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!
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
those are NEW BACH-BUKOWSKI SONGS!
The 3-song-cd TRIPLE
is ready. Available at shops and via the website from
Charles the Lion-Hearted prelude in E major
nirvana prelude in b minor
this prelude in b flat minor
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!
returned from the Prague Fringe Festival
2008. We brought back a lot of good memories of enthousiastic
people and some fine reviews (see publicity).
the Bach-Bukowski concerts Willem now also plays his 9
new Bach-Bukowski songs! (see concert schedule).
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.
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
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!
put a new interesting link link
for Bukowski on this website. It contains e.g.
a great timeline about his life.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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
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.
have had the first real review in the USA:
in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette. Hopefully more will follow!
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
January the first complete Bach-Bukowski
concert in Germany has taken place in Berlin,
as well as some other shorter performances.
in America the cd is for
sale now, at Amoeba Music Stores in Berkeley, San Francisco
and Hollywood, see 'links'
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.
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.
are trying to get more cd-reviews
in (international) newspapers and magazines, also outside Holland.
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.
can find audio samples of Bach-Bukowski
on the website
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".
has an electric piano so he can
also perform at places where a (grand) piano cannot fit.
is a guest book at concerts.
|WE ARE STILL
VERY BUSY PROGRAMMING CONCERTS (also in countries other than
Holland) AND WOULD APPRECIATE IDEAS AND ADVICE VERY MUCH!
REVIEWS / PUBLICITY
For the whole
article or hyperlink: click on the blue titles
review+ audio + interview
barklassiek in optima forma
Hofstijl.nl, 2 april 2011, Raaphorst
blues under flat tire on the freeway
Het Parool, 24-9-08, Curt Simons
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."
van Ekeren combines J.S. Bach’s music & Charles Bukowski’s
Expats.cz, 27-5-08, Wendy Wrangham
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)
merging of Bach’s compositions and Bukowski’s words....."
Expats.cz, 3-6-08, Jason Pirodsky
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."
by Willem van Ekeren
The Prague Post, 27-5-08, Rachel Shimpy
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
basics of BUK & BACH
Yearboek of the Bukowski Company, Summer 2006, Marguerite van de
"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."
Sohn der Stadt
Rheinzeitung, 16-8-05, rw
Dutch musician Willem van Ekeren proved impressively how you can
combine "Buk" with Johann Sebastian Bach......"
Rolf Zacher auf "Ochsentour"
Rheinzeitung, 15-8-05, Rouven Wangelin
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........"
MASS: Month puts Oscars and Bukowski Bach in business
Arkansas Democrat Gazette, february 1st, 2005, Philip Martin
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
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.....“
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
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
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."
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."
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?...."
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
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."
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.....'
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
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."
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
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..."
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.
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.
Het Parool, July 5, 03, Bob Frommé
".....De cd is insane....You cannot believe
what you hear..."
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……”
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
The combination Bach-Bukowski can make a captivating concert……”
Woestijnvis, RTV, november 2002, Hans
“……Combined with the mathematic precision of Bach
this becomes something irresistable, played or almost moaned by
Willem van Ekeren ….”
One can find already quite a few web-sites that mention Bach-Bukowski.
To get an impression one can click these links.