BIO

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How music became part of my life

My musical adagium started next to my cradle (1971) where my parents had set up a turntable, softly playing pop music at bedtimes. My dad playing the acoustic guitar, performing Neil Young songs, also was an example of music being part of my early life. Listening to music was part of the daily routine at our house. There was solid hi-fi equipement and a wide variety of vinyl.

I could spend hours, listening on headphones, in front of the record player and tape recorder. At a young age I really liked 'Autobahn' by Kraftwerk. Those sparkling, pulsating synthesizer sounds. It then triggered me to buy my first instrument; a little Yamaha PS200 keyboard, making up my own music with it. Too bad I haven't got anything documented on that.

The music that first introduced me to sort of an orchestral sound was the EP version from 'Russians' by Sting. A popsong musically based on the Romance from the Luitenant Kije suite, by Sergej Prokofjev. Now I know it was the eloquence of an orchestra that amazed me and I remember feeling an almost existential urge to make something beautiful and rich like this.

In my early teens, inspired and driven by the energetic music of Metallica, Slayer and Yngwie Malmsteen, I started playing the electric guitar. Mostly heavy metal music, in several bands, but it never took off, although I did learn a lot. The one musical spark had yet to come; during a cold winter evening, December 1989, turning the radioknob, I stumbled on violinist Nigel Kennedy performing Vivaldi's Four Seasons, with the English Chamber Orchestra. It inspired me to start playing the violin, even taking lessons. That was when things started rolling. I joined a little baroque orchestra and salon orchestra, started learning music theory, listenening to a lot of classical music and visited many classical concerts. This music was full of interesting events and transparency, having such a diverse pallet. I also started composing; Little violin duets, baroque style. Along came the interest to play the piano, for it's such a practical instrument to work out composition ideas, not having software available yet.

Music teacher and composer

Uptill my mid twenties music was only a hobby, but after a series of educational wanderings I decided to use my passion and drive for music to earn a living; as a highschool music teacher, sharing my knowledge and experience. I attended the conservatory in 1997, graduating in 2001. ​For more then 20 years now, I devotedly teach young students, learning them how to play instruments, perform together and compose music. Next to teaching I have a strong urge to create, compose and produce music. I find it appealing to make something concrete and beautiful out of this abstract material music is, in essence. That composing vibe seriously took off at the conservatory, diving into Adler's The Study of Orchestration. Software like Finale and Cubase sure helping to give birth to ideas virtually. 

Teaching music full time however slowed down going into a desired depth with composing. That's why a few years ago I decided to halve my teachers job to be able to spend more time composing and producing, developing an idiom. It also was the moment to finally create a nice little home studio. Throughout the past few years my music gravitated towards a orchestral and cinematic style, well know for being good carriers of atmospheres, stories and emotions.

 

Next to composing I like to spend time mixing my music, to give it the final touch; as a sort of subtle 'make-up'. You can check my (latest) music on my YouTube channel. 

Be well,

Jeff

 

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