Reimund Merkens

In my parents' house with three generations under one roof, there were a lot of music, singing and making music together. The latter sometimes in a very unusual instrumentation with an accordion, a violin and a bass broom - a wooden box serving as a resonator box with movable broomstick for tensioning a string fixed to the wooden box and on the broomstick. For the rhythm, two teaspoons were used, which were held opposite between two fingers, through skillful use of the other free hand and thigh.

Due to the very extensive record collection - CDs didn't yet exist - from my parents and grandparents, I had the good fortune to enjoy numerous opera arias by Mozart, Verdi, Bizet and to come in contact with a lot of symphonies by Beethoven, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Mahler, and others at the age of four years. Of course, even though I have not yet understood this very complex music as a child, I heard this with happiness and very often and so often, that I knew each passage by heart.

With 7 years I finally reached my goal - my parents gave in and bought me a piano for my birthday. They hired a piano teacher, who was already at an age that he could have been my grandfather, but was an experienced concert pianist in the area. It impressed me incredible how he could play the piano masterfully and soulful. He always played the most beautiful piano works by Liszt - his favorite composition was the Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 - for me and he played also Beethoven sonatas, waltzes, mazurkas and polonaises by Chopin, piano works by Schumann, Schubert, Brahms and many other composers.

He has contributed to my great fascination for the piano and i had only one desire: to play like him. I practiced many hours every day with great enthusiasm and stamina and up to my 17 years I have played almost exclusively classical literature.

Through a friend in the music school I met ragtime and was thrilled. In addition to the classical works now mainly Scott Joplin - King of Ragtime for me - was my new favorite. With a girlfriend who played clarinet and alto flute, we played a long time only ragtime music for various events.

In my later studies, I was very interested - next to the piano - in the astonishing possibilities of synthetic sound generation, which of course at that time was yet based on pure analog synthesizers based on the concept of famous Robert Moog. In various bands in which I played along, I learned a wide variety of music styles. We played almost everything, ranging from pop, rock, blues, jazz and experimental music and original compositions.
Since then I have composed a great deal for piano, including a variety of jazz and pop ballads, impressionistic compositions for piano, a series of piano transcriptions and numerous arrangements of famous classical works or traditionals.

My most elaborate and extensive compositions and musical productions were impressionistic works on behalf of a school for modern interpretive dance for ballet and dance choreographies which are listed in Rheinisches Landestheater in Neuss several times in public.