Music has always been a big part of my private life, but not on stages. I was too busy with other things, like running a software company and being a sportsman, a husband and a father to some lovely kids.
Before 2005 I didn’t do a specific style of music, but from the end of that year on I’m completely dedicated to the traditional Irish music. Can’t get enough of it!
My father always sang the second voice, my mother played the church organ and so did my granddad. My grandma was always singing. Music is my life!
The piano, the button accordion, the western guitar and the Irish tin whistle are the major instruments I play, not at the highest level, but high enough to entertain people, myself in the first place.
My biggest musical influence started in 2005 when I met schoolmaster, singer and guitar player Ben, who invited me in his band that we called the Doggy Dike soon afterwards. After four years of big fun and two fabulous trips to the source of most of our repertoire, Ireland, I quit that band of friends, with pain in my heart. I felt I needed more time to look around and meet other musicians. That is still happening now, so let’s meet and play!
Since 2013 I host a monthly Irish session in Katwijk aan Zee. It’s every third Sunday afternoon from 4 till 7pm. We started in Café Boeien and moved to Hotel Zee en Duin in 2017. I call it “singer friendly”, as opposed to some session where it’s all about tunes and singers may feel less welcome. Visit www.ierse.nl for the latest details and reports.
Since 2015 I travel to Ireland twice a year looking for people with songs and stories they learned from their parents. The Irish tradition of story, song, music and dance and its scenery is so overwhelming that my travels have evolved in song writing, inspired on the old songs, i.e. challenging melodies and quite long, telling a story.
Over the years I’ve discovered that my songwriting can do really good to people and I felt a growing need to do more of that. That’s how I got interested in musical therapy and since 2016 I’ve started reading and attending workshops and conferences on the subject. It is my ambition to do more professional songwriting on command or in a therapeutic setting. Here’s my promotion page on Facebook: Give Us A Song.
After more than a year of focusing on therapeutic songwriting, I’ve moved away a bit. Now I let it be therapeutic when it happens to be so. I still believe there’s a healing power in the process of working together to find the right words and melody for a song about a lost friend or a hidden trauma or maybe a deep rooted anger or impossible desire. This could help to process a traumatic experience. Because this is about unwanted feelings, I’ve thought to compensate it with the making of a happy song to call up pleasant feelings, which led to the slogan “A Happy Song For A Sad One”. The song lyrics will be heavily based on the input of the people involved, so that it really becomes their personal song.
I’m constantly writing songs these days, often based on what’s happening in my direct environment or news that stays in my mind. When I roughly finish a song, I do a quick home recording, just to capture the idea and I publish it to have it out there for myself and for whoever likes it. I might also do a tune. You’ll find a lot of that material on this website and on my Facebook page and my Youtube channel.
Because of my growing worries about the return of fascism around the world, I started writing protest songs. It’s mainly against undermining our Universal Human Rights, but also about how ever improving (dis)information technology in the hands of a few billionaires is a dangerous situation and already destroying our democracies through computer aided spying, campaigning and even mind control.
Come on, let’s write a song!