• Spotted!

    Spotted: Glenn Natale – It is You

    Today I’m introducing you to the composer and piano player Glenn Natale from America. Glenn started playing piano at the age of 12, and the same moment he touched the keys he got curious and wanted to start compose his own songs.

    The track It is you is taken from the album Follow the pines which was released on June 29th of 2020.

    Tell us something about your track It Is You!
    This Melody was inspired by my fiancé. While backpacking through California I had a moment where I felt with all my core she was who I wanted to spend my life with.  

    Thank you for the music Glenn!

    For more information, check out these links:
    Instagram / Spotify

  • Spotted!

    Spotted: Orouni – Nora

    Today I’m introducing you to the French composer Orouni and the track Nora. Orouni lives in Paris where he gathers the melodies you har in the music.

    The track Nora is release don the double single ALLORA which was released on the 3rd of July of 2020.

    Tell us something about the track Nora!
    The video for the piano version of “Nora” features Parisian sunsets and other visual phenomena created by the sun. I love taking pictures of sunsets, so I wanted to go further and show them evolving. This particular moment has a sad dimension, because it corresponds to the end of a cycle, but it brings the day to a wonderful close, a touching grand finale.

    The original song “Nora” is inspired by Henrik Ibsen’s feminist drama A Doll’s house, whose most powerful instant is its end, a moving and liberating climax. Furthermore, the sun and the weather play an important role in the plot.

    I entirely shot the video from my apartment in Paris, as if I was in a doll’s house myself. But it’s not a “lockdown video”, since I started to work on it in late May. I rather see it as a way to exhaust the different illustrations of a certain reality within given constraints. So, in the same way that the three existing versions of “Nora” I recorded are as many possible interpretations of a single composition, this video only shows images captured through the windows of my apartment, or its interior. Just like for Nora’s character, the domestic constraint creates a projection towards the outside world.

    Thank you for sending me this!

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

  • Behind the piano

    Behind the piano: Riccardo Chiaberta

    Thursday again, and it’s time to dig deeper into the minds of another contemporary composer and piano player. Let’s get to know Riccardo Chiaberta a bit better!

    Where are you from? And where do you live?
    I was born in Verbania, a city in the North of Italy situated on the shore of Lake Maggiore. I moved to London in 2015.

    How long have you been playing the piano, and do you play other instruments as well?
    I started playing the piano at 7 years old while playing drums and percussions around the age of 14. Since then I’ve been playing drums as my main instrument and I started studying and practising the piano more deeply only during my Jazz Academy studies’ years. 

    Tell us about how you started playing music. 
    I started playing music as a kid, inspired by my family’s music passion: my dad plays guitar and a bit of piano, and my grandfather was a composer and music director of the local bands. My house has always been full of music instruments.

    How long have you been making piano music?
    I’ve been making piano music since I started studying Jazz at the Music Academy. I’ve spent many hours practicing jazz harmony and some classical pieces. Since then I started writing compositions for solo piano.

    Tell us something about that moment you realized you could make songs yourself!
    I guess that one of my first composition came out from a mistake practicing some harmony exercises. it sounded good and almost unexpected and I kept repeating the chords progression over and over and then writing a melody on top of them.

    What are your favorite artists in this “piano genre”?
    I love the piano performances by Thom Yorke, the music of the impressionists Debussy and Ravel and the lyric pieces by Edvard Grieg.

    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? 
    I usually play my own songs or I just like to improvise some melodies.

    What rules (in making music) needs to be broken?
    Any genre barrier. Music is music, it can’t be fitted in boxes.

    How do you record your music? Yourself? In a big studio? etc.
    As a drummer I’ve recorded loads of albums in professional studios but I then decided to tape-record my piano album A Bird Told Me and the single Camden Town at my parents’ house on the same piano where I used to play and compose my music in my early years. 

    Whats your take on sampled instruments?
    If they can help you to make the music you like it’s a great way of writing original compositions!

    Anything else you want to share? 
    This is a gem! Truly beautiful music, played by two great musicians that love each other. It warms your heart: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8lTh58jhA8

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

    They come from my emotions, experiences, the people I spend time with, the books that I read, the movies that I watch, the nature and from my music studies.

    Thank you very much for your participation on my Behind the piano series Riccardo!

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

  • Spotted!

    Spotted: Rui Ribeiro – Falkenberger Straße

    Today I’m introducing you to the track Falkenberger Straße by the Portuguese composer and piano player Rui Ribeiro. Rui was bord in Lisbon, where he still is located, and started learning about music and playing it at the age of seven. Piano was however not his first choose but the organ.

    The track Falkenberger Straße is the second single from an upcoming album, due to be released in September of 2020.

    Tell us something about your track Falkenberger Straße!
    ‘Falkenberger Straße’ is a piece representing a recollection I have of a street in Berlin where I lived while studying in that city almost 20 years ago. While living there, I learned a lot as an aspiring musician, but most of all I recall developing my resistance and perseverance in the face of adversity: Berlin was much colder and darker than my hometown Lisbon, family and friends were far away and smartphones had not yet been invented, I couldn’t understand the German language, money was scarce and barely enough to survive. However, I did my best to keep smiling and to absorb all that city had to teach me, step by step in a continuous cadence in which the important thing was to never stop (just like the left hand movement in this piece).

    A funny thing about the track… after the recording, I wanted to add a soft wind sound to the track, because I remember the freezing soft wind in Berlin during the winter. But I wasn’t happy with the wind sounds I was recording outside, and also not happy with the ones I was finding in sound banks. So in the end, the wind sound you hear very softly in the back is actually me using my own mouth to reproduce it 🙂 Old school foley!

    Thank you very much for this Rui!

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

  • Spotted!

    Spotted: Daniel O`Rhys – Floating

    Today I’m introducing you to the track Floating by the composer Daniel O’Rhys. Daniel have played piano for a long time, but just recently started to make his tunes available for others!

    The track Floating was released as a single on the 26th of June!

    Tell us something about your track Floating!
    At first the title “Floating” was a wrong read of the characterisation of the first theme that I’ve scribbled in my sketch book, which said “flowing”. But I liked” floating” way better, so I kept it as the title. I wrote the piece in one afternoon and recorded it in one take on my home piano. The recording is not perfect, the piano is quiet squeaky,the tuning is a already a bit questionable and I forgot to close the window to the street. Still I decided to leave it as is. It captured the perfect moment for me and it felt good to be “in the zone” playing piano. 

    Thank you Daniel!

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

  • Spotted!

    Spotted: Sun Rain – Oils

    Today I’ introducing you to the track Oils by the Canadian composer and self taught piano player Sun Rain. He started releasing music back in 2014 as being part of the electronic duo Snowday. When he got his hands on an old grand piano, he started making piano music, and came up with the name Sun Rain for it!

    The track Oils was released on the EP Elora Gorge and came out on the 19th of June, 2020.

    Tell us something about your track Oils!
    The song idea started as an improvisation that I recorded on my phone years ago. Lots of ideas start this way and later I’ll go through the recordings to see if any of the noodles have potential. ‘Oils’ (which was the original title of the iPhone file) got my attention and I learned and recorded the piece properly in my studio. The track then spent many months as a solo piano piece until I got the idea to add synth textures and atmosphere. Once that layer was added, I asked Chloe Davidson to put down some cello to fill out the piece and give it a bit of forward momentum.

    Thanks Chad!

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

  • Spotted!

    Spotted: Judson Hurd and Alex King – Prelude and Fugue in C Major, BWV 846: (With Rain)

    Today I’m introducing you to the latest track by the American composer and piano player Judson Hurd, which you can read all about in this Behind the piano article.

    Tell us something about Prelude and Fugue in C Major, BWV 846: (With Rain)!
    Our newest release is one to calm people down in this crazy world we are in right now. I deconstructed this Bach piece by using felt piano and Alex King recorded some rain sounds.

    More information about Judson Hurd here:
    Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Spotify

  • Spotted!

    Spotted: dopeman – What Remains

    Today I’m presenting to you the track What remains by the German composer dopeman. dopemans read name is Niklas, and he started playing the piano at the age of 11 in his hometown in northern Germany. He started taking it more seriously around 2009 when he came up with the moniker dopeman.

    This is the first time I’ve written a pure piano project, which was something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, but up until recently, couldn’t build up the courage to do so.

    The track What remains is taken from the album Unspeakable notes, which was released on June 26th of 2020.

    Tell us something about your track What remains!
    This particular song was the last song I wrote for this project, when I had already finished all the other tracks for quite a while.As the entire record is influenced by a time of turbulence in my private life, this one also carries a lot of emotional weight.When I was done writing all the other songs, I still felt that I had some things left to express, which I ultimately channeled in the last song of the album.As I usually also struggle to come up with song titles, I simply titled it “What Remains”, in reference to all the feelings that remained untapped until I wrote this final piece.

    Thank you Niklas for this wonderful tune!

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

  • Behind the piano

    Behind the piano: Benyamin Yahyavi

    It’s Thursday, which means we’ll dig deeper into the mind of another contemporary piano composer. This week we’ll get to know the Iranian composer Benyamin Yahyavi a bit better!

    Where are you from? And where do you live?
    Was born in Romania but my parents are Iranians and I currently live in Tehran.

    How long have you been playing the piano, and do you play other instruments as well?
    I’ve been playing the piano for about six years and yes, I also play Trumpet and Guitar as my second and third instrument. If we consider a computer as an instrument, i also play computer and digital instruments.

    Tell us about how you started playing music. 
    When I was 13-14 years old, I was very interested in music and listened to different music for hours a day. And finally, one day i accidentally realized that I was playing the piano, so i was very happy to choose music and composing as my first love, as well as my main job. Because i know nothing but writing and making music!

    How long have you been making piano music?
    About 3 years ago I start writing music. 

    Tell us something about that moment you realized you could make songs yourself!
    I was so happy because finally found a way to convey my feelings to others.

    What are your favorite artists in this “piano genre”?
    I think my favorites are guys like Ólafur Arnalds, Fabrizio Paterlini. I really like the sadness that is in their works and other favorites that I’ve discovered along the way are Nils Frahm, Max Richter, Dustin O’Halloran.

    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? 
    Maryam, my own song that I love it! It’s very special to me.

    What rules (in making music) needs to be broken?
    All rules! Because I think music is a way to break the rules, and that’s why it can’t be in prison of rules!

    How do you record your music? Yourself? In a big studio? Etc.
    I have a small home studio that I do all of my work there. But for my new project it’s possible that I record my strings in a big studio.

    Whats your take on sampled instruments?
    It’s very simple: VSTs are Good and helpful! The quality of the sound and feel just keeps getting better but live instruments still feel more powerful when playing than VST.

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

    Thanks for your participation Benyamin!

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

  • Spotted!

    Spotted: Selsom and Walker Combe – Jøkul

    Today I’m introducing you to the track Jøkul by the two artists Selsom and Walker Combe. Selsom comes from Norway and has played the piano since the age of six. Later he went on to study music production which brought him to the UK. Walter Combe has played the Cello since he was five years old. He gave up music in his early 20s but came back about nine years ago.

    The track Jøkul was released as a single on the 26th of June, 2020.

    Tell us something about what your plans going forward with your releases!
    For Selsom this is part of a yearly project where I compose, produce and release one track a month for a year. This year’s concept is based on the fact that Norway has 100 words related to snow. I will choose 12 of my favourite words. After the 12th release, the plan is to collate them into an album called SNØ meaning snow in Norwegian. It will most likely be released a year from when the concept started in the end of February.

    Tell us something about the track Jøkul!
    Selsom:

    When I started this year long concept album, I really wanted to do it on a real piano. I had saved up for an upright for over a year, and then COVID hit! So I released the 3 first tracks performed on a Nord Stage keyboard, where I recorded the stereo output, but placed a stereo pair of microphones above it to pick up the actual ambiance. 3 months into the pandemic I finally managed to get hold of a beautiful Yamaha U1! As soon as I composed this track, I knew I had to involve Simon. The track was screaming for a cello, and Simon is a fantastic cellist as well as a brilliant recording engineer. Basically, win! After getting the track back from Simon, I had a little moment where I almost cried out of excitement. When picking a snow related name for the track, it had to mirror the atmospheric vastness of the track as well as the slow melancholic pace. Jøkul is one of my favourite snow words. It is an arm or one strand of a glacier, which perfectly fits in with the fact that it’s a collaboration, like a little offshoot from the larger project.

    Walker Combe:
    When I got the piano track from Stian there was so much space to explore it. I just sat with it and started hearing these notes with overtones… I explored those and then this beautiful melody hit me in the middle of the piece and I loved it straight away and tracked it immediately without editing. I was recording during the heatwave in May and I had to track it late at night as the birds were making so much noise during the day it was impossible to get a clean take.

    Thank you very much for this lovely track!

    For more information, please check out these following pages:
    Selsom:
    Facebook / Instagram / Website / Spotify

    Walter Combe:
    Facebook / Instagram / Spotify