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    foto: Caroline Grijsen foto: Caroline Grijsen


    During the last few months Willem is quite busy with 9 new BB-Songs. He is studying a lot to get them ready for the stage. It is going to be the last series, which brings the total at 31! bright red car prelude in D major (WK II), no sale prelude in F major (WK II), crime and punishment fugue in G major (WK I), a good job fuga in C sharp major (WK I), cut while shaving prelude in f sharp minor (WK I), my uncle Jack prelude in F major (WK II), classical music and me fugue in g minor (WK II), the open canvas prelude in d minor (WK I) and the man with the beautiful eyes prelude in F sharp major (WK II).


    The new album Walking and living through this has been released! Available in the better record shop, internet and also through this website. (Worldwide release)


    On October 29, 2009 we signed a record deal with Etcetera Records. The worldwide release of the 2nd Bach-Bukowski album will take place on March 29 in the Bimhuis in Amsterdam.


    Joost Dellebarre (Ontrack Productions) is the sound producer of the new Bach-Bukowski album.


    More than 20.000 times people watched a Bach-Bukowski video on YouTube!


    On wednesday November12 Willem was the musical guest at De Wereld Draait Door! National Dutch TV, first an interview and then a minute of Charles the Lion-Hearted. For the whole coverage see uitzending gemist


    Yes, those are NEW BACH-BUKOWSKI SONGS!

    The 3-song-cd TRIPLE is ready. Available at shops and via the website from 15. September.
    Charles the Lion-Hearted prelude in E major
    nirvana prelude in b minor
    this prelude in b flat minor


    There is some footage of the Bach-Bukowski concerts Willem van Ekeren gave in Prague. We would like to share that with you, -to get through summer ;) (see video) Enjoy and....... keep on clicking, and don't forget to share and tell the world about them!


    Just returned from the Prague Fringe Festival 2008. We brought back a lot of good memories of enthousiastic people and some fine reviews (see publicity).


    At the Bach-Bukowski concerts Willem now also plays his 9 new Bach-Bukowski songs! (see concert schedule).


    In the year book of the German Bukowski Association you can find the (english) interview: The basics of BUK & BACH
    An interview with Bach-Bukowski man Willem van Ekeren, in which he reveals he just wants to enjoy himself, with this non-western approach to music, closer to the wounds, more crying; being sucked into the black holes of Bach.


    This summer the first Bach-Bukowski DVD came out! It is a promotional demo DVD and people who are considering booking a Bach-Bukowski concert are welcome to apply for a free one! For everybody else: we used the registration from a TV broadcasting, which can be found and downloaded from internet as well. The show contains of 3 BB songs and an interview. If you want to see the items seperately, go to FILM. On the DVD the interview is subtitled in English and we are working on that for internet as well!


    We put a new interesting link link for Bukowski on this website. It contains e.g. a great timeline about his life.


    The first real schoolconcert has been booked! On October 13 Bach-Bukowski performed for the student English of 5 VWO of SG Twickel in Hengelo! Also the Music Section is interested. Who is next? Information (material, costs etc.) available through email.


    This summer (2006) the UK Bach-Bukowski premiere took place as part of the largest festival in the world: the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. it was an exciting experience and the concerts got larger than festival-average audience. We have learned quite a lot about the specific PR for such a mega festival and we hope to be able to use this knowledge next year!


    Thursday April 20.TV West, gave some attention to Bach-Bukowski/factotum. There was an Interview with Willem who also played a BB-song. Broadcasting: ZEP TV West: Thursday 5.29, 7.30, 9.30 and 11.30 PM.
    repeated Friday every hour till 3 PM.


    The film Factotum after an autobiographic book of Bukowski will play in the Netherlands from April 20. Several combinations are made with Bach-Bukowski-concerts. If people are interested to organise such combinations in other countries, please let us know!


    2 nice reviews have been placed in the German newspaper: in the Rheinzeitung the concert that Willem gave during the Bukowski Festival in combination with Rolf Zacher, is praised (with photo) (see "publicity")


    On Friday March 18, the Belgian Radio station Klara will open their programme Mixtuur at 10.08 PM with 2 Bach-Bukowski Songs. You can also listen to this through the Internet, live or later.


    We have had the first real review in the USA: in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette. Hopefully more will follow! (see "publicity")


    The Bach-Bukowski T-shirt is now for sale, for those who live in Holland. You can buy it at concerts and through our website. Sizes: small, medium, large, x-large en xx-large.


    The texts of all the poems that are used for Bach-Bukowski are now to be found on this website. (Click the blue numbers on the pages bach-bukowski or audio samples).


    In January the first complete Bach-Bukowski concert in Germany has taken place in Berlin, as well as some other shorter performances.


    Also in America the cd is for sale now, at Amoeba Music Stores in Berkeley, San Francisco and Hollywood, see 'links'

    The Bach-Bukowski website is on the web now, but still needs some enhancements. For example part of the films does not work yet. For sure, there will be some mistakes in the English version, please let us know.
    At the Bach-Bukowski concerts there are booklets for sale with the poems that Willem sings. These are 13 poems from 'The last night of the earth poems' by Charles Bukowski.
    We are trying to get more cd-reviews in (international) newspapers and magazines, also outside Holland.
    TIPS CONCERNING APPROPRIATE WEBSITES OR START PAGES WHERE A BACH-BUKOWSKI LINK WOULD FIT ARE VERY WELCOME. Also in other countries of course. At the moment there are links already at several Dutch and Belgian start pages.
    You can find audio samples of Bach-Bukowski on the website
    The Bach-Bukowski cd is available at concerts and through the website, even with online payment (by Plato.nl). You can also buy the cd in shops in many cities in Holland and some in Belgium. We are working on expanding the amount of shops and countries where you can buy the cd. Tips are welcome! For more details: see Links, "selling points".
    Willem has an electric piano so he can also perform at places where a (grand) piano cannot fit.
    There is a guest book at concerts.


    For the whole article or hyperlink: click on the blue titles

    concert review+ audio + interview
    Bach-Bukowski, barklassiek in optima forma
    Hofstijl.nl, 2 april 2011, Raaphorst

    Bachs blues under flat tire on the freeway
    Het Parool, 24-9-08, Curt Simons

    „... Van Ekeren sings the songs during the concert with a raw voice from which the blues spatters off. The gifted pianist however, plays so beautifully that not one moment he detracts from the baroque compositions of Bach.... The whole performance is very convincing, but two songs are really very overwhelming."

    Willem van Ekeren combines J.S. Bach’s music & Charles Bukowski’s words
    Expats.cz, 27-5-08, Wendy Wrangham

    „... The intimate setting works well for the heartfelt and softly delivered words and music of Willem van Ekeren......" „... The essence of Bukowski, often known as the Poet Laureate of Skid Row, forgives minor pianist slip-ups and it is precisely this relaxed atmosphere that adds to the performance....."„... the oh-so-casually sublime Peace....""... but this, and van Ekeren’s obvious dedication to his art, only inspires further reading, and listening. The quickest hour at the festival yet..."

    Expats.cz, 25-5-08, Wendy Wrangham (Under day 1)

    „... glorious merging of Bach’s compositions and Bukowski’s words....."

    Expats.cz, 3-6-08, Jason Pirodsky

    „... unexpectedly churns out some wonderful music......" „... Yet van Ekeren combines them with such affection – Bukowski’s words have never been spoken so softly – that these two unlikeliest of matches make beautiful music together. It’s truly an achievement: I doubt I’ll listen to Bach or read Bukowski again without recalling van Ekeren. Almost like The Wizard of Oz and Dark Side of the Moon, but this time, it really works."

    Bach-Bukowski by Willem van Ekeren
    The Prague Post, 27-5-08, Rachel Shimpy

    „... On the other hand, I get extremely excited about novel cultural combinations, so I should have known better - that Willem van Ekeren's performance would be quite interesting......" „... The performance was as comfortable as if he had invited us into his home...."

    The basics of BUK & BACH

    Yearboek of the Bukowski Company, Summer 2006, Marguerite van de Poll

    "An interview with Bach-Bukowski man Willem van Ekeren, in which he reveals he just wants to enjoy himself, with this non-western approach to music, closer to the wounds, more crying; being sucked into the black holes of Bach."

    Anrüchiger Sohn der Stadt
    Rheinzeitung, 16-8-05, rw

    „... the Dutch musician Willem van Ekeren proved impressively how you can combine "Buk" with Johann Sebastian Bach......"

    Mit Rolf Zacher auf "Ochsentour"
    Rheinzeitung, 15-8-05, Rouven Wangelin

    „... The Dutchman Willem van Ekeren mixes the barock Bach with the German American Underground-poet in such an original way, that there appears a kind of classically inspired Bar jazz. It sounds cool and inspired........"

    CRITICAL MASS: Month puts Oscars and Bukowski Bach in business
    Arkansas Democrat Gazette, february 1st, 2005, Philip Martin

    „... he marries 13 parts of Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier with 13 poems from Bukowski's 1992 book The Last Night of the Earth Poems, singing the lyrics in a voice reminiscent of Tom Waits or -really- Billie Holiday. The result is a strange alchemy, a sympathetic if at times dissonant collision between the mathematical elegance of Bach and the gritty fever of late-era Bukowski. ... Van Ekeren has performed the suite in concerts across Europe, and he’s anxious to bring his show to the United States. Potential promoters might want to consult the aforementioned Web site."

    Bach and Bukowski
    Het Parool, november 16th, 2004, Hugo Logtenberg

    „... But the effort and discipline had effect. The result is classical music that, due to the actual problems about which Van Ekeren sings, - like the atmosphere during the Friday night traffic jam - al of a sudden becomes nowadays music... The audience enjoyed the heavy and sometimes a bit disconsolate songs like Blasted apart with the first breath and Flophouse varied with more cheerful counterparts like The bluebird. As Willem van Ekeren long after 10 PM announced his last number, there was sadness to be heard from the audience. But the artist could change little about it. ''Well, I, just don't have any more numbers'' he smiled.....

    Van Ekeren brings Bach and Bukowski together
    De Stentor, november 10th, 2004, Henk Waninge

    „... A strange combination. But is certainly has something, when you hear Willem van Ekeren grate the lyrics with his raw, bluesy voice over the fugues and preludes from the 18th century, lyrics that are marinated with alcohol...... Van Ekeren has already been called the young Tom Waits. ..At the moment he works on a new series of Bach and Bukowski. "According to the same principle, but with more loose and fast pieces.....“

    cd review
    Willem van Ekeren: Bach-Bukowski
    Konkret #11, November 2004, Horst Schmidt

    „... Van Ekeren's singing reminds of the young Tom Waits and his piano playing is as sensitive as technically excellent... Who once heard the cd, will not take it out of the cd player very fast. .... For Bach connoisseurs Van Ekerens play might be a comparable milestone as Jacques Loussiers legendary "Play Bach" record. ..... Even the late Bukowski would, at all Coolness, be moved to tears.“

    concert review
    The 1st festival and 6th symposium
    Unvolständige Chronik, november 2004, Falko Hennig

    "...Willem van Ekerens Manager tells about the almost mystic situation, when Bach and Bukowski shove together in the musician. His concert carries you away, he plays Bach fugues at the grand piano and sings at the same time with a Blues-Jazz voice Bukowski poems, and he does that so skilful, that it works loose and very real, as if Bach wrote his compositions specially for this purpose. ..."

    report of cd and concerts
    Bach in Bob Dylan-style
    Luister, November 2003, paragraph heard & read

    With a full colour picture of Willem singing at the piano, Luister reports about Bach-Bukowski.

    "...Meanwhile the cd 'Bach-Bukowski' came out, with Willem van Ekeren on piano. He sings the poems himself, and the sound of his voice reminds of Bob Dylan's - to name another special combination...."

    cd review
    Bach and such
    Louterlog, October 5, 2003

    "..... Mainly the poems stand out better than in normal reading .......Bach makes a beautiful combination with Bukowski...... With Bach's serene compassion, Bukowski's density of disillusion and cynism becomes bearable , without getting really beautiful. Because esthetisising of accident, that would be really obscene. Bearable, just that. And that is exactly right."

    cd review
    AD Magazine, with Algemeen Dagblad of October 4, 2003, AdG

    ".....The result is difficult to describe and reminds one the most of the sadly sounding road songs of Tom Waits. The music does not go nicely with the lyrics all the time, but more often the blending is that successful, that you would swear that Bach wrote the music especially for Bukowski."

    cd review
    Contra Punt
    The students Magazine Propria Cures, September 9, 2003, VV

    There is somebody who finds Bach-Bukowski a bad idea. For those who want to hear an other than positive sound.

    ".....To add something to Bach's music, one must not just be good, but one must also have strong reasons to do so. Van Ekeren scores frightfully low at both." ..... "Till now the critics were all very positive..... apparently none of them asks himself why they like Bach-Bukowski so much. ........ Because, imagine these reviewers are right, imagine that the result is truly 'silenced' and full of touching melancholy, that Van Ekeren reaches a 'surprisingly new tonality'. Whose merit is that?...."

    radio interview
    Discus cultureel
    TV chanals Info Thuis, 105.2 FM , September 20, 2003, David Kuiper

    Willem tells about Bach-Bukowski during approximately 15 minutes and the number Peace was broadcasted.

    panel review cd
    De droomhandel/De Avonden
    VPRO, radio 747 AM, September 19, 2003

    Guided by Bas Heijne Maartje Somers, Dirk van Weelden and Thomas Verbocht spoke about the cd enthousiastically:

    "...incredible sympathetic, self-conceited, almost touching 'searchiness', that is very beautiful about it. ...sincerely found ..musically to the point..On his own he has put these things on top of each other, like transparent layers, and that is done very beautifully...Especially the sound of his voice has a kind of clear shiverness....a shiverness that he controls, steers well and bends very beautifully.....To make it work, he has to play it like this, hesitant, sometimes retained, it has something searching, feeling, clumsy, looking for the purification, that is why it fits....It is vulnerable, has nothing bumptious, that is so beautiful about it. It is someone who shows what he has found himself.......very authentic......the music fits miraculously well to it.....beautiful, mollifying combination, sometimes very touching....The poetry turns into a melody... and thatt is an enormous achievement of this Van Ekeren.....Purified, open, certain impartiality towards Bach and Bukowski.... He drew it to himself and gave us exactly that what hit him. .....out of a huge respect for the poetry ....Insensitive for what the rest of humanity on other places on earth has done with it and that certainly has something.....it is that loneliness that commands respect."

    tv review
    Catherine & Hanneke
    De Volkskrant, September 15, 2003, Paul Brill

    About the first two editions of "'Boeken op Zondag": 'The most striking figure till now was Willem van Ekeren, who sings poetry of Bukowski at Bach's piano music played by himself. Very special.' 'So he is going to break through?' 'If his agent can book him for the TV Show of Ivo Niehe, I'll give him more chance.....'

    tv performance
    Boeken op zondag
    IdtV-DITS/NPS, September 14, 2003, presentation by Hanneke Groenteman

    During this programme Willem played and sang "The bluebird prelude in g sharp minor" and "Peace prelude in D flat major". Due to the circumstances Willem had to play on his electrical piano, which is a bit of a pity. One can see the broadcasting at the website "Boeken op Zondag".

    Nightlife with Bach ... Willem van Ekeren sings Bukowski
    NRC-Handelsblad-Cultureel Supplement, September 5, 2003, Kester Freriks

    Big, beautifully designed interview, with for example funny incidents from the past.

    "....... in the Circus theatre in Scheveningen. Just before the break the whole back wall collapsed. I made a mistake." (About Willem's job with the theatre, webmaster) ........ "Because I extra developped my left hand, playing the guitar, I got much more access to the complex bass lines of Bach's piano music. ..... Sometimes the lines follow the pattern of Bach's music, often I let Bukowski's rawness collide with Bach's purity............Each time, whether I rehearse or perform, I notice that the coherence gets bigger. As if Bach and Bukowski gradually understand each other better all the timer. .......... I have always had the idea, that someday I had to make something that cannot go to pieces. If you create something, it has to be with the conviction that it is made out of one piece, not hesitant or reserved. I hope I succeeded in this with Bach-Bukowski."

    cd review
    Bach as bar music?
    File Under, September 2, 2003, Coen

    ".....In a genius way Van Ekeren (...) combined....and because of that, the numbers sound as if it was always meant to be like that. Bach appears to be closer to somebody like Randy Newman (partly due to the voice of Van Ekeren, although his voice also reminds of Tom Waits from time to time), than you ever thought was possible......"

    concert review
    Less interest for classical program
    Leidsch Dagblad, September 1, 2003, Lidy van der Spek

    "...In the beginning of his concert it seems difficult to listen to these two kinds of voices at the same time.....But gradually those two flow together, and you start enjoying the going along of, or recalcitrating this double music, the refined phrasing and starting of the vocal lines, the accents that do or don't fall at the same time. In short: enjoying this transverse osmosis of grating, tearing, heartbreaking singing, caught in the clearly articulated 'Welltempered' that allows itself to fold on authority."

    Erik, August 14, 2003

    On the internet Eric announces the Open Air Concert in The Hague and writes:
    "........And I know what I'm talking about, the CD is in my cd-player constantly. I have only had it a couple of weeks but it's already (almost) worn out from playing it..."

    Bach and Bukowski in harmony
    Haagsche Courant, August 13, 2003, Herman Rosenberg

    “….Willem van Ekeren manages to create a sensational synthesis between his raw, bluesy voice and the lightly flowing sounds of Bach......Van Ekeren: "In fact it's impossible.......It's like rope-dancing.....The strange thing is that yet I do feel a kind of freedom to do this"....." This link also shows a photo of Willem.

    There is a mistake in this article: it is not the Be Kind fugue in D flat major that comes closest to Gounods 'Ave Maria', but the Peace prelude in D flat major.

    Bach-Bukowski, Willem van Ekeren
    website Plato, August 13, 2003

    "....With a low budget this cd reaches a recording level that not many cd's reach nowadays.....Those to whom this does not appeal have a gap in their cultural education........"

    cd of the week
    NRC-Handelsblad, August 9, 2003

    art of the week
    Survey of the most striking expressions of art reviewed in the NRC Handelsblad of last week. The Bach-Bukowski cd is mentioned here with 4 out of 5 (5: not to be missed, 4: recommended, 3: good, 2: moderate, 1: bad, 0: to be avoided).

    Bach-Bukowski, by Willem van Ekeren (vocals and piano)
    Volkskrant, August 7, 2003, Roland de Beer

    “….subtle tonal coherence......The result moves, and sounds more sincere than all Bach arrangements of the polished Hilliards, Jacques Loussiers and Swingle Singers together.”

    NRC-Handelsblad, August 5, 2003, Kester Freriks
    “….Van Ekeren reaches a great height in bringing together this composer and author. Bach and Bukowski show a relationship of souls, which is an exciting surprise.”

    Op Loosdrecht
    Het Parool, July 5, 03, Bob Frommé

    ".....De cd is insane....You cannot believe what you hear..."

    The amazing combination Bach-Bukowski
    Het Parool, June 6, 03, Jos Bloemkolk

    “…The pianist/singer Willem van Ekeren does something very unlikely. He sings poems of literary dipsomaniac Bukowski to pieces of Bach. He does that very convincingly.. ..‘Bach and Bukowski are fountains'…”
    “..Van Ekeren plays the complete piece of Bach and sings to it the complete poem. And it seems like they were made for eachother……”

    Willem looks for comfort with Bach
    PZC (Zeelandse Courant) April 89, 03, Douwe Eisenga

    “…..The first line of this special concert says it all:: ‘There are people who go through life easily, I am not one of them’.
    The combination Bach-Bukowski can make a captivating concert……”

    Woestijnvis, RTV, november 2002, Hans Verhoeven
    “……Combined with the mathematic precision of Bach this becomes something irresistable, played or almost moaned by Willem van Ekeren ….”

    website mentions
    One can find already quite a few web-sites that mention Bach-Bukowski. To get an impression one can click these links.