I realized today that I have never introduced myself here... even though I visit the forum almost daily. So, here it goes!
First of all, thank you to Francisco for this platform, which I think is tremendously valuable for all of us. And thank you all; I feel that we support each other more than we compete with each other, and that's beautiful to see.
So, I am Geert Veneklaas, a composer of piano music, just like you. Born and raised in the east of the Netherlands and currently living in Doetinchem, the same town where composer Joep Beving grew up.
I started taking piano lessons at the age of 6, and later studied to become a music teacher at the conservatory in Arnhem. After my studies, I didn't feel like teaching music. Pop music seemed more attractive to me; I became a keyboardist in a rock band and had a successful period with them, including a hit in the charts, an MTV special, a lot of live performances, and quite a bit of media attention. But that was a long time ago, from 1988 to 1996.
After that, I spent some time working alone in my home studio on my attic. I collaborated online with like-minded people via ccmixter.org and learned a lot during that time about studio techniques, arranging, etc. I enjoyed working in Cubase, with soft synths and hardware. I made some pretty nice things during that time, but I lacked focus.
Until I met my current partner. She was surprised that, with my background, I didn't have a real piano in the house. So, in 2017, I finally bought a piano. I hadn't had one in the house since my youth!
And then it started to flow. At first, my fingers were a bit stiff, so I took out some old music books, but because I was never really good at reading sheet music 'a vue', I soon came up with my first original composition.Since 2021, I have been publishing my work on Spotify and other streaming platforms. I do this alongside a full-time job and a blended family with 6 children and even 1 grandchild - I feel really old now, haha -, so time is sometimes an issue ;-)
Soon, I hope to reach 100,000 streams. That's exactly 100,000 more than if I hadn't started this adventure. And certainly not the last 100,000.
Do I still have a life besides work, family, and composing? Definitely. I still enjoy pop concerts, festivals, and friends. And I love nature; it makes me humble.