A while back I wrote about the track Maria by the Norwegian composer and piano player Vetle Lyckander, and as always we want to know it all about him, right!? Let’s go!
Where are you from? And where do you live?
I am 23 years old and I come from a small place called Hadeland, a rural and beautiful town in Norway. I now live in the capital of Norway, Oslo.
How long have you been playing the piano, and do you play other instruments as well?
I have played the piano for maybe 13 years now. It is withouth a doubt my favourite instrument, but I sometimes like to
play around with the guitar as well.
Tell us about how you started playing music.
I started playing music mainly because my parents “pushed” me to learn the piano. I remember that I was mostly interested in playing
soccer and video games with my friends, but as I grew older I developed a unique relationship with the piano. I am so happy I did, and I do not
know what I would do without it today.
How long have you been making piano music?
I have been making music for around 2 years now. I never even thought of making my own music, but as it happened, it felt unevitable and right.
For me, it has been a necessary and artistic way of expressing myself.
Tell us something about that moment you realized you could make songs yourself!
I had made a lot of small compositions and melodic pieces without ever telling anyone they were written by me, so I remember clearly this one incident: I was at home with my family and playing the piano, and when I played one of my own songs someone said:
“That was a beautiful song, I have never heard that one. Is that a new song from Ludovico Einaudi?”
I would never ever in my life compare myself to Ludovico, he is one of my greatest inspirations, but hearing that someone had these thoughts of my music definitely made me believe that maybe there was something to my music.
What are your favorite artists in this “piano genre”?
My first inspiration, which still remains my biggest, is Ludovico Einaudi. When it comes to music, the melody and story of the song is the most important. I think that Einaudi has some of the most original and melodic pieces, and every song tells a different, beatiful story.
In addition, I draw inspiration from other neoclassical composers like Olafur Arnalds, Joep Beving, and lately Stephan Moccio.
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 me this has been “Monday“, by Ludovico Einaudi. I find the melody and the melancholic character of this piece to be incredibly beautiful. Maybe my favourite song to play and to listen to.
What rules (in making music) needs to be broken?
This is a good question, because we often limit ourself to the theory and knowledge we have acknowledged through watching what other people do, without experiment with what we enjoy personally.
I think the most important thing is to create without thinking to much about how other people would do it, and what they would enjoy listening to. In the end, you make music for the sake of the art and to find your own expression. If you make music you think other people will enjoy, you are bound to get lost in unoriginality. Trust your own personal taste, and make the music you love!
How do you record your music?
I record my music myself, with a pair of reasonable condenser microphones plugged into my laptop. I have recorded both at home, and for my EP called Maria, I actually recorded in an old stone church. The unique acoustics provided by the church made the recordings very special and characteristic.
Whats your take on sampled instruments?
Samples are a great way to get your hands on sounds you would never have the chance to work with otherwise. But there is no more beautiful thing than a real and raw recording of an acoustic instrument. Music without flaws is unnatural and inhuman, the most beautiful music is the music which shows and connects you with the human part of the recording, with all its imperfections intact. I would rather play on a cheap acoustic piano than a million dollar digital piano.
Anything else you want to share?
Thanks for having me in your Behind The Piano Series! I am happy there is a community of people who loves the piano and enjoys the simple, acoustic music in the ever growing world of streaming and fast-consumable pop songs. Stay safe!
Thank you for this Vetle!
Thank you very much for this Vetle!
Today I’m introducing you to the Norwegian composer and piano player Vetle Lyckander and his track Maria. Vetle comes from a small-lace called Hadeland and started taking piano lessons at the age of 10-11. Recently he started making music of his own, but music has always been a big part of his life.
The piano is in many ways your diary and the medium for your most personal feelings and experiences, so I like to think that no one knows me better than my piano (probably also my downstairs neighbours).
The track Maria was released as part of the EP, with the same name, on February 5th, 2021.
Tell us something about your track Maria!
This track is called Maria, named after an old stone church in Norway called “Mariakirken”. I composed this song in a creative rush after I got the idea of recording an album in the church, thinking about the unique acoustics and echoing effect you get when you play there. The melody has two separate voices which are introduced separately in the song, before they combine in harmony for the main part. This polyphonic character of the melody came from my idea of many voices singing in harmony and echoing in the church. And if you listen very closely to some of the songs on the EP, you can actually hear rumbling sounds from some construction workers digging and drilling several kilometers away. Goes to show how the sounds resonate and amplify inside the church walls!
Thank you very much for this Vetle!