I was born in Rotterdam in 1959 and when I was 10 years old, I moved to Rijswijk, a small town near The Hague. Till then, my musical experience was limited to recorder-lessons in Rotterdam. After seeing a concert of the Dutch symphonic rock-band Kayak at the age of 14, I knew, I wanted to play keyboards and especially synthesizers. I tried to persuade my parents to let me follow piano-lessons, but they didn't approve, till I was 18 years old. This lessons didn't last long, because I realised I would never become the female equivalent of Rick Wakeman or Keith Emerson. Besides I was more interested in composing so I asked my piano-teacher to learn me something on the theory of music and she teached me something about counterpoint and a few other things. I had already started composing and one of my first compositions, I in 1979 wrote at school, during language teaching, was a piece for marimba, vibes and synthesizer, which was much later recorded with the help of a computer. It then became entitled ‘Some difference'. After two years I quit the piano lessons. I also wrote another composition 'We will arise', inspired by a picture postcard. I had the idea of some sort of short movie to illustrate it. I also tried to record this with the help of the computer, but I wasn't satisfied with it, so I didn't pull it through. I had to change to many things to make it sound the way it should be, so I stopped.

I bought my first synthesizer in 1978 and started to play together with Ad van der Kouwe, a schoolmate who played the harmonium, recorder and did the vocals and Rick Eggermond, a friend of his on accoustic guitar. This was not a real group and we rehearsed only a few times. Ad was the driving force behind it and Rick was just more or less a side-kick, whose task it was, to play the right chords. I played the synthesizer which was amplified with an old small stereo-set. Because Ad tried to let his harmonium sound like a church organ, I had to create a sound, which cut through this. We mainly improvised the music and I called it 'Salvation Army rock', because of the very prominent harmonium. We recorded a few things with a cassetterecorder with a build in microphone. One thing was entitled 'AFGA', because this were the chords used in it. Ad came with the idea of putting the story of Tristan and Isolde on music. He was a great admirer of Rick Wakeman, so I suppose this was where he got the idea from. We just recorded a few parts of it. Ad told a part of the story and I played a very simple part on synthesizer. Then came some real music. Alas this project was never finished. Ad was the driving force behind it and Rick was just more or less a side-kick, whose task it was, to play the right chords. I played the synthesizer which was amplified with an old small stereo-set. We also did a few other improvisations and at my home we recorded an improvisation by Ad solo on electronic organ (a small Farfisa, I lend from a neighbour) and synthesizer. He started with the opening of 'Pictures at an exhibition', by Mussorgsky and improvised, till things went of track.

After my schooldays we reunited for one day and recorded another version of 'AFGA'. Ad also had written a song entitled 'Merci monsieur Magritte' as a tribute to the famous painter. We tried to record it and according to Ad, Rick played to slow, and according to Rick, Ad played to fast and he couldn't play faster. Since Ad wrote the song, I suppose he was right. I lost sight of both of them and the only thing I know is that Ad has become a graphic designer. Around the same time I bought a analog delay-line and I used it also for feedback-effects.

At work I met a colleague, who also was interested in symphonic rock and who played guitar, together with Rene de Haan, a friend of his, who played keyboards. He asked me to join them and I experimented a bit with Rene. The colleague came very late, so it was just two keyboard-players. It was a one-off experience. Rene de Haan formed Pythagoras, together with drummer Bob de Jong. They made 2 records, in 1981 and 1982, and the cover of the first one was designed by Ad van der Kouwe. On the second record Arjan Lucassen, who later gained fame with Ayreon, can be heard. Since then I always worked alone. Rene de Haan currently works as a graphic designer and recently a third Pythagoras-album has been released. This contains old recordings that are partly expanded.

In 1980 I bought a Yamaha SK10 symphonic ensemble and I started recording improvisations, with a cassette-deck and a tape-deck, laying several tracks over each-other. The results where terrible and they didn't really improve when I bought a Musinco electric piano, which was used by Rene de Haan. Strange enough some people compared my fiddlings with the work of Mike Oldfield, Bo Hansson and Pink Floyd, but I think I could come anywhere near them in this time.

In 1983 I was asked to make some music for a fashion show in the Congresgebouw in The Hague. For this I made a backing-tape with a Musinco electric piano, a Yamaha SK 10 organ-strings and the Roland synthesizer. The last two instruments were also used during the performance to play the final improvisations. The performance itself is not recorded, but at home I played a new improvisation with the backing tape. I believe it is somewhere on a tape, but it is not so good that I would like to mention it if it wasn't also played with an audience. I stood in the back of the hall, perhaps a bit like Brian Eno in his early days with Roxy Music. I used only my first name, because people had trouble with spelling my surname.

In 1984 I bought a Fostex X15 4-track cassette-deck and other additions were: a Roland Dr. Rhythm DR 110 drum-computer, a Sound Master Latin Percussion machine and a Roland TB 303 bassline. All these were used in my music, which I recorded on 3 45 minutes cassette-tapes. I also used some other percussion and a recorder on these recordings. To be honest, most of it is not worth to be remembered. Some parts are perhaps interesting, but it is a real torment if you like to listen to more than one song at a time.

In 1986 a friend of mine asked me to write some music for video-art. This became 'Point-zero', which was broadcasted by the Amsterdam art-channel. I used the Roland TB-303 bassline as a sequencer and recorded 4 different tracks, which were mixed to two tracks, to create chords. Over this basis I did some improvisations. For this composition I also used a Yamaha DX9. I had sold the electric piano and the symphonic ensemble and replaced them by a Bit 99 synthesizer. This was away for repair and I got the Yamaha as replacement.

In 1989 I finally got the possibility to use the computer for musical activities and since then my music isn't based on improvisation, but completely on composition. Because I always had difficulties playing written music, I stopped playing myself and used the computer as a kind of ever ready and never complaining musician. I started with a program called Sonix, which used the Commodore Amiga as a sound-source. It didn't have possibilities to work with midi, but I could create my own sounds. In the same period I did a course to combine music with theatre and I used the computer to record some music I composed to be used. It had to be played by students of the music-school and in the end this became limited to a piano-player, so my composition had to be re-arranged. At the end of 1989 I recorded one song with Sonix, entitled 'Electronic mistress'. After this I switched to a program called DMCS, which offered some extra possibilities, though it still was limited. It had midi and the computer could be used as an extra sound-source. It didn't have the possibiliy to create my own sounds. It was a kind of sheet-music program, which I liked, because I could put notes on staves, which was something I was used to. I also bought a second synthesizer-module with midi, a Yamaha TX81Z.

In 1990 I took part in a competition for musicians working with midi. I composed a track entitled 'Rotterdam', which was based on my town of birth, which was also the theme to be used. I didn't get in the final part of the competition, because the judges didn't think my music was original enough. I still like it and I want to record a new version in the future. I went on composing and send a tape with some old work to the Dutch magazine Music Maker. In September 1990 they published a review, which wasn't very positive. The possibilities of the computer-program I used might be a bit limited, but it didn't have any negative effect on my creativity. I recorded 15 compositions in this year alone. On November the 23th, I recorded three compositions with the help of the computer, in the studio of Ferdi Lancee. Amongst the recorded pieces was 'Some difference', which I wrote at school.

At the end of the year a got a new program, which was written by the brother of a guy I knew. It was called 'Grid', because it worked with a kind of grid on which you could put the beginning and the end of a note. Alas it didn't work with notes and staves, which I didn't realy like. The first thing I wrote with the program was a piece for string-quarted and piano, entitled 'String thing I'. I first wrote the music on paper and put it into the computer afterwards. The sheet-music appears to be lost. I also recorded a second version, entitled 'String thing II'. The guy who wrote the program was in my opinion a technical wizard. He also build his own wind-synthesizer-driver. He added some improvements to the program after my suggestions. I liked the program, though it had some limitations. One of the improvements Frank Brinkman made in the program was the possibility to use the computer as an extra sound-source, which can be heard in 'Ostrogoth'. Around the same time I added a digital reverb to my set-up and in the summer of 1991 I bought a Kawai K1rII synthesizer-module. It had build-in drum-module, which I used to write music which went more in a rock-direction. Before my music was a bit more classical orientated.

In 1992 a did a course in sound-engineering and in the same year I wrote a composition for piano, for the celebration of the five years existence of Literary theatre Branoul in The Hague. For this song I used the E-mu Proteus/1, which I had gotten from my parents. The compostion became entitled 'Branoul'. Alas it only could be performed with the help of a computer and a synthesizer. I couldn't attend the performance, because I was still doing the course and I didn't want to miss a lesson. One spectator, who was a music teacher himself, was very impressed and he asked me to write a few things based on poems by Emily Dickinson. So 'The mountain' and 'The snake' were created. This music was also performed in the before mentioned theatre with the use of the computer and a synthesizer.

In 1993 I bought a Mackie CR 1604, 16-channel mixer, which I still use. In the same year I switched to an Atari computer and Cubase. I made a few demo-tapes, with the titles 'Grids and Pieces' and 'Fruits of Passion', without a fixed set of compositions. I still used the name Renate for all my work. I switched to an ordinary computer, with Windows and updated Cubase in 2002. In 1994 I wrote two pieces of rockmusic: 'Rum und Sauerkraut' and 'Thunderstorm' and in 1995, my musical production was limited to one composition for piano, entitled: 'Morgenstimmung'. And what happened after 1995? Well, I've been busy writing a travelogue about a journey through Scandinavia and reviews and articles for a Dutch music magazine. Besides this I've recorded some earlier mentioned compositions and some arrangements of songs written by the Beatles. Furtheron I've been composing some things, which where never recorded and which stayed mostly unfinished.

Between the 8th of November and the 3th of December 1996 I wrote 'In lieblicher Bläue..', more or less inspired by the poem by Friedrich Hölderlin. It was just recorded on a demo-cassette with the same title, which was send to Christian von Grumbkow, the former guitarist and lyricist of Hoelderlin. When I wanted to record it again, it sounded strange and I wasn't happy with it. I still can't understand what went wrong. On November the 15th 1998 I started to change the composition, but this was the only day I worked on it and it is never completed.

In 1997 I made a cassette entitled 'Impressions'. I used the name Rare Bird Productions, which I first only used for my cover art. One side contained more rock-orientated work and the other side classical orientated music. It was more or less the closing of a period. My classical music kept being published under my real name, while I wanted to use Rare Bird Productions for my more rock-orientated stuff.

In the summer of 1997 I started with an arrangement of 'Branoul', for the celebration of the tenth anniversary of this theatre, but it is never finished, because I didn't like the result. The piano is perhaps in a way a limited instrument, but a more orchestral version of this favorite of mine didn't work out as good as I expected. The trumpeting of an elephant can maybe better be immitated by a trumpet-sound, but it didn't work in the composition. In 2001 I started working again on this orchestrated version of this old piece.

Around the same time, to be precisely on the 19th and 20th of July 1997, I started with a composition entitled 'Fram'. This should be the first part of a concept about polar expeditions, which should be entitled 'Polar Project'. The idea came to me after hearing 'Der Kampf um den Südpol' (The battle over the Southpole) by the German rockgroup Stern Combo Meißen. The visit to the Fram-museum in Oslo contibuted also some inspiration. The idea of this project is still in my mind and I suppose it once will be finished. If I ever going to do this, I might be splitting it in 2 parts, one about travels around and to the Northpole and one about the discovery of the Southpole.

In September and October 1998 I started working on a classical composition, entitlet: 'Erde, Wasser, Luft' (Earth, water, sky). This was based on a group of 9 paintings by 3 German artists: Helge Hommes, Christian von Grumbkow and Sebastiaan Spit. It is written for three groups of three instruments, the first group excisting of: violin, flute and clarinet, to symbolise the sky part, the second group is symbolising the water and is played by: trumpet, vibes and tenor saxophone, and the third group is symbolising the earth and you hear: bassoon, French horn and cello. Each group has its own melody-lines and the composition should consist of three parts. It is a more or less minimalistic composition, but after completing the first part, I stopped with it. I don't know if it will ever be completed.

At the end of February and the beginning of March 1999 I started working on a composition entitled 'There's been a death in the opposite house'. It should be a song with lyrics and the text came from a poem of Emily Dickinson, starting with te same line. The poem wasn't very usable for a song and again this is one of the many unfinished compositions. I had some troubles revising 'Did something happen?' and because I liked the idea, I started working in April 1999 on a modern version of this composition for a group with at least two or three keyboardplayers and two drummers, a bit like the German group Zara-Thustra, which consisted of: Hermann Weindorf: vocals, keyboards; Berthold Weindorf: saxophone, Clemens Weindorf: French horn, keyboards, vocals; Alphons Weindorf: drums, percussion, vocals; Maximilian Sprenger: keyboards, vocals; and Walter Schwarz: drums, percussion, vocals. It should be entitled 'Dialog', but it didn't get off. The group has inspired me to write another composition, entitled: 'Wein und Weib, aber kein Gesang im Dorf' (Wine and woman, but no singing in the village)

In the beginning of May 1999 I started with 'Welcome and thank you', a composition for the people who wanted to play my music, or at least had said to a friend of mine, they where interested in playing it. Because there was never any contact with the musicians, to get together and make things more concrete, I stopped working on this composition. The contact with the friend is lost, so I suppose, these musicians will never play my music.

In the year 2000 I didn't do much with my music. The urge to compose was still existing, but I had other things on my mind. Besides, I was puzzling about the direction I should take with my music. It seemed to me there was notenough interest for instrumental music, to convince a record-company to engage some musicians and bring it out on CD. I don't write lyrics and can't sing, so to make music with vocal parts I first need a lyricist and a singer. Perhaps I should make pure electronic music, not ment to be played by other instruments but synthesizers, or maybe I should concentrate on adaptions of classical music, like Bach's 'Italian Concerto'. Meanwhile I have decided to go on writing music and try to find people to play it. Perhaps this will succeed by reviews of my music and spreading it by internet. I'm also still looking for a singer and a lyricist.

At the end of 2001 I released a CDR with classical music entitled 'Electronic chamber music and more'.

In July 2001 I started working on a piece inspired by the lyrics of the song 'Rare bird' by Hoelderlin, entitled ‘Rare Bird Suite'. In 2002 I also worked on this suite and I completed the first 8 parts. I got many positive reactions from people on a site dedicated to progressive rock, which was very stimulating. Alas on December the 13th, it was a Friday too, things went terribly wrong and I lost almost all of the 8th part. After losing my mother on December the 4th, which was even worse, my composing activities were put on ice. The whole suite will be released on a CDR entitled 'Introducing: Rare bird suite'. The music is a mix of rock and more classical orientated music. To be honest, I don't know when this will happen though. Perhaps this will become my next unfinished project. It will be the second time I've tried to do something with the lyrics of 'Rare bird', whithout finishing it. In 2010 I started again with a new version of 'Rare Bird Suite', but again this remained unfinished.

In 2003 I re-recorded 2 old songs on CDR: 'Searching' and 'Thunderstorm'. Alas the CDR on which these songs and some other re-recordings and the first 7 parts of 'Rare Bird Suite' isn't playable anymore. Part of them can still be heard on SoundClick. My father bought me a sampler, more or less as an inheritance of my mother. He has always been very supportive to my music. I bought some CD's with samples and and extra memory for the sampler and started to re-arrange parts of my 'Rare Bird Suite', so the sampler was incorporated. Part of them are re-recorded. I also tried to write new material for it, but I wasn't really satisfied with it and again it was put on ice. I decided to write something new in which I only used the sampler. This became 'Summer heath'.

In 2004 I bought a 12-track harddisk-recorder, because I had some troubles with my CD-recorder, which had been replaced several times. Alas the newer models were less suited for recording my own stuff. I started re-recording some old stuff, like: 'Thunderstorm', 'Branoul', 'Morgenstimmung', 'Verdict', 'Vier Asse und ein Joker' and 'Rum und Sauerkraut'. In all songs I replaced certain parts by sounds of the sampler. Besides I recorded 'Summer heath' and I started composing 2 new songs: 'Music for a lost penguin' and 'Piano salvation'. 'Thunderstorm' was put on a sampler from the Progressive Music Society, which I felt as a real honour. I also recorded 'Music for a lost penguin', which got its premiere on Progressive Soundscapes Radio, an internet radio station, which has done me the honour to play a lot of my stuff.

In January 2005 I recorded 'Piano salvation'. Besides I re-recorded 'Searching'. I wanted it to serve as an opening-track for my CDR 'Keeping the balance', which contains a mix of old stuff and new stuff. The old stuff is re-recorded with the sampler for some parts. I decided to do both my classical orientated stuff like the old song 'Branoul' and the new song 'Piano salvation', which might be considered more or less classical as well, and my more rock-orientated work, under the monniker Rare Bird Productions, since I think the difference between the 2 is more or less artificial. There is a big grey area in which I operate.

Besides composing, I have also worked on electronic adaptations from classical music, more or less like the work of synthesizer-player Wendy Carlos. After completing an arrangement from 'Italian Concerto' by J.S. Bach, I started working on an arrangement of 'Pictures at an Exhibition' by Modest Mussorgsky and on a more orchestrated version of my own composition 'Branoul', which I mentioned earlier. These things have been put on ice since I got positive comments on my 'Rare Bird Suite', that stimulated me to concentrate on composing rather than arranging existing music. Next to this I have been recording songs from the Beatles, sometimes in my own arrangements, but this was just for fun. This is another thing that had been put on ice, mainly because I can't bring it out to the public. Working on music that is getting some recognition is more important to me, than making things, just for fun.

In 2006 I got in touch with Hans Günther Boddin a German musician, living in Bonn. He wanted to do a rework of my composition 'Summer heath' and I send him a midi-file. We needed a name for this collaboration and in the end I came up with Hyperions Fate. This was the start of a collaboration which lasted for years. I mailed midi-files of my compositions, finished or unfinished and Hans Günther reworked them with his instruments and adding guitar to it. He worked much faster than I did and in the end I didn't have any music left, that could be used for new Hyperions Fate music. Every melody I came up with, was turned into a midi-file and used to create new music. I hardly had time to complete my own compositions, or to turn the music into something that could be recorded. I started working on several compositions, but almost none of them was completed. I added a Nord G2 Engine, which is a virtual modular synthesizer, and a Nord Electro, wich is a combination of a virtual Hammond organ and virtual electric piano's to my instruments.

In 2008 I decided I wanted to work under a new monniker, because I had some problems with my old page at MySpace. Besides I had the idea to take a new direction with my music. I choose for the moniker Astralis, after a song of Novalis, another favorite band of mine. In the end this didn't really work. I didn't write much new music and the last few years my musical activities almost stopped completely, partly because I was busy with a course in webdesign. My music hasn't changed that much and I have decided to return to my old monniker Rare Bird Productions.

At this moment I'm working on a concerto for piano, electric piano and synthesizers. The synthesizers are more or less used instead of an orchestra, with synthetic sounds. The working title is 'Red ivory', but the title might be changed. Originally I had the idea to write a concert for piano and synthesizers with the title 'Avis Rara', so I might use this title for my current composition.

Some plans for the future are; making a new recording of my old composition 'Rotterdam', with my sampler I will be able to bring a big improvement to this work, writing a song inspired by the sinking of the Kursk (the Russian submarine, and 2 CDR's inspired by travels to the North- and South-pole.