Today I’m presenting you with the track Sommarsång i stilla tid och barfotadans på klippor by the Swedish composer and piano player Ida Gillner from Gothenburg. Idas main instrument is the saxophone and have a bachelor in music and drama from Gothenburg academy of music.
Due to the exhaustion following the sudden loss of my sister in February 2020, I was unable to put up the saxophone in eight months. The piano became my way through grief and back to music. And it lead to my debut solo album ‘Anna’ – on piano.
The track Sommarsång i stilla tid och barfotadans på klippor is featured on the album ‘Anna’, which was released on the 10th of March, 2021.
Tell us something about your track Sommarsång i stilla tid och barfotadans på klippor!
I wrote the piece several years ago. It´s like an anthem to the little island outside Gothenburg, where I grew up. It´s actually already recorded and released in 2013 by my duo Ida&Louise, but I´m then playing the soprano sax. The song means a lot to me, because I played it on my sisters funural a year ago. That´s why I decided to record it again, a version just with me on solo piano capturing the sense of being close to my sister through the music.
Thank you for this Ida!
Today I’m introducing you to the latest track by the British composer Barry Hudson-Taylor. Barry grew up in a small town in the north-west of England and writes music for film and television; as well as making his own releases. He started playing the piano at the age of nine and started writing music mor seriously in high school!
I like to keep my music simple and allow it to breathe, allowing each note to tell its own story. I want my music to be transparent and effortless, weightless in a sense. I’m a firm believer in less is more when it comes to music. Simplicity is key for me.
The track Portraits of Jane was released as a single on the 12th of April, 2021.
Tell us something about the track Portraits of Jane!
Written as a homage to my late, great aunt Jane. Growing up, she was the only real older role model in my life bar my parents, and instilled in me the old-school values that I still keep with me till this day, values that i’m extremely grateful for. I think it’s only fitting that I honour her with a piece that reflected her calm and loving nature.
Recorded using felt and utilising close-mix techniques for an intimate listening experience.
Thank you very much for this Barry!
Today I’m presenting you with the track Jonas by the British composer and piano player Jasper Kwant. Jasper has played in different bands for the past 15 years and recently started his solo project with piano music he has collected over the years.
Most of my compositions come about from just sitting at the piano when I need a bit of time to myself. I just start playing to reflect my feelings and sometimes the outcome is worth keeping and writing down.
The track Jonas was released as a single on the 16th of march, 2021.
Tell us something about your track Jonas!
Jonas was composed for my Son about 3 years ago. I had composed the track Saoirse for my daughter and the pressure was on to create something for him. It’s a peaceful dreamy soundscape to lull you off to sleep or take your mind to distant places.
Thank you very much for this Jasper!
Today I preset you with the track Save me by the Dutch composer Muriël Bostdorp. Muruël makes music with a focus on soft intimate piano compositions and has to this day around 13 millions streams on Spotify.
The track Save me was released as a single on the 12th of march, 2021 but will also be part of an EP.
Tell us something about your track Save me!
This EP was written in the first period of the pandamic. I can remember the feeling I got the day we went into the first lockdown. It is difficult to describe in words, as I am not a writer or a poet. My words for these overwhelming emotions can be found within the pieces of this EP. Every track is a facet. Save Me is not a cry for help, although it sounds like that. Save Me is a call for hope – hope for different times, more self-conscious and new beginnings.
Thank you Muriël!
Today I’m introducing you to the composer and piano player Alexander Kondrashov from Moscow, Russia. Alexander started to play the piano at age six and released his first album about two years ago.
The track Наедине was released as a single on the 15th of march, 2021.
Tell us something about your track Наедине!
New single is dedicated to time we spent alone during the quarantine and pandemic. The conversations I had with my family and friends pushed me to think about my own. I was wondered how little time we have to recognize ourselves. So this composition is about being alone with deep feelings and trying to understand, who you personally are.
Thank you Alexander!
Today I’m prestige you with the latest track by the Australian composer and piano player Gregory Paul Mineeff from Wollongong.
The track Mood Triptych was released as a single on March 10th, 2021.
Tell us something about your track Mood Triptych!
The title is a reference to the simple chordal structure of the piece and the way it makes me feel as I play it, the mood in this case being relaxed, pensive and content.
Thank you very much for this!
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 another great track by the Swedish composer and piano player Maria Grönlund, which you can read all about here! Maria is based in Stockholm, Sweden and started playing the piano at the age of six.
The track Aureolin was released as a single on the 9th of march, 2021.
Tell us something about your track Aureolin!
Aureolin is the name of a bright and rich yellow color, and this is one out of ten pieces that originate from a lengthy, joint improvisation together with painter Madelene Egerfält, where she painted what she heard me play and I played what I saw her paint. This piece depicts the uplifting, joyful feeling I got when I saw her make broad, life-affirming upwards strokes with pure yellow.
Thank you for this Maria!
Today I’m introducing you to the Turkish composer and pianist Selin Gökova and her track Haze. Selin started to play the piano at the age of 11 and started composing her own tunes when she was 13. During quarantine she decided to start making her music public, and Haze is her debut track!
This track Haze was released as a a singleton the 12th of March, 2021.
Tell us something about your track Haze!
I composed “Haze” on a very sunny day in July. Despite the weather outside, I could only feel an intense haze covering my thoughts and life due to all the uncertainties and anxiety the pandemic brought forth. The piece draws visual imagery of a hazy scene, in which one is alone and unable to see anything or move forward. Surrounded by fear and hopelessness, one starts to feel smaller and smaller, while the future transforms into a source of anxiety instead of excitement. However hard one tries to get rid of this haze, every step taken to reach the sunlight becomes one more miserable move into the big grey ocean of uncertainties.
Thank you very much for this Selin!
Today I’m introducing you to the American composer and piano player Andrew Shapiro from Brooklyn, New York and his track Mint Green. He started recording solo piano music in 2009, and that partricular recording was made in one day at Philip Glass’s studio.
The track Mint Green was released on the album Numbers, colors and people back in 2008 and re-released as a solo piano single in 2021.
Tell us something about your track Mint Green!
I was a young artist making my first album and was amazed a piece of art-music could find the reception that it did. But it was in the way that it did I continue to find fascinating. Mint Green has resonated with fans of a number of disparate artists and genres. It’s Classical, Ambient, Emo, Pop and Trance simultaneously. One could make the case that this is really a piece of Electronica realized by a human on a piano… When the piece reached into mainstream territory –initially on Coldplay’s Pandora station– I started hearing from people all over the world. In recognition of this journey, I’ve created a remastered and shortened version (four minutes); the one I play on TV and in other appearances.
Thank you for this Andrew!