O V E R V I E W
intro/.|/.video/.|/.audio/.|/.pictures/.|/.key quotes/.|/.artistic statement/.|/.recommendations/.|/articles .|/interviews/.|/.audience definitions of HA!/.|/.essays on HA!/.|/.and then some..
I N T R O
as a performing artist, i call myself the "HA!Man". most of my creativity springs from a flow of feeling, a breath (HA!) of skillful and three-dimensionally framed spontaneity - in a world still very much dominated by mental predetermination.
with a formal classical background, cello is my main instrument, followed by keyboard playing, voice, dance, writing and visual art forms. the main focus of the HA! enterprise falls on uniquely unfolding performances in mostly intimate environments, interactive school concerts, workshops in spontaneous creativity and multi-artistic collaborations. high-end technology enables the creation of layered accompaniments in a comprehensive array of styles and textures, as well as sound effects and visual projection.
my career started out in 1992, managed independently through networking, nurturing working relationships and special ties with local communities - in my home country, South Africa, as well as Europe, North America and the Far East. since 2010, formally trained actress and word artist Joke (pronounced yoo-kuh) Debaere from Belgium became my life and artistic partner who is adding with her own deep gifts as we re-awaken the power of art to move the heart and mind in transformative ways.
this site also reflects an array of HA! products as well as an online subscription service. the latter is for those who want to support us materially, in exchange for access to an ongoing stream of our artistic responses to the world we travel and live in, in addition to an extensive library of the HA! creative legacy.
V I D E O
A U D I O
P I C T U R E S
K E Y .Q U O T E S
from a Port Alfred News review by Rob Knowles
Le Roux redefines the modern South African musical genre, rocking the roots of traditional African rhythm and challenging any preconceived ideas about what one is allowed to do with two keyboards, a speaker system, a descant recorder, a live cello and voice. Together with Debaere the performance was exceptional in terms of quality and originality. It is seldom that artists give so much of themselves in a performance as this pair did. The HA!Man is a musical revolution and le Roux and Debaere's performances are as memorable as they are emotive.
from a recommendation by the late Peter Krummeck (playwright)
Where most entertainers 'touch' Francois 'changes'. His shift of emphasis from 'me' to 'we' has robust potential for lasting good in a self-seeking world gripped by moral bankruptcy.
from the late Norman Morrisey (poet), Hogsback, SA
Your role in this world - trying to show people how to be more than what uncreated life simply serves them - is an act you perform with a dreamy sort of authority that touches me deeply. Seeing you on your feet or with your cello is always a reminder to me that life can be graceful if only we have it in us to respond with the right emotional tact.
A R T I S T I C .S T A T E M E N T
from "personal statement", 2014
When i walk on stage, and start with "nothing," i experience a sense of being whole that i would not like to exchange for all the money in the world. this whole, this healing, gave me my life back. i am on stage ALSO as francois. when i act as an artist, i do not become a style or a brand or a "name." i am, just as the audience, fully human. the only thing that distinguishes me from them, on a basic level, is that SPACE that i enter, a space where i can be seen more than i can see them. it concentrates me. it exposes me. it focuses me so that whatever i breathe or sound, is amplified. it is that amplification that shapes my expressions and my being as an artist. for it brings along with it the responsibility to communicate. without communication, the link between audience and artist will fall away. and the stage (that SPACE) will be no stage anymore.
R E C O M M E N D A T I O N S
from recommendation by Bruce Copley
I have known Francois Le Roux for a number of years and consider him to be one in a million. His soft and unassuming nature and attractive personality are a delight to behold.. He is without question a musical genius something which is very apparent when you see him in action. Not only does he play a variety of instruments with great skill, creativity and finesse, but he is also able to combine his music with high levels of dance, mime and drama. I have personally witnessed on many occasions Francois's ability to awe and astound professional musicians and artisits. Francois is also a gifted teacher and facilitator of group processes and his work with children of all ages creates unforgettable and inspiring experiences for young minds and hearts..
A R T I C L E S
I N T E R V I E W S
from Interview with Herlad-Palladium (SA)
You perform with Joke Debaere. Tell me about your relationship with her and what she contributes.
I met Joke almost 5 years ago and recognized a kindred artistic spirit from the start. Her life story has strong parallels with mine, a story of a creative spirit often at odds with mainstream education and performance practices. Her background is theatre and literature, even though she studied piano too and all her work carries a strong musical dimension. This makes for a close affinity when we perform together, most often with her improvising with words on my musical accompaniment. Sometimes her words become song, or hover in-between song and poetry which offers a fresh balance between feeling and rational meaning. Like my own development, hers is an unfolding story that is yet to unleash her wealth of acting experience and abilities into the "HA!" environment. Not only does she add these mediums to my mainly musical scenario, her presence also makes it possible to provide the audience with the interactive "magic" and artistic communication between us on this "in-the-moment" level.
Is there a mission statement that you operate under?
I could invent quite a few, I think.. But such a statement draws things more to a rationally defined level, with which I always run into trouble. Let's just say, if I do have a mission, it is HA!
A U D I E N C E .D E F I N I T I O N S .O F. H A !
Andrew Pike (Durban)
Total immersion in the creation.
Candice Pelser (Cape Town)
Dale Simpson (Muizenberg)
letting go, allowing and honouring what lives inside all of us
Maeoldy Kawamoto (Cincinnati)
exhaled sound during ki meditation that i learned in aikido
E S S A Y S .O N .H A !
from "What is HA!? - a simple story"
Actually, i do not know. Cannot know. That is why i came up with the "term." Because knowing by itself does not reach into the fullness of what it is to be creative. How to describe something that is actually grounded in Nothing? But HA! is not empty. To me it is a breath, a feeling that i have each time i perform or create. I could have said "improvisation," but i don't want to. HA! goes deeper still.
Mm.. but there is a story behind it. I was a student at Stellenbosch University and one day coming down the stairs for lunch, something in me snapped, a kind of connection between mind and body, a moment when my thinking turned me towards a concrete awareness of where i was. Feeling. Present. As my thinking at the time was so much about the meaning of life, i decided that this would be the most apt answer to that age-old question: "HA!" Just that. A simple breath. A snapshot of what it is to be alive...
A N D .T H E N .S O M E . .
from "Ode to AHA! (Thierry Alban Revert, Johannesburg)
Complicated , do you say?
No all the contrary , it so simple, so physical.
The sort of renaissance of birth, a renewal of the Big Bang, the Creation without the knowledge of it.
Between sculpture and dance.
An insight into the beginning
An end which never starts.
Imagine or see a feather flying, like an autumn leaf in the wind.
No expectation, no destination, only a presence that we guess without understanding.
I could write pages of this, because there is no existing language to express Francois's presence..