“I think one of the great things about being a musician is that you never stop learning.”
Yo-Yo Ma

In the beginning there was John Williams

The first “classic” piece I can remember was actually from the famous film E.T. – The extraterrestrial from 1982. I can’t say exactly how old I was, maybe 6 or 7 when I heard the music from the end credits of the film. The title of this score, I found out years later, is “Over the Moon”. The piano part at the beginning of the piece still gives goose bumps today – and I think not only for myself – and still arouses astonishment at the beauty and power of this wonderful composition. Well, the music of Sir John Williams was my first contact with music and so shortly afterwards I began to walk my way through the world of music with very small steps.

After a few years, music had become a kind of refuge for me, a little atmosphere of its own far away from everyday life, school, studies and everything that you call “useful” and “important”. I discovered more and more pearls of music and was fascinated by how seemingly quite naturally and without great effort the well-known masters such as Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Debussy and Wagner composed hours of music. Sometimes it seemed to me that everything that could be said had already been said. On the other hand, you could have said that after Bach, right? There is still so much to say and even if you retell a story, you still have your very own style and your very own idea of ​​it.

A quote that I picked up somewhere says: “The piano is the easiest instrument to start with, but the hardest if you want to master it completely.” Anyone who is desperate about sonatas, ballads, fugues and rhapsodies can only do that understand well. After a lot of trial and error, tense shoulders and countless cups of hot beverages, the notes slowly seemed to make sense. The connection between eyes, hands and keys was established, but it could take a long time.

After a while I realized that no matter how beautiful the pieces I had to practice for the next week, I liked to improvise and make up my own stories. That usually led to very “nice” mistakes in piano lessons, which I was forgiven for with a lot of smiles. The ideas became more precise, the improvisations got more structure … and so at the age of 16 I tried to put my first compositions for piano on paper and some time later my first volume was actually finished – better known today as About Opus One.

Big steps with small scores

At the end of 2006 I founded my YouTube Channel … and YouTube was still in its infancy back then, which wasn’t exactly a disadvantage for young artists, on the contrary. Far away from algorithms, search engines and data cracks, I found a lot of friends and encouragement. A small community of music lovers, composers, some with an academic background, some out of a love of music … that was my first fan base. After my first pieces for piano – still very much based on 1830 – I tried to find my own style and to go less into the structure and more into my own sound concept.

In my small town I was able to organize small concerts with friends for a long time. Here I often accompanied Schubert, Schumann Brahms, but also played – and always preferred – my own pieces. The best part was always partying with my new music friends after the concert.

After 10 more pieces for piano, my second volume was as good as finished. As good as, because I wanted to go beyond the 88 keys. First I tried a transcription in which I rewrote one of my piano pieces for orchestra. There were the tense shoulders again and the countless cups of hot drinks. But two pieces for symphony orchestra later my musical journey, Kayo’s Journey, was over. But my biggest journey so far was still ahead of me.

6000 miles from home

After about 11 hours of flight and 5 films later, the doors of the aircraft opened and 35 C ° hot air came towards me. A conductor from Vietnam noticed me through my YouTube channel and some good friends who interpret my pieces and also published them on their channels. After a few conversations, scores and audio samples, the decision was made … my path leads me to Vietnam.

The first experience with orchestral rehearsals. Working on your own score with other musicians for the first time. The very first television appearance. It was a huge mess. We all quickly agreed that all proceeds from the concert should go to a hospital for donations. Now we had to fill the hall so that our art and our good intentions could bear fruit. I think I can say that I have never had such a happy, funny and ambitious team of young, but also very experienced musicians by my side. The conductor, Do Kien Cuong, had completed his studies in the States and so we had quickly discussed our plans and taken the necessary steps. But the language was not a barrier that could not be overcome. I played my ideas on the piano and with a lot of humor, jokes and lots of fits of laughter we grew together as a small group. The rehearsals were an experience that I will never forget.

Then came the evening. Everyone was nicely dressed and sat down quietly and expectantly. The television crew let the cameras roam. If I hadn’t been told that the cameras were only for internal recording for college students, I would probably have exploded with excitement. At the point: Thanks for the little white lie! The program was structured as follows: 5 pieces for piano, then one piece for the orchestra and a break. Then another 5 pieces and, finally, another work for orchestra. You could see the excitement, but I went on stage. The lights went out and I play. 5 tracks later, it was a huge stone from my heart and to applause I went backstage. Accompanied by pats on the back and congratulations, we celebrated the small partial victory while the stage was being prepared for the orchestra. The musicians took their seats and the lights dimmed again. Now I was there myself at the world premiere of my own compositions. You can’t describe happiness … and I won’t try that here either.

Friendship & Music

Musik überwindet Grenzen; geografische als auch kulturelle. Noch meiner Reise war es schön wieder an meinen Klavier zu sitzen und meine Zeit mit Tee und neuen Melodien zu verbringen. Die Freude an über meine tolle Reise hielt lange an und so dachte ich mir, wäre es Klug diesen Elan nun für neue Projekte zu nutzen. Im Laufe meiner Entdeckungen durfte ich neue Freundschaften schließen. Zum einen lernte ich die großartige Pianistin Keiko Nishizu aus Japan, die zusammen mit anderen Freunden tolle Konzerte veranstaltet hat. Auch war Keiko Nishizu die erste Pianistin, die meine Stücke eingespielt und auf YouTube veröffentlicht hat. Auch einen großen Dank an die Pianistin Julia Haak aus Deutschland, die mich an einige meiner Stücke erinnert hat, welche ich schon fast vergessen hatte.

Ein tolle Freundschaft und tollen Konzerterinnerungen gilt der Pianistin Ioana Maria Lupascu aus Rumänien, welche mich nicht nur auf der Bühne unterstützt hat, sondern meine Stücke auf anderen Konzerten – auch einige meiner Stücke für Klavier und Orchester – interpretiert. Auch ein großer Dank an den brillianten Cellisten Mirel Iancovici und seiner wunderschönen Interpretation meiner Komposition Photographs.

Eine der kreativsten Freundschaften verbinde ich jedoch mit der Flötisten Lynsey Blair aus England. Nach einer Interpretation eines meiner Stücke und anderen Arrangements gründeten wir unser Duet Flutiano und haben viele Stücke und Soundtracks zusammen aufgenommen. Von Pop Songs bis Schubert und Chopin und einigen Konzerten in England und Deutschland haben wir auf YouTube eine tolle Playlist zusammen gestellt.

Ich hoffe auf weitere Projekte und Freundschaften und bin gespannt, welche Melodien mir als nächstes Einfallen… und wo diese mich als nächstens hinführen.