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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 tiny turntable, softly playing music. My dad playing the acoustic guitar, performing Neil Young songs, also was an inspiration. I remember sort of playing his guitar, creating my own melodies. 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 sure revere to my early on synthesizer preference.
The track that first introduced me to an orchestra sound was the EP version of 'Russians' by Sting. An orchestral popsong musically based on the Romance from the Luitenant Kije suite, by Sergej Prokofjev. The orchestral sound and the musical eloquence of it really grabbed me.
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 a lot. 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 triggered 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 transparent, having such a diverse, rich pallet. I also started more serious composing; baroque style at first. My recent Cinematic Baroque Adagio sure is a musical wink to that period of classical 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 Minimal Music and got hooked by the late pianoworks of Dutch composer Simeon ten Holt, as you can hear in my Six Minutes for Six Pianos.
Music teacher and composer
Uptill then music was just a hobby, but after a series of educational wanderings I decided to go for it and make a living out of music as a music teacher, sharing my passion for music with young people. I attended the Conservatory in 1997, graduating in 2001 and started teaching.
For almost twenty 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 compose music. I find it very challenging and appealing to create 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, music software like Finale and Cubase really helping to give birth to ideas. I mainly composed classical orientated music then. In 2007, after studying some scores of Elgar and Brahms I started arranging six Scottish Folk Songs for Symphony Orchestra. My personal favorite still is 'This is No My Plaid'.
Teaching 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 create a nice little home studio, stripping my former room and building things from the ground up. You can check my gear here.
Throughout the past few years my music evolved towards a cinematic style, well know for being 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). A few years later I was blown away by a well known soundtrack from The Gladiator (music by Hans Zimmer). It inspired me to compose 'Lingering Hybrid Orchestral Build-Up'.
The sound of the orchestra keeps inspiring me. Purchasing Spitfire Audio's BBC Symphony Orchestra plug-in helped me to work out large orchestral pieces like TUTTI and Six Part Orchestral Suite. So, that’s where I arrived since a few years. 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 music, to give it the final touch; the sort of subtle musical 'make-up'.