Who is the HA!Man

as a performing artist, i call myself the "HA!Man" as most of my creativity centres around a flow of feeling. "HA!" expresses something of my awareness when entering the stage - a breath that sparks spontaneity, rather than a given style, concept or an idea.

with a formal classical background, cello is my main instrument, followed by keyboard playing. over time voice, dance, writing and visual art forms became part of my expressive output. central to my career are uniquely unfolding performances (in mostly intimate environments), interactive school concerts, workshops in spontaneous creativity and multi-artistic collaborations. after an initial period of acoustic-only performances, technology (in the form of tools to create layered accompaniments), has enabled me to broaden my sound-scapes to a comprehensive array of styles and textures. sometimes visual projection are added too.

my career started out in 1992, managed independently through networking and nurturing special ties with local communities, both in my home country, South Africa, as well as - since 2001 - in Europe, North America and the Far East. in 2010, formally trained actress and word artist Joke (pronounced yoo-kuh) Debaere from Belgium became my life and artistic partner. we got married in 2015 and Mira, our only child, was born in 2018. during our first years of travelling together, Joke performed with me with song and drama infused poetry (often improvised). her focus later shifted to writing and then the visual arts. since 2023 we have been based in Bruges, Belgium, while not cutting ties with South Africa.

even as i am self-managed, and an extensive array of products is self-produced, also running an independent subscription platform, the foundation of what keeps this enterprise alive and growing after three decades is the network of people supporting it. communicating - following up on forms filled in at events and maintaining contacts and friendships all over the world - takes a substantial chunk of my time and energies. to me, it is from relating with people and places that inspiration is born, and without the gracious input on many levels by many people - often in their private capacity - what i do will fall flat and go nowhere.