Beatrix (Bix) Fife


I live in this new country. I thought I knew the language of it. The sound and the meaning of each word are the same as I learnt before, but the melody and the rhythm are different from mine. What do people think and how do they speak these same words ? I try to adjust to them, like tuning into waves on the radio.

That is exciting, but paradoxically, I start at the same time to feel very tired and empty inside. Of course there is not only the language, but the newness of the place, and my mother becomes sick, my father is not well, and I miss my previous life.


I am happy to meet new people, to do new things, to learn new words, new intonations, new ways of thinking.

When alone, I lie down on the blue carpet in my room and think of my life before. Who am I ?  Why am I here ? What is this country that is supposed to be mine ? I feel so tired.


From the house next door, in the dark white night, I hear a boy screaming. I meet his mother and his father on the doorsteps, they say he is sick. He is the same age as me. There is something in his scream at night, a ripping inside, as if two worlds were torn apart. Somehow I feel close to him.

The mother is a pianist. One day, I ring her doorbell. When she opens the door I know instantly that she can understand what I feel. I ask her if I can take some piano lessons with her, although almost a beginner.

She says yes, and comes to our house a few days later.

  • What would you like to play ? she asks me.
  • One of the Nocturnes, I say.

It is played so fast and beautifully, and it has this image of a dark night, like I have in me. A little afraid that she will refuse because the piece is difficult and because I haven’t played much piano before, I ask her timidly if I can be allowed not to play this piece like it is supposed to be played. I would like to play it very slowly.

–  You are allowed to, she says, looking deep into my eyes. She knows what I feel.


This is my first step to slow down, to find my own rhythm. Playing the piano at my own pace, with my beginner fingers, is as if the music tells me the way to a new thorny path inside me, very dark and unknown. I never meet the boy. I hope he can hear me play for him.

His mother says to me :

– Just play, you need it. Because she knows how he feels too.

Against the outside rhythm, empty inside, painted a few years later. Oil and pastel on paper, 70 x 90 cm



Beatrix (Bix) Fife
Beatrix (Bix) Fife プロフィール

Born in Stockholm, Bix grew up in Rome in a Norwegian, British and Italian family, speaking 3 languages. At the age of 7, her family moved to Paris, where she completed her secondary studies in French schools and also learned to play the classical flute.

While studying at university and management school in Oslo she also started to paint and to do theatre. She was a trainee for 6 months in NYC at the New Dramatists’ studio. She then studied art in Oslo and at the Fine Arts Academy of Budapest. In 1990 she won a prize in an art competition in Austria, giving her the opportunity to come to Japan. In Kyoto, she studied Japanese calligraphy and worked with performance art between 1995 and 1999, with philosopher Michael Lazarin and musician Mamoru Katagiri (Marki) and played music for dance companies in the Kansai area from 1997 to 1999. She moved to Brussels in 1999 continuing to paint, to exhibit works and to give concerts. As well as learning to play jazz at the Music Academy of Brussels, she played in the Bix Medard electropop group and founded the Brussels Language Activities, school of language and culture. She received a Master’s degree in Sciences du Langage at the University of Franche-Comté in Besançon, in 2008.

After moving back to Tokyo in 2010 she started Bix&Marki, a musical duo of original French songs. Bix is a painter, a singer, a musician and a linguist. She sings, plays the flute and writes the lyrics of all the Bix&Marki songs. While working on her music and painting, Bix teaches French at universities, specializing in role-play and language through art and personal expression.