Behind the piano

Behind the piano: Florejan

A while back I presented you with the song Watching clouds disappear by the composer Florejan. And today, it’s time for him to take over the blog and to be the next person Behind the piano!

What’s your real name? 
Florejan Verschueren.

How did you come up with your artist name?
My first name is already difficult enough 🙂

Where are you from? And where do you live?
I live in my little but beautiful hometown, in the north of Belgium.

How long have you been playing the piano, and do you play other instruments as well?
I play all kinds of keyboard-instruments, but piano really is my instrument of choice any day.

Tell us about how you started playing music. 
As a child I was very intrigued by the sounds my father made by pressing the keys of the grand piano. I guess I never stopped searching for those sounds.

How long have you been making piano music?
As long as I remember. I had some basic piano-lessons from my father at age 4 or 5, and understood rather quickly how to make notes ‘blend’. The first years I mainly improvised. Composing came a bit later.

Tell us something about that moment you realized you could make songs yourself!
The first song I was really proud of was made at holiday in the summer (I must have 6 years old?). My father took a small keyboard along, and I spent most of that vacation with my headphones on. It wasn’t a moment of epiphany, because my father also writes music. It was just a natural development.

What are your favorite artists in this “piano genre”?
That’s a though one! Nils Frahm, Yann Tiersen, Wim Mertens,… So many to choose from!

Is there one song which you play over and over again as soon as you sit down by a piano? Your own or someone else’s? 
I actually don’t play it that much, but ‘Melodie’ op.47 nr.3 from Lyric Pieces by Grieg is very often in my head. I am classically trained and I love the repertoire of Bach (Das Wohltemperierte Klavier) and Chopin. Their music I do play over and over again.

What rules (in making music) needs to be broken?
Making music has no rules, nothing needs to be broken. There should be no boundaries, just let the music make itself. Don’t force it!

How do you record your music?
I record my own music, in my own music room. It’s not a real studio, but it was built with creating a nice sound in mind. A lot of wood to make it sound natural, a high ceiling so the sound can take flight,…

Whats your take on sampled instruments?
I used to look at it as cheating, but that has dramatically changed over the years. In the end it comes down to this: If you like the music and how it sounds, it’s not important how it is made. A real piano is a joy to play, but if the recording requires samples to sound good, then by all means: go right ahead. I absolutely love to play music for an audience, so I really need a nice sounding instrument, with strings and wood to inspire me.

Anything else you want to share? 
I prefer older instruments (with flaws and everything) because they already have a story. I love the discovery and where the instrument takes me. Making music, for me anyway, is combination of the one who plays it (the musician), the piece (composition) and the instrument it is played on. I play differently on each piano.

The last question is asked by my 6 year old son:
Where do all your songs come from? 
I don’t really consider them MY songs. It’s just music that happens to pass through my fingers. I’m the lucky one to discover them!

Thank you very much for participating in my Behind the piano series Florejan!

For more information, please check out the following links:
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