Bernard L'Hoir
Other(s) album(s) : , 12 escapades for piano , She's...

On my 14th birthday my older brother took me to "l'Ancienne Belgique", a famous concert venue in Brussels, to see the "Wallace collection", a Belgian rock band famous back then. That day I discovered two things: first that there were forms of music much less conventional than those I was studying in my private piano lessons, and second that the long hair gave musicians a much more interesting, primate look, than my piano teacher's hair bun.

I soon discovered other interesting things: for starters that in England there were many "Wallace collections", much more hairy than we were, that Ennio Morricone composed great instrumental hits for the movies of his buddy Sergio, that the works of J.S. Bach played in a cathedral could be as spacey as the psychedelic compositions of Syd Barrett and.. Later on, the cherry on top of it all was the discovery, thanks to my harmony and counterpoint teacher, of a new musical realm: that of Keith Jarrett. My fascination with his concerts in Lausanne and Bremen, my unbridled enthusiasm for anglo-saxon progressive rock (Keith Emerson particularly) and my compulsive desire to understand why Bach's music seemed so perfect turned me into a complete musical addict.

My musical studies finished at the Goldsmith college of London, I was 24 and came back to Brussels to apply all those things I had learnt. Eight years went by before I had the nerve to gather some of my compositions in a CD which I carefully named "Approach". The album was instrumental, as was the next one "face to face". A first meaningful encounter during the recording sessions for these two CDs: Barry Mc Neese, an American bass player living in Brussels. He wrote most of the lyrics for my later songs. I was the first to be surprised that these two albums sparked such a vivid interest that several titles were placed on Californian compilations which sold over half a million copies.

Second encounter in 1995 with a young lyrical Japanese singer going by the name of Yumiko Takaku, of which an album entitled "Leaving the world behind" is born. The work on this album was enormous: two long years fine tuning the tracks, work we thankfully combined with much laughter. Yumiko not speaking French, we had to use sign language. The time of instrumentals was over.. or at least partially. They gave way to the extraordinary voice of this artist. Erdenklang (Germany) signed the album.

In 2001, back to instrumentals. Yumiko was back in the opera and in her evening French lessons. while I worked on a disc for piano and string quartet: "The heir of time". Strongly influenced by classical, many titles were considered as "holy bread" by musical illustrators of movies, documentaries and plays because the music evoked strong imagery.

In 2002, a double encounter: Juan Carlos Mellado, phenomenal Spanish guitarist, and Laurence Waters, young singer from Brussels. The combination of Juan's Hispanic music and Laurence's warm, soft voice recalling Ireland would give the colourful tone of my next two albums: « Based on a true story » (2003) and« Iceland » (2007).

The crash of the record market made me strongly doubt; it seemed to be the end of the dream. This shock lasted six months… until I started playing piano again, just for the love of music, with no particular aim… This lapse of freedom I indulged in will become a tribute to all these musical giants who have nurtured my imagination since childhood. In June 2010, Homerecords.be produced this freedom under the form of an album entitled "12 escapades for piano".



2013 : a new project took shape. Entitled « She’s… », it was produced with the precious help of Juan Carlos on guitars and Flavio Marredda, the sound engineer I’ve been working with for more than 10 years.
I had hardly finished composing the first track, “My gypsy girl”, when it was taken by Brussels airlines for their “Made in Belgium” compilation of representative belgian artists.

A wonderful opportunity presented itself to us: we had the great chance to mix the album at the Real World Studios (UK) in the typical southern English countryside. Tough job for Flavio, as some of the pieces contain more than sixty different instruments.