I started working for Jan Fabre/Troubleyn in 2000, as a replacement for an actor/musician for the performance ’As long as the world need a warriors soul’. My first impression of Fabre, as a director, was that he was very straightforward. Somebody who knew extremely well what he was after artistically, and he was not afraid to express this, in a direct manner. This struck me as very ‘unbelgian’ like, where we tend to be beating around the bush. I consider this straightforwardness a blessing for the arts, for the creating proces, and for the working relationship. An antidotum for mediocrity. I can honestly say that I enjoyed this unequivocal way of working together.
During the tour of As long… I started my own band ’A Brand’, and Fabre supported me and the band from the very beginning. He let us use a drawing of his, for one of the 12 singles for our first music-project, named ’Phonomatics’. At that time I definitely didn’t know him that well, still he gave our band the support we needed at the very very beginning (2002), and he kept on supporting us.
As a composer I wrote music for five performances: ’Je suis sang’, ’Orgy of tolerance’, ’Prometheus landscape II’, Mount Olympus, to glorify the cult of tragedy’ and ’The Generosity of Dorcas’. What strikes me every time I work for Fabre, as a composer, is that he teaches me about music and composing without having a notice of music theory. He asks me often to merge musical concepts that, at first sight, simply seem impossible. So I get an impossible assignment, and then he challenges me to live up to the expectations. I often come up with music beyond my own expectations. Needless to say I value this way of working a lot. I never had such thorough experience with other directors, or people I worked for. It triggers my imagination, of what music can be, and, more important, what music can do. I use this, for myself, as a concept. He is a major influence on the way I compose, and the way I look at music in general.
Troubleyn/Jan Fabre has always been very supportive towards other artists, who got, sometimes for free, a residency to work, and create at the Troubleyn building. They have been extremely generous for as long that I’ve been working there. This is really unique.
Last but not least: I consider Jan Fabre a very interesting artist with strokes of true genius, and while the work might be thorough, I always considered the working process really FUN!
This has to do with the fantastic, extremely talented colleagues, as well, as the atmosphere in Troubleyn. In other words: While It might be a rough ride every now and then, it’s mainly a fantastic, enriching experience to work for Troubleyn/Jan Fabre.