do tend to prefer the open water, and that the words of TLC were not particularly inspirational when it came to sailing. Callum echoed this, and noted, rather tongue-in-cheek, that TLC may have been more inspired by canoeists than yacht sailors.

Alex Turner, in the Arctic Monkeys track “One Point Perspective”, gave the world the remarkably niche lyric of “I swim with the economists”. Callum and Julija both noted that, while they have not necessarily swum with any economists, sailing does seem to attract more venture capitalists than economists.

Finally, I simply couldn’t not ask the duo whether, as Sebastian in The Little Mermaid sings, it is indeed “better down where it’s wetter”. Happily, Julija took my childish questioning in good faith and noted that “the whole point of sailing is to stay in the boat; rather than a man overboard”. Callum agreed, stating without irony that “a man overboard is one of the worst things that could happen”.

Technotronic - Pump Up The Jam (Official Music Video)TechnotronicVEVO

Moving swiftly beyond this painful round of questioning, Julija commented that, much like the nature of the sea, the music played on the boat would completely change, depending on the elements around the boat. She noted that during Varsity racing, “Pump Up The Jam” was, appropriately, played to get the racing crew sufficiently “pumped up”, whereas sailing blissfully around the Balearics in summer was appropriately accompanied by Balearic beats, funk and disco. Callum similarly said that the music he played was entirely dependent on the journey itself, such as his penchant for listening to Buena Vista Social Club while sailing around the tip of Italy. If ever you needed a University club to provide an idyllic playlist, CUYC would definitely be my first port of call.


Mountain View

Boathouse Bops: what do rowers listen to?

Callum, a Part I architect, noted a personal interest in traditional techno artists and producers (unsurprising, given the nature of ARCSOC); however, he also demonstrated an impressive knowledge when discussing DJs Len Faki and Richie Hawtin. I couldn’t help but notice the intense BPM of Hawtin’s tracks; a BPM which perhaps matches the intensity of one’s heart rate when fixing the failed engine of a yacht at 4am (a task Callum has previously undertaken).

When the topic of sea shanties was raised, Callum noted that, on a recent voyage, a passenger had requested a sea shanty be played each day. However, he rather appropriately told the passenger that if they wanted a sea shanty, they would have to sing it themselves. It demonstrates pretty well that the music tastes in CUYC are far more refined and vibrant than tracks such as AWOLINATION’s “Sail” would suggest.