My name is Björn Isebaert, and I was born on
11 December 1976 in Waregem (B). Together with my parents and
sister, I lived for a long time in Wannegem-Lede, a part of Kruishoutem.
I studied Latin & Greek in secondary school, and in 1994
I started the same studies at the University
Having graduated in 1999, I worked as a teacher for one year.
However, in 2000 I started working on a doctorate (about de Paradeisos,
a collection of poems ascribed to John Geometres) at the above-mentioned
university; I got my degree in 2004. After that, I went teaching
again; I'm now working at the College
of the Paters Jozefieten in Melle.
Today, I'm living together with my wife Marleen (who's a veterinary
surgeon) in Zingem,
where we spend a lot of our time with our pets (two dogs, two
cats, fishes, chickens, roosters, a sheep,
I got interested in mechanical music at the age of twelve (more
or less). I spent hours in the carousel of Norbert Vroman (owner
of LH522); then I found the address of Marc Hooghuys on one of
the book labels, and I contacted him. Thanks to him, I found
my way into the organ world: he made a member of the Kring
van Draaiorgelvrienden and taught me a lot about (Hooghuys)
organs, their history,
This partly explains, of course,
why I prefer Hooghuys organs.
Furthermore, I'm also interested in Belgian dance organs and
Belgian arrangers of organ books (especially August Schollaert).
I also collect recordings (older ones, from the 50's and 60's
In 1996, I discovered the Mechanical
Music Digest (MMD), which
daily sends a digest with information, questions, answers,
mechanical music. In this way, I quickly got into contact with
enthusiasts outside Europe, who often provided me with very useful
It wasn't till December 2000 that I bought my first mechanical
music instruments (well, I already had a 20-note Sankyo music
): a Wurlitzer pianola (serial no.80245), which is still
In May 2004, I became the happy owner of a 36-key Verbeeck hand-turned
organ; meanwhile, I've been cutting numerous arrangements for
it by arrangers like Tom Meijer. Sometimes it's amazing what
you can do with only 36 keys!