The idea came one morning, out of the Philip Glass soundtrack for The Thin Blue Line, which I made a cassette of and listened to in my car for several weeks around March 1990. I found myself overdubbing the words “3 mains” over this music one afternoon, as I listened, and realized that it was a wonderful performance-art concept, after the Wim Mertens title 4 mains, which referred to the nature of his two-piano arrangement. I especially liked the fact that the title was in French, which meant that it was something which I could do myself, and which would make me popular both there and in Belgium, if this succeeded the way I had planned.
“3 mains” was my first attempt to make serious instrumental music. For the first time ever I considered taking composition studies lessons in order to define a style that might come to be expected from all of my instrumental work. At this time, I was especially influenced by The Durutti Column, Wim Mertens, Michael Nyman… I can safely admit that each one of them shows up somewhere in my music from this time.
At this time I was writing music that I thought had healing qualities. Oddly, it seems that composers have the same desire as doctors… something to help heal mankind.
I’ve always disliked the term ‘new age’ when describing good contemporary instrumental music…
“3 mains” was more of a musical quilt, one that helped me define a more ‘serious’ piano style, one which juxtaposed my personal brand of sadness with the joy to be completely alive.