• Spotted!

    Spotted: David King – Old Forest

    Today I’m introducing you to the Canadian piano player and composer David King, living in Toronto. David has a classical background and he also works as a piano teacher.

    The track Old Forest is the second single taken from an upcoming album. This song was released on the 5th of august.

    Tell us something about your track Old Forest!
    ‘Old Forest’ begins with a few mysterious chords which immediately reminded me of peaceful forest walks; listening to the sounds of nature under the shade of graceful trees much older than I am. Ancient trees have always fascinated me and I have been fortunate enough to see the Major Oak in England, giant conifers in Stanley Park, Vancouver and the vast forests of northern Ontario. I wanted this piece to reflect the calm of a forest walk, the nostalgia of the days when these trees were young as well as a hint of sadness due to our continual destruction of forests around the world.

    Thank you for the music David!

    For more information, please check out the following links:
    Facebook / Website / Spotify

  • Spotted!

    Spotted: David King – Rushing Water

    Today I’m introducing you to the Canadian composer and piano player David King from Toronto. He was taught how to play the piano by his mother at a young age, and then went on to study classical piano for many years.

    Along the way I have always enjoyed composing; putting the knowledge gained from my piano lessons into practice, but with the freedom to combine that knowledge with ideas of my own. 

    Rushing Water will appear on the upcoming album Solitude but is so far released as a single.

    Tell us something about your track Rushing Water!
    I began writing Rushing Water about 8 years ago. It was a challenging period of my life following the death of my mum and I struggled to compose anything I was satisfied with. I came up with a melody in B flat minor but had no idea how to finish the piece so I shelved it. Last year I finally returned to this melody before I began writing any of the other music for my new album. As I developed some new ideas I had a picture in my mind of a river where the water is always moving.

    Thank you David for this track!

    For more information, please check out the following links:
    Facebook / Website / Spotify

  • Spotted!

    Spotted: Elliot Cole & David Kaplan – Five Easy Pieces: V. Berceuse

    Today I’m introducing you to the composer Elliot Cole from Texas, now located in New York in the United States. Elliot grew up taking piano lessons, singing in choirs and playing in different bands. In college he got more serious with hos composing and now writes music for performance, produce records and tech composition at Juliard and The New School.

    The track Five Easy Pieces: V. Berceuse was released as a single on the 16th of august, 2021.

    Tell us something about your track Five Easy Pieces: V. Berceuse!
    This track is part of an EP of piano music called Five Easy Pieces, performed by the amazing David Kaplan.  And that’s exactly what they are — 5 pieces, simple on the surface, but deep underneath.  It was just released this month. Berceuse means lullaby.  I love the rocking sway of this one, and the strangeness mixed in with the sweetness, as if you have one foot being pulled into dreamland.

    Thanks for this Elliot!

  • Behind the piano

    Behind the piano: David Pepper

    A while back I wrote about the song Afon by the British composer and piano player David Pepper. Today we go Behind the piano to get to know the person behind the song a bit better!

    Where are you from? And where do you live?
    I am from Fishguard, which is a coastal town in West Wales within the County of Pembrokeshire which is home to the Uk’s only Coastal National Park. After studying at Dartington College of Arts in Devon, England  and also living abroad in Reykjavik, Iceland I am now back and based in Fishguard where I work as a musician, composer, pianist & curator of cultural events. 

    How long have you been playing the piano, and do you play other instruments as well?
    I have been playing since around the age of 10 and also learnt the Trombone as we have a really good Brass Band locally. My main instrument is very much the piano now and I don’t get much time to play brass much but it was very influential growing up as it enabled me to play in large ensembles which was not often the case with the piano in earlier years.  

    Tell us about how you started playing music. 
    I started to have piano lessons outside of school and also learned various brass instruments with the local Goodwick Brass Band and also individual lessons within School for the Trombone. I then started to take music more seriously and choose to focus on it as a career and decided to  study Music at a College of  the Arts. 

    How long have you been making piano music?
    I have been making piano music from a very early age but I am only starting to release my piano music now.

    Tell us something about that moment you realized you could make songs yourself!
    As I was learning the piano once the technique developed and I learnt more complex harmonies & Scales it came to naturally to go on exploring these myself often through improvisation. From then it is a questions of sketching down some of the better ideas and forming a score and then recording. 

    What are your favorite artists in this “piano genre”?
    I admire what Olafur Arnalds is doing by merging organic and electronic sounds through some really exciting  use of technology. I was really into a lot of late classical and Romantic era also, with composers such as Schumann, Schubert, Beethoven, Brahms and Chopin. Philip Glass is also another bug influence.

    Is there one song which you play over and over again as soon as you sit down by a piano?
    Over the last year or so I have been spending a lot of time performing, composing and improvising a project I am working on called Finisterre which Afon is the first track to be released. Other composers would be Metamorphosis by Philip Glass.

    What rules (in making music) needs to be broken?
    I think you have to try and make music that you feel inspired by yourself. Structure is important in music but that does not have been created in the conventional form, there have been so many interesting ways of making music over the last 100 years. Many of which are yet to brought into the mainstream or fully accepted.

    How do you record your music? Yourself? In a big studio? etc.
    I record sketches myself and then I record at studio in Pembrokeshire called StudiOwz which is a converted chapel in rural Pembrokeshire that is very peaceful and they have a lovely Bechstein Model C Semi Concert Grand Piano 7’4

    Whats your take on sampled instruments?
    I have not used samples on my latest recordings but I am open to this in the future and as I mentioned I do admire the work of Olafur Arnalds and also the Berlin Composer Nils Frahm. I think the use of sampled instruments  are relevant and connected to today’s sound world and society and I would definitely like to explore this especially in live sets and bigger venues to create a more multi dimensional sound world. 

    The last question is asked by my 6 year old son:
    Where do all your songs come from? 

    Songs come from my environment and experiences 

    Thank you very much for this David!

    For more information please check out the following:
    Facebook / Instagram / Spotify

  • Spotted!

    Spotted: David Pepper – Afon

    Today I’m introducing you to the Welsh composer and piano player David Pepper and the track Afon. David comes from a small coast town called Fishguard, which he describes as a “very inspiring place to live”. He started learning to play the piano in his hometown and later studied at Dartington College of Arts in Devon, England.

    After graduating I spent some time in Reykjavik, Iceland working with choirs and being inspired by the landscape and art scene there before then returning to West Wales in 2016. In 2020 I started writing music again and have found this area and landscape inspiring as a place to create music.

    The track Afon – Finisterre was released as a single on the 29th of April, 2021 but will also be part of a future album!

    Tell us something about your track Afon!
    Afon in the Welsh language means river and this particular track is inspired by the River Gwaun which meets the sea in Lower Town, Fishguard. The Welsh name for Fishguard is Abergwaun  which translates as the mouth of the river Gwaun. I often run this stretch of the river Gwaun leading up through the ancient glacial wooded valley towards the Preseli Hills which has informed & inspired this track Afon.

    Thank you for this David!

  • Behind the piano

    Behind the piano: David Snyder

    A couple of weeks back I presented you with the track Whimsical by the American composer and piano player David Snyder. Today we’ll get to know the man behind the song a bit better!

    Where are you from? And where do you live?
    I am from Grand Forks, North Dakota. I currently live in Los Angeles, California.

    How long have you been playing the piano, and do you play other instruments as well?
    I have been playing the piano for fourteen years. I also play the guitar, ukulele, and sing! 

    Tell us about how you started playing music. 
    I started playing the piano through lessons at eight years old and immediately became obsessed. For some reason, those eighty eight keys intrigued me so much, and I found myself constantly improvising, reading music, and jamming with my brothers and friends. 

    How long have you been making piano music?
    Growing up I doodled and jammed at the piano, but during high school I genuinely started to develop an ear for composing and create entire musical works. So although I feel as if I’ve been making piano music my whole life, its probably been about nine years. 

    Tell us something about that moment you realized you could make songs yourself!
    When I was in middle school, I was enamored with the piano, and auditioned for an international music camp—taking place for a week during the summer. To my surprise I was accepted on a full scholarship. During my time at this music camp I was incredibly inspired by other musicians, teachers, and friends to continue making music and continue to compose. 

    What are your favorite artists in this “piano genre”?
    Oh man, this is such a hard questions. I will forever be a Piano Guys fan, and I love Ludovico Einaudi’s emotional work. I also enjoy Chad Lawson and Ian Wong’s music. 

    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? 
    For some reason, I always find myself playing “Stressed Out,” which is one of my original pieces, to warm up at the piano. The arpeggiations and chord structure is always amusing for me to play, and the quick notes are perfect for warming up my fingers. 

    What rules (in making music) needs to be broken?
    Sometimes I feel that musical structure needs to be demolished just as much as it needs to be reinforced. Personally, while making music, I find myself feel held back by theory trainings or basic musical structures, rather than allowing an emotion or moment take control of my musical flow. Sometimes the basic musical voicing that we are taught need to be thrown out the window, and a musician simply needs to play the unexpected and allow emotion to drive the music rather than a lecture or theoretical process. 

    How do you record your music?
    I record my music myself in a church at a grand piano. 

    Whats your take on sampled instruments?
    I think that sampled instruments are wonderful in given circumstances. Personally, I enjoy a live, real, grand piano feeling and sound. 

    And the question from my 6-year old son:
    Where do all your songs come from? 
    My music mostly stems from moments, memories, or feelings. I love to create music that melodically describes a moment in time that was very meaningful for me.

    Thank you for this David!

    For more information, please click on any of these following links:
    Instagram / Website / Spotify

  • Spotted!

    Spotted: David Snyder – Whimsical

    Today I’m introducing you to the track Whimsical by the American composer David Snyder. David grew up in Grand Forks in North Dakota, and had a good ear for melodies even as a kid. He started playing the piano at the age of eight, and soon became fascinated by it’s ability to convey emotion and melodies. He now lives in Los Angeles and composes score music on his piano.

    I have seven brothers and two sisters, and growing up, music was one of our favorite pastimes and bonding agents. It was my favorite thing to “jam” with my seven brothers.

    The track Whimsical was released as a single on September 10th, 2020.

    Tell us something about your track Whimsical!
    “Whimsical” embodies a beautiful instrumental piano tone, musically describing the whimsical feeling of being in love. I wrote this track for my wife. We got married in January! The legato melodies and twinkling tones were designed to exemplify that fluttery feeling of living with my best friend. I composed it whilst drinking lots of coffee and being quarantined in my apartment.  

    Thank you very much for this David!

    For more information, please click on any of these following links:
    Instagram / Website / Spotify

  • Spotted!

    Spotted: David Clavijo – Longing To See You…

    Today I’m introducing you to the spanish composer David Clavijo from Alcalá de Guadaíra (a city in the province of Seville, Spain). David started making music as the age of 16 and has currently released two albums and worked on several collaborations and compilation.

    The track Longing to see you… was released as a single on March 24, 2020.

    Tell us something about your track Longing to see you…!
    I composed the track during the confinement due to the COVID-19 and it represents in its notes the loneliness that many people feel at this moment and the desire to embrace our loved ones again, now so close and yet so far.

    We are living difficult moments of solitude and we all miss a hug with our loved ones, but now not allowed.

    Thank you David for sending this track!

    For more information, please check out the following links:
    Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / Website / Spotify

  • Behind the piano

    Behind the piano: Nathan Madsen

    Today we go Behind the piano to meed the American composer and piano player Nathan Madsen!

    Where are you from? And where do you live? 
    I grew up in the Dallas/Fort Worth area but now live in Austin, TX. 

    How long have you been playing the piano, and do you play other instruments as well? 
    I started playing the piano at a very young age but for the first few years I was just improvising. This was in kindergarten. I couldn’t read music but I recognized how to make certain sounds on the keyboard that I enjoyed. My grandfather, a professor of music at a local seminary, recognized my natural ability and got me into piano lessons. I kept up piano for a number of years then dropped out to start saxophone in middle school. I also play some ukulele, guitar, trombone, flute and clarinet. Singing in choirs and quartets is also something I’ve done. But I would say my two main instruments are piano and saxophone. 

    Tell us about how you started playing music. 
    It started at a young age just making things up and then grew from there. I come from a very musical family, with several college professors or professional musicians on my mother’s side. Being in choir, ensembles and discussing music was something we would do often. 

    How long have you been making piano music?
    For about 30 years. 

    Tell us something about that moment you realized you could make songs yourself!
    My mother has a story of me playing one of the Beethoven sonatas and she heard me do something that wasn’t in the piece. “It sounds better this way” was my response when she asked about it. I don’t know if I ever “realized” I could make music, I’ve just always done it. 

    What are your favorite artists in this “piano genre”?
    I’m a huge Windham Hill fan. I grew up listening to my dad’s copy of “The First Ten Years” collection over and over. I really like George Winston, Michele McLaughlin, David Nevue and so many others. 

    Is there one song which you play over and over again as soon as you sit down by a piano?
    Oddly enough, no. I tend to play something new just about every time. Or just improvise. I do play a lot of out the Real Book since I spent years being in jazz ensembles and combos. 

    What rules (in making music) need to be broken?
    I’m a big fan of knowing the rules then letting go of that structure and doing what feels right. What sounds good. We often forget that music theory came afterwards. Composers and musicians did what they felt sounded good and worked for their own time and after that, academics came along and placed labels on those common practices. So while it’s certainly useful to know and study music theory, following your heart and soul is usually the best call. After all, we’re making music to touch and impact others.  

    How do you record your music? Yourself? In a big studio? etc.
    I run my own studio out of my home and have a full rig. I perform, record and produce everything I do. 

    What’s your take on sampled instruments?
    They’re a valuable tool that can be highly effective when used well. Especially with regards to my orchestral or large(r) ensemble work, sampled instruments are vital to pulling that sort of thing off. Most of my clients don’t have the time or budget to hire a full orchestra every time they want music. Virtual instruments help make that happen for them. 

    Anything else you want to share? 
    I really appreciate all of the support and listens from everyone! It means so much!

    Thank you very much Nathan!

    For more information, check out Nathans website!

  • Behind the piano

    Behind the piano: Daniel Rosenholm

    Back in April of 2021 I wrote a little something about Davids song La Solitude, but today the focus is entirely on the piano artist! Lets have a talk with Daniel Rosenholm!

    Where are you from? And where do you live?
    I’m originally from Åkersberga outside Stockholm, Sweden. After a couple of years of moving around different locations I’ve finally landed in Dalarö, south of Stockholm in the archipelago.

    How long have you been playing the piano, and do you play other instruments as well?
    I started playing piano around the age of 10, but when I was a teenager guitar became my main instrument. During many years I only played keyboard in the studio when producing music, so I kind of forgot about the piano until a couple of years ago when I started making music for film. It made me really rediscover the piano and now it’s my main instrument again.

    Tell us about how you started playing music. 
    As a kid we had an acoustic guitar and a piano at home, my mom sang and played and it really tempted me to try it out. Later on in the teens we started bands. We were quite early in my house with getting a computer, and I quickly learned how to make music on it and I haven’t looked back since.

    How long have you been making piano music?
    If we talk about piano music where the piano is the main focus, it’s about 3 years since I started to make more and more instrumental, piano based music.

    Tell us something about that moment you realized you could make songs yourself!
    I remember sitting with our guitar in my early teens trying to learn the chords of a song, but it was too hard, so instead of learning to play that song I wrote my own with the few chords I had learned so far. And that’s how I continued, I learned to play the instruments by writing songs and composing.

    What are your favorite artists in this “piano genre”?
    I think Agnes Obel is an amazing artist, composer and pianist, don’t know if she counts in the ”piano genre” but she has a couple of wonderful solo piano pieces. Other than her I’d say Jan Johansson and Joep Beving. But I also have to mentioned that this genre is flooded today by so many excellent pianists! I discover new ones all the time, there so much amazing talent out there!

    Is there one song which you play over and over again as soon as you sit down by a piano?
    I enjoy playing my song La Solitude, because it has nice flow in it, it’s quite meditative to play, really great if I’ve had a stressful day. I’m not so good at playing other peoples music, I don’t read sheet music, so I still experience music the way I did when I was learning it in the beginning, by composing.

    What rules (in making music) needs to be broken?
    I don’t think there’s one specific rule that needs to be broken. But I believe that good music benefits from having a combination of elements that breaks rules and others that follows rules. 

    How do you record your music?
    I record my music mostly at home. I have a guest house where I have a my music gear, except for my piano which is in my house in the living room. I also have a corner in the house where I have a midi-keyboard and all the necessary stuff to quickly record ideas or when I need to practice quietly.

    Whats your take on sampled instruments?
    I like them, I love to sample instruments myself, there’s lots of creative stuff you can do with sampled instruments. I’ve actually created my own sample library from my living room piano, it’s called November Piano and I’ve shared it for free on pianobook.co.uk. That said, there’s something really special sitting with a real instrument, the way the instruments starts to vibrate and spread in the room, the atmosphere that’s created when the room and the instrument becomes a unity. That’s something that’s, I’m not gonna say impossible, but very hard to recreate in a sampled instrument.

    Anything else you want to share? 
    I’d like to encourage everyone to learn to play an instrument, it will give you lots of pleasure and can help you through hard times, playing an instrument is really meditative and extra important these days when we need find activities that keep our eyes off all the screens that surround us and constantly fighting for our attention.

    The last question is asked by my 6 year old son:
    Where do all your songs come from? 

    I gather inspiration from many sources. All the music I listen to, the books I read and the movies I watch are like seeds that’s planted in my head and eventually grows to songs that appears to me when I least expect it. So I always make sure I have my phone with the voice memo app close to me so I can catch the songs when they come to me.

    Thank you very much for the David!

    For more information and updates, check out these links:
    Facebook / Instagram / Website / Spotify