This is my personal site. It gives information about myself. This includes information about the things and occupations I love in life, such as Picasso’s Life and Art—as you see it so beautifully featured by David Douglas Duncan’s photography. For fine art, there are actually not many artists I love like Picasso. This has to do with my personal art style, which is abstract just like most of Picasso’s art. But that is not all of the reason why Picasso has such an importance in my life. It is because he embodies creative freedom for me, and he was one of the rare persons in human history who really led a happy life! So to be mentioned here are only Chagall and Miró, while these men were not that exemplarily independent and happy like Picasso.
So let us ask, what is the secret of Picasso’s happiness? And there is one more happy man in my collections of heroes, it is the late Arthur Rubinstein, the legendary pianist. Let us inquire further, thus.
With Picasso, happiness was a question of immersing himself in his work and being deaf-eared toward any voices of ridicule, anger or criticism about his art, his style, or his motifs. Some of his partners, such as Françoise Gilot, stated that Picasso was not happy when he could not paint (for example, during wartime, when he had very little money or when artistic utensils were largely out of stock, even in Paris). But there is more. I believe that Picasso’s happiness was also a result of his gratitude for life, and for his genius. This gratitude irradiates from his eyes, it is virtually exuding from him, very well visible in Duncan’s unique photographic portrait.
With Rubinstein, things are a bit more complex. He was very affected by the Nazi’s extermination of Jews; it was a family matter as several of his uncles and ants died in concentration camps. That is why one may consider Rubinstein’s young life as strained and unhappy. This led to an actual suicide attempt when he was a young adult. Because of having over-indebted himself with an extravagant lifestyle, he was unable to pay a hotel’s bill and tried to hang himself in his room. He woke up in hospital after a deep coma, and felt this was a new life, and that from now on he wished to devote himself to share his art and positive feelings for life. He did so and became hugely successful as a concert pianist, and especially as a Chopin performer, all over the world.
Having suffered an abusive childhood, I was myself was at pains to book any success in my life. My passion for art and music were obvious but not supported. My law studies ended up in a doctorate that did not lead to any employment and left me exhausted instead.
I then married the wrong woman and led a 20-years marriage that was a sheer waste of time and resources. Then, after the divorce in 1993, I finally started some sort of professional engagement. I became a sales trainer in Holland for two years and then started a career as a corporate trainer in Indonesia, in 1996. Between 2000 and 2002 I also built a villa property in Bali that I sold successfully a year later. All in all, Indonesia had given me a certain amount of success. My mother died in 2000 and I inherited the family fortune but had many obligations to pay and lost a lot of money as well through lack of experience with business and finance.
Eventually, after a huge loss of money in Thailand by making mistakes in real estate investment, I put the money in the bank and devoted myself to my art, music and publications. That was, it appears, a wise decision for the peace of mind then allowed me to unfold my creative ideas, and I became my own publisher, with 120+ books published from 2010 to 2020 through Createspace/KDP/Amazon, as well as 49 Essays, and 300+ Kindle Books and 69 Audiobooks (Audible).
I have also recently published an article on Talent Management, and how I was finally going to manage my own 12 Talent Areas. You find this article here under the title ‘The Creative Self:’
After a life of problems, and addictions to alcohol and sex, now, at 65, it seems I got a handle on my life and have thereby become more stable emotionally, as well as consistent in my work style and professional commitment. Since two years suffering from a heart-failure induced lymph edema, I have been bed-ridden and this somehow condensed my awareness of my need to being more useful socially with my self-expression in art, music and publishing. I have had the recurring idea that I would not have to live very long after all, which in turn led to the decision to share all my publications in the public domain. I then setup my Public Domain Edition in December 2020, and continue to work on it, for it is a huge commitment.
Finally I got to be more positive in general, and more accepting of myself, in particular. My accidented music story was the cause of a total inconsistency as to which music to perform, and I was constantly torn apart from my indecision to play either classical or jazz. I finally went back to join my initial devotion to classical music, as I had it in the boarding from about the age of 12, when I first had access to a piano and could practice regularly, however without any support, as my teachers were to self-centered to give me lessons.
Then from the age of 18, I took lessons and started to play Schumann and Debussy right away, the Kinderszenen and the first Arabesque by Debussy. However, I was not really profiting of the lessons in the long run and continued on my own over the years, publishing a number of Improvisations and cocktail piano collections (Charlie, July 2017 Improvisations, I Love You Puerto Rico, Covid-19 Improvisations, etc.). It was only very recently that I took up my serious study of Baroque, Bach and Handel, as well as Schumann, and a few other composers such as Grieg, Chopin, Rachmaninov and Prokofiev. But my repertoire is rather limited for romantic piano music, as I am primarily a writer and self-publisher, and also very busy with my artwork that I now do on my iPad Pro.
I will soon start recording my collections performed from Bach’s Inventions, Little Keyboard book, WTC, French and English Suites, Partitas and Goldberg Variations as well as selected pieces by Handel. I will then record my selections from Schumann, such as a piece of Album for the Youth, 3 of the Kinderszenen, some pieces from Albumblätter and Bunte Blätter, some from the Carnaval, etc. Chopin is not really a composer that attracts me also because I was never successful to really be able to play Etude 10, 1, despite years and years of practicing it in repeated cycles. But I will play and record two of his Preludes and two of his Waltzes.
With Prokofiev it will be two pieces only, Friar Laurence from the Romeo and Juliet Suite, and the first of the Visions Fugitives. Several of the Preludes of Rachmaninov and one or two of the Etudes Tableaux will be recorded soon as well. From Grieg I only play the Aria from the first booklet of his romantic collections, and I aspire to play his piano concerto, however the Cadenza of the first movement is really difficult to play. Another concert I love is Schumann’s a minor concert, which has become a standard repertoire for students of classical music at conservatories around the world. And for good reason, it is beautiful and technically not too demanding, if you compare it for example with Tchaikovsky’s b minor or Rachmaninov’s 3rd.
Liszt is a composer I love very much, too, and I will play and record the 1st and 3rd of the Transcendental Etudes as well as one Consolation and one Love Dream.
Finally, and only recently, have I discovered Francis Poulenc’s interesting piano music, and will play one or two of his Nocturnes and some other pieces that I discovered through a record of French Music by Arthur Rubinstein.
Now, let us come back again at my professional orientation, I have recently been discovered by Listenable and invited to draft an online course for them. I have found a convenient subject and will shortly prepare the course. Another project is Photography. I have published a photo book about Cambodia, entitled Cambodia-a portrait, and got for that book free editing service by Amazon KDP which is normally a 500$ service. I was very grateful for this wonderful support for it is really not easy to format photo books when you want to use bleed so that the photos touch the borders of the pages. I am now in the process of shooting more photos here in Phnom Penh, and will then proceed to make a film from the photos, a slideshow film, or two films, covering the tourism industry, with a documentation of all the 5-star hotels in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. This film will equally be published in the public domain.
Last not least, about the near future, I have the idea to market my Public Domain Edition through a series of Youtube Presentations, where I present the various sites that form part of this huge collection of material. Here is the Gateway Site for browsing all the content: