• Spotted!

    Spotted: Hideyuki Hashimoto – Breath

    Today I’m introducing you to the latest track Breath by the Japanese composer and piano player Hideyuki Hashimoto living in Kagawa.

    The track Breath is taken from the album with the same name, which name out on October 16th, 2020.

    Tell us something about your track Breath!
    This song was improvised based on one motif. Live recorded on December 2019 at Fluss (Tokyo, Japan), with only one stereo ribbon microphone and has a natural texture.

    For more information, please check out any of these following links:
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  • Spotted!

    Spotted: Hideyuki Hashimoto – Choral

    Today I’m presenting you to the latest track, Choral, from the Japanese composer and piano player Hideyuki Hashimoto. You can read a bit more about him by pressing the link above!

    The track Choral was released on the album April-water on the 24th of July, 2020.

    Tell us something about your track Choral!
    These are calm private recordings of April days. I played the upright piano in my room, at early morning. I have been releasing as April series of albums. These are April, April – Tree, and now this last album, April – Water.
    The song “Choral” is the lead track from “April – Water”.It starts with simple, classical harmonies and they are developed in an improvisational way.

    Thank you very much for this!

    For more information, please check out any of these following links:
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  • Spotted!

    Spotted: Hideyuki Hashimoto – April

    Today I’m presenting you to the composer and piano player Hideyuki Hashimoto born in Osaka, Japan. I have previously written about the track Saki, which you can read more about here!

    The track April was released as part of the EP with the same name, and came out on the 16th of may 2020.

    Tell us something about your track April!
    These are calm private recordings of April days.I played the upright piano in my room, at early morning.
    I titled these April recordings “April”.
    Most of its tracks are played by spontaneous improvisation.

    Thank you for sending me this track!

    For more information, please check out any of these following links:
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  • Spotted!

    Spotted: Hideyuki Hashimoto – Saki

    Today I’m introducing you to composer and piano player Hideyuki Hashimoto from Osaka, Japan; now located in Kagawa Prefecture. Hideyuki’s main focus is improvised performances and composition.

    The track Saki is taken from the soundtrack for the movie Itadiki Girl which was released the 20th of may 2019. The movie have a “family love” theme according to Hideyuki.

    Tell us something about your track Saki!
    This song was recorded in my room. I set two microphones to the upright piano. As it was music for the film, I tried to record improvisation while watching the film. This is the film’s first demo tape, and it was the for the opening scene. It is hard to replace the moment when a song is born, and I think it is special. The opening scene of the movie kind of reminds of the cover art; the girl’s grandmother rides a bike and takes the sleeping baby. The mechanical noise of the piano is reminiscent of the sound of a pedal pedaling a bicycle.

    Thank you Hideyuki for this wonderful soundtrack! It’s wonderful even without the movie!

    For more information, please check out any of these following links:
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  • Behind the piano

    Behind the piano: Tom Blankenberg

    Where are you from? And where do you live?
    I was born in Düsseldorf, Germany and I still live there.

    How long have you been playing the piano?
    Maybe started with 7 or 8? My piano teacher and and I had like an on/off releationship. It started with maybe 7 or 8 for a short time, continuing briefly with around 12 and then again with 19… but not a long time in total.

    Do you play other instruments as well? 
    I played saxophone for a short peroid of time as a teenager, but very unskilled… and I can play the most common guitar chords for campfire situations!

    Tell us about how you started playing music. 
    I went to music school at a very young age for a first introduction in music, playing a small c-major glockenspiel. Then as a child i had those piano lessions. The Teacher loved „The Beatles“, so I was more used to play non-classical stuff. As a teenager I was into synthpop. So I started at 13 or 14 with a synthpop band, having only a few rehearsals, maybe just one… ha ha, this was more about having the image of being in a synthpop-band. After that experience I tried a little Sade-like popjazz and funk as saxophone player and/or keyboarder. Nothing long or serious. But after that I start playing piano, Rhodes and synth in the guitar-indie band, i’m still in. We released 4 albums so far. No. 5 is in the making.

    How long have you been making piano music?
    I did only a few pieces when i was young (one of them ended up on my debut album 32 years later), but then I stopped somehow… and started working and having a family… I still did music in this guitar-indie band but I did not participate in the songwriting process. I fullfilled my demand for songwriting/composing doing soundtracks for a few short films. But 6 years ago I started doing solo piano music again more seriously.

    Tell us something about that moment you realized you could make songs yourself!
    It was always there. I made tiny tracks or musical experiments with my brother as a kid. Those felt songish already. For me Making music was always making compostions too.

    What are your favorite artists in this “piano genre”?
    I love the piano work of Ryuichi Sakamoto. A „piano genre“ artist I like very much is Hideyuki Hashimoto. And I regularly comming back to Matthew Bourne, Carles Viarnès 

    Is there one song which you play over and over again as soon as you sit down by a piano?
    There’s a song of mine I come back to more often that to other ones. It´s „tori“, the opening track of my latest release.

    How long is your shortest song? 
    I did many very short ones for an audiobook, from 4sec. to 45sec. But on the album the shortest is I guess 56sec.

    What rules (in making music) needs to be broken?
    It took me a long time to realize: ignore expectations and go out with your music! 

    Anything else you want to share?
    After stoping having piano lessions as a kid, my parents didn´t sell the piano. They hold it, it was always there. That was very important for my musical development. I was able to play it whenever I wanted to… Having access to a piano is very important for me now. My advice for everyone: don´t sell your instrument ever! Even the longest pause may end and then it´s like an old friend coming back. 

    The last question is asked by my 5 year old son:
    Where do all your songs come from? 
    I don´t know. It feels like that they´re already there. I have to dig a while to reveal them completely… Then the songs tell me their stories or allow my to tell them.

    Thank you for this Tom! And thank you for that lovely record of yours!

    Please check out these links for more information:
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