My dad died after a really short illness in June 1972. He was 64.
His death came as a shock to my mother, sister, and myself. In the months after my mother had to catch up with life. Doing money transfers, organizing our life. She didn’t know a thing but was she a fast learner.
The year after we moved from Brussels back to the town where I was born because my mother’s parents lived there.
A logical step.
In the 10 years that followed I would also lose both my grandparents. My grandma went swiftly, my grandfather a battle against dementia.
Albeit my mother doing her best I never really connected. She hadn’t that much to offer except being a mother.
My father had been my mentor, my teacher, my guide. He ignited my interest in science, art, literature, and music.
My mother took more care of my sister and rightfully so as she was 6 years younger.
I had my radio and discovered stuff I forgot except for Tom Waits.
Then, in the mid-seventies, I started going to the movies like 3 times a week. I even got a job in the projection room for free tickets. I was like 16.
I had my radio. On Thursday evenings there was this program on the national Belgian radio, Music From The Cosmos. It mixed philosophical, mostly as I remember, Nietzschean stuff, that I liked, kind of brainfood, with music I had never heard before. Tangerine Dream, Ash Ra Temple, Klaus Schulze, et al.
It was kind of a homecoming. Mainly Klaus Schulze and Tangerine dream became my heroes. Their timeless, ethereal, and mesmerizing electronic music took me, without the help of any forbidden substances, deep into myself.
Their music was a revelation.
At the same time, one evening, I discovered A.F.N. (American Forces Network) based in Germany and Wolfman Jack’s show became something I stayed home for. His voice, and the, more mainstream music, it was a discovery. I know I seems stupid, but I was blown away by A Horse With No Name by America.
The Wolfman made me discover music they weren’t playing on the Belgian Radio. To me this was alternative avant la letter.
Soon after I would leave the official Belgian Radio in favor of the, mostly Dutch, pirate radios like Radio Veronika.
Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, over the years, have been valuable allies. They helped me through difficult times and relaxed me.
Today, 2020, I still am a fan. Klaus Schulze is still releasing records. But 2020 also means that musicmaking is within our reach. Like filmmaking, like writing and self-publishing.
Gone is the extensive hardware whatever Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze used. They remain though masters of their craft.
The music I try to make is a mix of the losses I, and inevitably everyone else, suffers, loved ones, dreams, whatever. Compared to film music is an even harder way to tell a story. But well worth the effort because it demands so much creativity.
Am I any good, do I contribute to the genre? Time will tell.