Behind the piano: Ubroe

Behind the piano: Ubroe

A while back I posted about the piano artist and composer Ubroe, and today we get to know the person behind the moniker a bit better!

What’s your real name? 
Kristof Van den Bergh

How did you come up with your artist name?
I wanted to create a seperate world with this music. So I felt the need for a different name. Something where it’s not clear where the origins are. Ubroe, in the first place, just sounded good to me. On a more spiritual level it is derived form Uw broer, which means Your Brother, in flemish, pointing to the connection that lies between all of us. All brothers and sisters on a certain level. 

Where are you from? And where do you live?
I am from Belgium, Born and raised. I grew up between Antwerp and Brussels, and now live my life in Tongeren. The oldest city of Belgium.

How long have you been playing the piano, and do you play other instruments as well? 
I believe I started lessons around the age of 8 or 9. I am also a singer and I play guitar. 

Tell us about how you started playing music. 
Ever since I remember I was singing, humming, creating music in one way or another. Which drove my brother absolutely mad, sometimes. Understandebly. I have always been drawn to music and as a kid, you don’t ask yourself where the interest comes from. It’s just there. It’s as natural as breathing I guess.

How long have you been making piano music?
I remember playing my first composed piano song on my 10th birthday. I remember clearly, cause none of the invited kids believed I had made it. I was really hurt by that. So much that I kinda went away from making piano music. Although it was always there on the background. A couple of years ago, a seed was planted for solo piano music, and mid 2021 I decided to go for it. I’m just doing what I love and what comes naturally. I am so much enjoying it!

Tell us something about that moment you realized you could make songs yourself!
It’s weird, but I knew I could make songs, before I even made my first song. I remember thinking, without having the words to desribe it yet, If I can just find some notes, like a chord. I would be able to sing a melody line on top. that’s what started it.

What are your favorite artists in this “piano genre”?
I love my classics like Brahms, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin and especially Bach. And in the more contemporary genre I am still very much discovering. At this point I like the works of Stephan Moccio.

Is there one song which you play over and over again as soon as you sit down by a piano?
There are some “lost melodies” floating around. They just feel so naturally to play.  

What rules (in making music) needs to be broken?
For me there are nog rules in making music. I don’t even understand the question 🙂. But in all honesty now I’m older I can say. It really pays of to get to know the basics and foundations of composing music. And when they are understood I would be the first to applaud throwing them away. However I have never felt the need to be a pioneer.

How do you record your music?
I have had the priviledge of trying many different ways of recording. And all have there advantages. For me nothing beats the world created in a small room with an instrument and some microphones.

Whats your take on sampled instruments?
To me the piano is alive. So nothing beats the real feeling. But I am happy sampled instruments exist and are becoming better and better. I would find it a pitty somebody doesn’t have the chance to express him or herself creatively because of lack of budget. In that way theses sampled instruments can be a good tool. 

Anything else you want to share? 
“Forgiveness is the scent the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” – My favorite quote (for whoever needs to hear it)

The last question is asked by my 7 year old son:
Where do all your songs come from?
From an invisible field that surrounds us all. All we can do is tap into it and let it flow.
Good question 7 y o son!

Thank you for this Kristof!