My Biography

…will probably sooner or later appear here in a more extended form.

Until then, here is the short version:

Born in Aachen (Germany) in 1971, i grew up in the north of Germany, curiously enough in a small town called Norden – which translates to ‘north’. Here i picked up my first musical instruments, mainly flutes, mouth harps and a tape recorder.

Jan with soap bubbles

My sister Anke was impressed by my early soap bubble
experiments… (Photo: Jens-Peter Klug)

I continued growing up in Leer, which translates to ’empty’. Here, i started improvising on flute, mainly playing along to the radio – or accompanying Pink Floyd (and all the other records I found in the great collection of my father – at least those that survived my early screwdriver experiments). Later, I started experimenting with electronic effects, partially inspired by the activities of some school mates who formed the experimental ambient band ‘Maeror Tri‘. And when i got 18, I got myself a tenor saxophone.

After school, I spent 2 years in Oldenburg, at first attempting, later pretending to study informatics; my main interest stayed in music though – frequent rehersals and concerts with my band ‘Cello in Dose’ (‘Canned Cello’) often reminded me to my true passion..

This situation made me pack my things and move to the Dutch town Groningen (translates to ‘Groningen’ in most languages), to study jazz saxophone at the conservatory [which by the way recently changed its name to ‘Prins Claus Conservatorium’, named after Prins Claus..].

I started performing with the poetry/music-group "De Dichters uit Epibreren", and eleven years later, we’re still on the road.

After finishing conservatory, I toured the world a bit as a guest musician of "Arling & Cameron" – visiting the USA, Canada, Japan, Denmark, France etc.

Some more years of being a musician followed, until I met Italian director Andrea Paciotto (who later founded Offucina Eclectic Arts); I joined his graduating project at Das Arts – as a musician. During the research period at Steim though, I discovered my love for media programming (which, until then, I didn’t know it existed..) – and suddenly found myself working with images and computer programs and sensors etc..

I got addicted to a certain programming tool called ‘Max/MSP‘ (and the video-extension ‘Jitter‘ made it even worse), and from that moment on, I spend huge amounts of time in front of my computer screen – as if i never had left informatics 😉

To learn this beautiful tool as fast as possible, I started to involve it into any project that i ran into – learning by doing, supported by the fantastic user community over at Cycling ’74 (and of course by that company’s helpful staff!!).

Many of my projects involve media programing now, and I also started teaching what I know about it. Funny enough, I could now apply whatever information was left in my brain from my informatics years..

Another aspect of my work was added in 2005, when Dutch singer Meindert Talma asked me if I could make background video clips for the oncoming theatre show of his band ‘Meindert Talma & the Negroes’. Of course I said yes, but immediately started to wonder how on earth I should do that job. Until then, I had used mainly abstract image material – interactively transformed live images in theatre shows or computer generated material.. But the songs of Meindert Talma & the Negroes asked for less abstract, more film-like approach, I found myself thinking. So I got myself a nice camera, learned how to shoot and edit, and in this process got addicted to Adobe After Effects. Since then, the lines between my programming- / music- / video-activities continue to get thinner, and I’m curious where that might lead to.. 😉

Jan Klug, April 2007

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