Both my grandfathers were musicians. Louis, on my mother's side, was a drummer; and Friedrich, on my father's side, was a pianist. I started taking piano lessons at a very young age, and until high school, when I moved to other type of keyboards. I first traded my upright piano for a Yamaha PSR-47, which was later on supplemented by a Korg X3.
After graduation, I studied musicology at university, and because most of their musical background was classical, I really struggled to introduce my music influences into the existing landscape. I did my bachelor thesis on electronic music and how digital instruments enabled to transcend acoustic ways of producing sound. All in all, it was well received, despite a general lack of empathy for the subject.
During this time, I produced a couple of demo tapes that led me to publishing one studio album, Mythology, in 1996. It contained eight pieces of instrumental new age music. Shortly after this, in 1997, I created my first startup, and I completely stopped playing music due to lack of time.
After I got divorced in 2012, I decided it was time for me to get back to composing and playing music. Today, my home studio is made of a Roland AX-Synth with a Boss RC-30 loop station for live performances; a Yamaha CLP-545 for the quick inspirations; an Alesis DM10 drumset; a Peavey KB2 amplifier, a Takstar TA 54D dynamic microphone, a Bose noise cancelling headphone; and a Roland Phantom G8 workstation complements the setup as its cornerstone.
When I was a kid, there was always music on at home. My parents were very eclectic and I had the chance to listen to almost everything: jazz; blues; rock'n'roll; pop; and of course, a lot of classical music. On my own, I developped into a metalhead, and was listening to the likes of AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Whitesnake, Steve Vai, and many others.
But throughout my life, some artists have really been influential when it comes to my own musical style. Since my early years, I've had a fascination for the works of Jean-Michel Jarre, and his early research at GRM. Vangelis was another artist that influenced me. His electronic symphonic style has created some masterpieces deeply anchored in the collective memory.
Then film score composers Hans Zimmer and Giorgio Moroder, and of course Jan Hammer, the legend behind the soundscape of Miami Vice, and many more iconic soundtracks of the 80's; played a crucial role for my musical development.
Today, some of the artists I look up to include Tuomas Holopainen, from Nightwish (listen to the masterpiece Imaginaerum); and Jordan Rudess, from Dream Theater. He is an amazing keyboardist. Not only a brilliant technician, he is putting his mastery of layering and split to make live performances as close as possible to the very complex album versions of his songs.