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 comforting music at bedtimes. My dad playing the acoustic guitar, performing Neil Young songs, also was an inspiration. I remember sort of playing his guitar, wanting to create my own thing. 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 triggered me to buy my first instrument; a little Yamaha PS200 keyboard. My Prophet REV2 Synth WorkX series sure revere to this early on synthesizer preference.

The music that first introduced me to a sort of orchestral sound was the EP version of 'Russians' by Sting. A popsong musically based on the Romance from the Luitenant Kije suite, by Sergej Prokofjev. Now I know the eloquence of an orchestra really amazed me and I remember feeling the urge to make something beautiful 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 it was a lot of fun and I did learn about music, but the true musical light had yet to be seen; 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 classical music was so full of happenings, transparent, having such a diverse pallet. I also started composing; baroque style at first. My Invention,  Cinematic Baroque Adagio and Largo sure are musical bows to that period of inspiration. Same as my Adagio & Fughetta for Organ.

Along came the interest to play the piano, for it's such a practical instrument to work out composition ideas. I discovered  the American Minimal Music, as you can hear in my Six Minutes for Six Pianos.

Music teacher and composer

Uptill my mid twenties music was just a fine hobby, but after a series of educational wanderings I decided to go for it and make a living out of music; as a highschool teacher, sharing my knowledge, experience and passion for music with young people. I attended the Conservatory in 1997, graduating in 2001 and started teaching right away. ​For twenty years now, I devotedly teach young students, learning them how to play instruments, perform together and compose music. I love doing it!

 

Next to teaching I have a strong urge to create and compose music. I find it very challenging and appealing to make something concrete out of this abstract material music is in essence. The composing vibe seriously took off at the conservatory, diving into Adler's The Study of Orchestration. Software like Finale and Cubase really helping to give birth to ideas virtually. In 2007, after studying some scores of Elgar and Brahms I started arranging six Scottish Folk Songs for Symphony Orchestra. My favorite still is 'This is No My Plaid'.

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 just to be able to spend more time composing and producing, developing an idiom. It was also the moment to finally create a nice little home studio, You can check my gear here.

 

Throughout the past few years my music gravitated towards a orchestral and cinematic style, the last one being well know for a carrier of atmospheres, stories and emotions. This cinematic music interest really first started in 1998, when I heard the orchestral driven opening theme 'The Beginning of the Partnership' from the movie Shakespeare in Love (music by Stephen Warbeck). 

The sound of the orchestra keeps inspiring me. Purchasing Spitfire Audio's BBC Symphony Orchestra VST helped me to work out larger orchestral pieces like TUTTI and Six Part Orchestral Suite. So, that’s where I arrived for now. In this orchestral, cinematic idiom my musical knowhow, ideas and wide preferences all fall into place. I experience great freedom in this genre.

 

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

Be well,

Jeff

 

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