Introduction by Paul Birchwood

Paul van Berlo creator of Paul Birchwood

Song writing restarted with the purchase of a keyboard some 18 years ago. After another couple of years a piano came next. The guitar was present in the background. I had played the guitar since I was 15 but it had resulted in only a handful of pleasant songs.

From strings to keys. How could I start writing numbers without slipping back all the time into, for myself, predictable schemes of chords? Therefore I decided to switch off my knowledge of chords as much as possible so as to be able to make my way into the world behind the chords.

A possible title for the album, Beyond The Chords, did not make it in the end but reflected the idea behind it. Thus I entered a for myself magical and irresistible world in which and with which I could/ can surprise myself – and hopefully others as well.
That later on again chords had to be added to the melodies appeared inevitable but the way towards them gave me immeasurably much pleasure in writing, composing and wondering … a flow that appears unstoppable for the time being.

Hoping this music knows how to touch, finally I release my songs and let them leave the nest.

Special thanks to René Reuscher, fellow thinker, fellow musician, arranger, producer...

"I'll never know what it isWhat I'm singing forWho it is, I'm singing for"

Take a look, browse through the cd booklet right now!


Wing Stream 1, A Bird’s - Eye View


When my father died in the summer of 2014, I felt I wanted to compose a piano piece with a classical sound for him. It would be good to add an oboe and cello part to it later on, for they also belonged to his favourite instruments after all.

Years before this I had heard from a music teacher that at my school there was an extraordinarily talented piano player; he must have been around fourteen then. About three years later, after having seen a film on the school website, in which was shown how he was allowed to perform a piece composed by himself together with a symphony orchestra, I had come round: this boy would perhaps be able to help me. To be sure, there are enough good piano players, but one that can compose – and at such a young age as well - , that was an intriguing thought.

David, that’s his name, reacted in an interested way to my request to put down on paper Father – with an eye to a studio recording – and soon we sat together behind the grand piano in his parental home. I let him hear

a recording that I had played in myself and played parts for him. David appeared to have a fantastical hearing and in two - hours’  time everything had been definitely put on paper , in pencil! . When I later asked him to give shape to the oboe and cello parts for Father as well, he agreed immediately. And so David promptly appeared indeed to be the co-composer I had been looking for: he was open to anything, he thought along with me and the more often we sat behind the grand piano the more often he dared come forward with his own ideas. He regularly played pieces of several great composers as well, well-known but also less - known masters. In my turn I told him about biographies of composers and passed some of my musical preferences in review.

The guitar is my most familiar instrument and no matter how often I play the piano, I remain a limited piano player, so this cooperation offered me the opportunity to work out all the piano pieces I had composed during the last 18 years and capture them. Many pieces that I compose in the mean time I cannot play myself any longer, because they have become too complicated through the years.

A new piece always starts sketchily. After the first scribbles, I record pieces. Then more elaborate recordings follow and next everything is written down as neatly as possible in a musical notation system developed by myself, which after some explanation – how surprising life can be – David could and can read and play rather effortlessly… TO CONTNUE, OPEN THE CD BOOKLET…

Take a look, browse through the cd booklet right now!





Diva, video accompanying the pop album Still Stream I (2016). Diva is comforting a girl who keeps longing for her unreachable prince. At the end of the video her hope is reflected by the commet shower.

Diva, clip behorend bij het popalbum Still Stream I (2016). Diva troost het meisje dat blijft verlangen naar haar onbereikbare prins. Aan het einde van de clip wordt haar hoop weerspiegeld in een kometenregen.

In eus sjoen mestreech

"Soul mate, we were born in the same circle of time"