At the age of twelve Roelof (1955) became very interested in traditional music. At first it was the sound of the gajda (Bulgarian bagpipes) and the complex rhythm of Macedonian music that caught his attention. He built his own instruments and by listening to recordings endlessly, he made himself familiar with this music. Later on he performed with Turkish and Jewish musicians in several bands and studied music from the Balkans and Turkey with ethnic-musicologist W. Swets. For ten years he was a member of W. Swets' ensemble Calgija, where he also learned to play the ud (Turkish lute). While his knowledge of East-European music grew steadily, he also took an interest in Celtic traditional music. In 1987, the same year he was employed by the International Dancetheatre as a multi-instrumentalist (a co-operation that would last for six years), he took up playing one of the most complex traditional instruments: the uilleann pipes. (Underneath one elbow the bellows are held, the other one holds a bag, the hands handle the chanter, the knee closes or opens the bottom of the chanter and the wrist plays a number of regulators; the uilleann pipes slightly resemble a complicated sort of fitness-machine). By now, Roelof is a well appreciated player of this instrument and is able to unite, like hardly anyone else, East- and West European, traditional and modern music.