My name is Fabian Küpper.
My fascination is music. -
Music lives in the moment, it tells stories
and opens the hidden worlds of our soul.
Music is feeling. It expresses what words can't do.
Music is resonance, a connection from heart to heart.
Music can teach us how to let our life flow. -
As music can outstrip the time, so we can.
I was born in 1988 in Essen, Germany.
My parents are both freelance artists.
My father is a musician, sculptor and painter.
My mother is a painter.
Creativity and music characterized my whole life.
In the age of 6, I got lessons from my father in drumming on the African djembe.
My next instrument was in the age of 8 the “Marimba”, an ancient wooden xylophone.
In the age of 11 I learned, again from my father, playing the didgeridoo, the instrument of the Aborigines, the ancient Australians.
Because I already had experience in carpentry and carving, at this time I was building my first own didgeridoo.
In the age of 12 I got lessons from a jazz-pianist on the keys.
Beneath the sections music theorie and playing after sheet music, I learned the basics of improvisation and composing.
Boogie.Woogie, Blues and Jazz-Standards characterized my repertoire.
Intensive creative music practice
Over the years my skills on Djembe, Didgeridoo and piano expanded.
On the the didgeridoo I learned the circular breathing technique which allows you to hold the tone constantly.
On the djembe I formulated more and more own rhythms and developed my own style.
But for many years the piano was my main instrument and I was fascinated by creating music out of the moment, improvising.
Out of this practice I developed own compositions which I played in concerts in my school and the people loved it because of the free expression.
Guitar and singing
In the age of 18 I began to play the guitar. In the beginning I learned it from my father but later by myself.
Long campfire evenings inspired me to sing while playing the guitar.
Since the first class in school I had lessons in singing in the choir. But my breakthrough in singing was through the guitar. There I started to put strong feelings in my voice and came totally out of myself.
In this time I was especially inspired by reggae music. Musicians like Bob Marley, Patrice, Peter Tosh, Bobby Mc Ferrin, Gentleman and Damian Marley.
I began to interpret the songs of this musicians and started to write my own reggae songs.
It was the perfect way for me to express my feelings.
In my songs I was criticising the school-system, politics and the economic system and I was singing about meditation, nature, compassion, freedom and love.
I wanted to record my own compositions with the range of instruments that I could play.
And I wanted to share the the feeling that I had inside myself while playing a certain song.
So I got the needed equipment. Microphones, audio-interface, music production software...
I was fascinated by the possibility of creating a synthesis. To combine all my instruments according to my vision. To open up the world that I am experiencing to the listener.
After finishing my universitiy.entrance diploma, I dedicated myself fully to the recording and production of my first album.
It contained the following elements: Guitar, singing, piano, e-piano, e-bass, percussion, djembe and didgeridoo.
Studying or working independently
At the end of my time in school I had two options:
Either I would get an independent musician, or I would study jazz and pop-music with the key aspect jazz-piano.
At this time I had enough of the education system, so I wanted to make my own individual way.
I was fed up with being under pressure all the time and watch my individual talents fall by the wayside
just because the growth-oriented economic system wants to train us to be conform, hard-working gear-wheels. To feed an ideology that is in my opinion destined to fail.
From our young days on we were taught that standstill means death, that emotions are a sign for weakness and that unique ideas are unwanted.
I declare that my views were quite radical and surely accompanied with anger, but I preferred not to follow an asphaltic highway, I was following the inner voice of my angry heart and took the small hidden tracks.
Later I should learn to seek my freedom in the balance between independence and alignment.
But after the years of unwanted adaptation it was the time to take my power back and to go my own way in my own manner.
I began busking with my guitar and singing on the roads of my hometown Krefeld in Germany.
I gave piano lessons to my friends and was playing gigs with my father Armin Küpper as a piano and saxophone jazz-duo.
The way into working as an independent musician was asking for a lot of self-confidence and personal responsibility.
I had many ideas and great plans, but I didn't really know where to start.
You don't learn at school how to get an independent artist.
I continued working on my album but I didn't have enough experience, self-confidence and self-discipline to manage making a living from my music.
And I was feeling more and more pressure out of all directions of my surrounding. They were telling me that I had to start earning money and that I had to adapt to the system in order to have a secure future.
Buddhism and Spirituality
But my impulse towards freedom and self-fulfillment was to strong.
I got in touch with the teachings of Buddhism and I was deeply touched.
I decided to focus on searching for freedom and peace within myself.
It was a time of contemplation, meditation and reflection.
A time in which I learned to open my heart and to draw power out of silence.
I learned to see things in a wider perspective and was listening to nature.
I was amazed of all the things that are acting in secrecy inside of us and how the unconscious is influencing our life.
But at the same time I was shocked that I never heard of this deep subjects before and that they seem to have no place in our society.
I began working at an organic farmer and several times I visited the Buddhist Zen-Monastery “Daihizan Fumonji” in Bavaria.
There I discovered a whole different and new world.
I was especially fascinated by Zen-Buddhism, because its teachings are not about the cognitive understanding of Buddha's teachings.
Emanating from the insight that the intellect is not able to go beyond conditioned forms.
To reach deep insights the way of Zen is based on the emptiness of the mind and on authentic experience beyond all forms – in deep meditation.
In this monastery I found access to an inner silence, that can't be touched or brought out of balance.
A satisfaction does not depend on conditions.
Even if this peace can easily be shaded by the clouds of thoughts and feelings, my experiences would still remain a big treasure for me.
With fresh energy to the next round
I made my remaining recordings for my solo-album and 300 copies have been made.
I was selling them when I sang my songs on the streets.
Beside that I got hired for some birthday parties. I was still working at the organic farmer.
It was diversified work, starting with the preparation of the earth across planting, weeding, trimming, harvesting and repairing things. But the work was badly paid and I got more and more problems in my knees so that I had to resign and recognize that this job wasn't the right one for me anymore.
Attempt to escape
I found myself in a difficult situation, I didn't see the possibility to pay my cost of living with my music.
So I made a plan. I resigned my flat and wanted to take my backpack, tent and my guitar to make a trip through the cities of Germany from spring until autumn.
I wanted to get out. Out of the normal city-life, unnecessary comfort and commitments that are linked to that lifestyle.
But I cancelled this trip very fast, because I lost confidence and realized that I was trying to run away from my problems.
Willing to make a compromise
I decided to adjust to the system and to prepare myself to study music.
Again I took piano lessons in jazz from a college-lecturer and I was practising 4 to 6 hours a day on my piano for half a year, to get fit for entrance examination.
In this time busking went better than ever before.
I had gained discipline and self-confidence and in addition to my singing-guitar playing
I started to play djembe and didgeridoo on the streets too. I got great resonance from the people around and by the time I felt approved as free multi-instrumentalist.
All my copies of my album called “Chill Out” were sold now and I had many ideas for a new album.
It should be more experimental, personal and meditative. It should contain sounds that connect to the our roots, to the ancient cultures of the world.
Music in which we can feel the vibrations and rhythms of nature.
Music for the soul, music that goes deep and opens up a space of silence.
Beneath different rattles, I bought an African kalimba, which is a little wooden board with thin steel tongues on it,
which emanate different tones according to their length.
The kalimba is played holding it in both hands and picking the tones with the thumbs.
It can be tuned individually and it's possible to play complex polyphonic melodies and rhythms.
This instrument invites you into an African dreamworld.
Also the carrying peaceful sounds of the ancient American flute became an enrichment for me. -
So I widened my repertoire of instruments and got more and more inspired. - Especially from instruments that reflect the sound of the earth.