• Behind the piano

    Behind the piano: Elise Hammers

    A couple of weeks back I posted about the track The Swan by Elise Hammers. Today we go Behind the piano to get to know Elise a bit better!

    Where are you from? And where do you live? 
    I am from Trondheim in Norway, but I live in Oslo.

    How long have you been playing the piano, and do you play other instruments as well? 
    I taught myself the piano as a child. I think I learned it quite gradually from starting primary school. I really loved filmmusic, so the first song I learned was the titanic theme song. I started to play violin with a teacher when I was 9. She was so much fun, and she also liked to play a lot of different instruments like I did. Even though my lessons was for violin, she helped me borrow a viola. We would play a bit of violin, viola and piano, and for a brief period the cello. After getting an illness that would become cronic, I wasn’t able to play for many years. I started playing again about 1,5 years ago. I have also started to learn more cello. I really wanted to be able to record my own compositions. I think and hope I will be able to in the future, but I realised I needed som help from a professional musician for my next release «Rebirth».

    How long have you been making piano music?
    I started composing in 2015 after getting sick. The majority of the music I will release I have been composing for the last 3-4 years. I have always had so much music in my head, but I didn’t have the tools nor the energy to get i out. My notation skills are not the best, but when I started learning a music program I finally had a way of letting the music out.

    What are your favorite artists in this “piano genre”? 
    I listen to a lot of different artists within this genre, but I guess Peter Sandberg, Ludovico Einaudi and Nils Frahm is some of my favorites. I am also discovering a lot of new artists on the playlists I am on. The last days I have been listening to Jade Ashtangini a lot.

    Is there one song which you play over and over again as soon as you sit down by a piano? Your own or someone else’s?
    That is probably «comptine d’un autre été» by Yan Tiersen, and «Victor’s piano solo» by Danny Elfman.

    How do you record your music? Yourself? In a big studio? etc.
    I record my music in my home studio. I don’t have a real piano yet, but I am hoping to have one in the future.

    Whats your take on sampled instruments? 
    I think for a lot of people there is really no other option. I use sampled piano, but real violin, viola and cello. I am lucky to have the means to buy and maintain these instruments. The string set I use for my violin costs like 150 euro and have to be changed quite frequently. It is also a question of space, especially when it comes to a piano. And obviously nabours when you live in the city. I do believe it is important to keep the «realness» in music, and I will admit I don’t like listening to songs with obvious midi strings. Yet I do understand that people might not always have many alternatives when releasing without a label.

    And the standard question form my now eight year old son:
    Where do all your songs come from?

    I absolutely love this question, and I have asked myself the same many times. To me, music is a bit like google translate. I think it is a translation of whatever I am feeling in the moment. I believe especially unprossesed emotions have a tendency of expressing itself as music in my head. Sometimes if I don’t really understand what I am feeling, I listen to the music I have been making lately, and it speaks for itself.

    Thank you very much for participating Elise!

    If you want to know more about Elise and her music you should check out these links:
    Spotify / YouTube

  • Spotted!

    Spotted: Hideyuki Hashimoto – Kohaku

    Today I’m presenting you with the track Kohaku by the Japanese composer and piano player Hideyuki Hashimoto, based in Shikoku. Hideyuki has played the piano since he was a child, and for about ten years.

    The track Kohaku was released as a single on the 28th of October, 2022.

    Tell us something about your track Kohaku!
    “Kohaku” means amber in Japanese. This piece is similar to my very popular piece Koto, it is also like a sibling. I hope you enjoy each song.

    Thanks for sending this in!

  • Spotted!

    Spotted: Nodfeld – Niesel

    Today I’m presenting you to the German composer and piano player Nodfeld and the track Niesel. Nodfeld has been producing music for the past 20 years, mainly electronic music using different stage names. At the age of 40 he learned how to play the double bass and piano and started to use more acoustic instruments. He started his neo classical project Nodfeld in 2021.

    The track Niesel was released on the album Off on the 4th of November, 2022.

    Tell us something about your track Niesel!
    I wrote the track “Niesel” on a cloudy, rainy winter day. The inspiration for a new piece comes from improvisation and playing around with the instrument. And of course my mood and environment. It was the same here. I looked out the window and the weather gave me the title: Nieselregen is German for drizzle. For this piece it was quite simple and there is no special story behind it.

    Thanks for sending this in Nodfeld!

  • Spotted!

    Spotted: Elise Hammer – The Swan

    Today I’m presenting you with the track The Swan by the Norwegian composer piano player Elise Hammer. Elise also played the violin, viola and just recently started to learn how to play the cello. She started composing in 2015 after fighting through some illness, and composing has helped her a lot.

    The track The Swan was released as a single on the 28th of October, 2022.

    Tell us something about your track The Swan!
    I wanted my first release to be a bit happier and simpler. “The Swan” is a piano only, four hand piece. After composing so much heavier music, I wanted to create something that was lighter and easier to listen to. A song where the focus is on the more beautiful and simple thing in life. Emotionally, this has been a easy song to release, and I have gotten better feedback than I expected. I am definitely more nervous about my upcoming releases, since they are so much more personal.

    Thank you very much for this Elise!

  • Spotted!

    Spotted: Ronan Spoor – Daydreamer

    Today I’m presenting you with the track Daydreamer by the dutch composer and piano player Ronan Spoor. Ronan has played the piano since a child and loved to play classical pieces from an early age. He also releases electronic music using the name RonArt.

    The track Daydreamer was released as a single on the 4th of November, 2022.

    Tell us something about your track Daydreamer!
    Daydreamer is about the state of not being fully present in the moment. At some point during the day, everyone has many dreamy thoughts and we are a little bit absent. The music of Daydreamer is to let us know that’s it’s okay to be in your own inner world during the day.  

    Thank you very much for this Ronan!

  • Spotted!

    Spotted: Mare Insularum Pier – Bisu

    Today I’m introcoing you to the project Mare Insularum Pier by the composer and piano player Pietro Fagiolo, and also the track Bisu.

    I am a person of few who likes silence, my compositions are instrumental because in general we talk too much to say too little. Essential things are understood without the need to speak.

    The track Bisu was released as a single on the 19th of October, 2022.

    Tell us something about your track Bisu!
    This piece was improvised at a sunrise concert held in September at the ruins of a nuraghe.
    Unfortunately, the original recording (and of the whole concert) was lost due to a technical problem, so the same morning as soon as I got home I improvised it again because fortunately I remembered quite well what I had done.

    Thank you very much for this!

  • Spotted!

    Spotted: Yan Springett & Rasmus H Thomsen – Beloved Memories

    Today I’m presenting you with the track Beloved Memories by Yan Springett and Rasmus H Thomsen. Yan is a German composer and piano player who has played since he started school. Rasmus is a danish composer who also plays in jazz bands and tours around Europe.

    The track Beloved Memories was released as a single on the 21st of October, 2022.

    Yan, tell us something about your track Beloved Memories!
    “Beloved Memories” is a collaboration with the Danish composer Rasmus H Thomsen. The idea was to compose a song that evokes the positive yet nostalgic feeling you experience while thinking of precious moments of your life that you keep in your heart as beloved memories. The compositional process was quite interesting too since I sent Rasmus a rough idea of the song, which inspired him to continue writing it. When I heard all the detail in the final mix that he had sent me and emotion he put into the performance, I really liked how it turned out!

    Thank you Yan and Rasmus for this wonderful track!

  • Spotted!

    Spotted: José Orlando Luciano – Les jardins de Paris

    Today I’m introducing you to the track les Jardins de Paris by the Italian piano player, accordionist and composer José Orlando Luciano. Jos’e started to play the piano and the accordion as a child which started off his interest in composing music as well as playing them.

    The track Les Gardena de Paris was released as a single on the 15th of October, 2022.

    Tell us something about your track Les Jardins de Paris!
    “Les jardins de Paris” is inspired by my recent stay in Paris. 
    A photograph of the beautiful Parisian gardens and the fascinating sensations that this city continues to convey over time.

    Thanks for sending this in!

  • Spotted!

    Spotted: Star Age – Threads

    Today I’m presenting you with the track Threads by the pianist, harpist and composer Kirsten Agresta Copely, aka. Star Age. Kirsten started playing the piano at the mere age of 18 months, sitting in her mothers lap.

    The track Threads was released as a single on the 20th of October, 2022.

    Tell us something about your track Threads!
    ‘Threads’ is introspective and gently calming, inspired by the strong, silky fibres in aquatic life. The track stands as a metaphor for the bonds that root us all to Earth and each other.

    Thanks for this!

  • Spotted!

    Spotted: Pablo J. Garmon – Sketches of a Lockdown (Byebyefish Rework)

    Today I’m presenting you with the track Sketches of a Lockdown composed by the Spanish composer and piano player Pablo J. Garmon. This version is recorded by the French artist François Maillard, aka. Byebyefish. François started playing the piano at the age of six and has composed neoclassical pieces since the early 2000s.

    The track Sketches of a Lockdown was released as a single on the 14th of October, 2022. It will also be part of an album later this year.

    Tell us something about your track Sketches of a Lockdown!
    During the pandemic, my artist friend Pablo J. Garmon composed an album named ‘Sketches of a Lockdown’. I discovered his music when he released a piano version album last year and was impressed by some of his compositions, especially the eponymous song. When he contacted me a few months ago to know if I was interested in being part of a reworked version of the same album, it was clear I absolutely wished to work on this specific song. As Pablo’s versions were already well developed, I was convinced the right way was to cover it in a minimalistic version, so that we can focus on the pure beauty of the melodic theme. We finished with a raw and expressive song, that I recorded at home on my Yamaha upright piano, which underlines both aspects. Pablo did then an amazing mixing job.

    Thanks for sending me this track!