• Stories

    About the track: Northern

    To talk about the track Northern I need to talk just a little bit about my uncle Per. Per has always been my biggest idol. I’ve always looked up to him and he has been a great mentor when it comes to what music I should listen to. So when he asked me in 2010 if I wanted to help him make a record for one of his books (Prinsessans Rockband), I immediately said yes. The record sold very well, and we were awarded a Gold Record in Sweden.

    After that we didn’t make much music together. Almost nothing at all.

    Until early 2020 when he wrote to me and asked if I wanted to finish a couple of piano tunes that he’d been working on.

    The first one I started to work on was the song Western which have been released as a solo piano version on my EP Sinclair in may, 2020.

    When he sent me the track Northern, what I fell for immediately was the bass line; especially the two notes that leads up to every phrase. So that’s where I started with the track! The melody was there, so I just needed something to do with my left hand to make it flow.

    So, here it is!

  • Behind the piano

    Behind the piano: Rui Ribeiro

    A couple of months back I wrote about the track Falkenberger Straße by the Portuguese composer and piano player Rui Ribeiro. And since it’s Thursday; why not learn more about his history!

    Where are you from? And where do you live?
    I was born in Lisbon, Portugal. I currently live in a little town hidden in the middle of the woods, north of Portugal.

    How long have you been playing the piano, and do you play other instruments as well?
    I’ve been playing the piano for around 25 years now but I started to play the organ earlier when I was 7, so I think it’s fair to say I play keyboard instruments for more than 30 years now. Besides keyboard instruments I played the drums, the trumpet, and the violin (not very well though!) 

    Tell us about how you started playing music. 
    My father was taking driving lessons when I was a kid, and the time for those lessons was after school. So he’d pick me up from school, and take me with him to those lessons (I was sitting in the back seat of the driving school car while he was learning how to drive). The driving instructor was a rude and unprofessional lady that frequently ordered my father to stop the car in front of her house so she could take some groceries in or whatever. Coincidentally, right next to her house there was a music school with a huge window. While me and my dad were waiting for the instructor in the car, I could see and listen to kids like me playing all sorts of instruments, and that just sounded and looked like a magical world to me. I was fascinated by that and my father was keen to notice it. I eventually enrolled in that school and that’s how it all started.

    How long have you been making piano music?
    This is a hard question to answer because I started to improvise music in the piano right away, even before I learned any music theory or technique at all. Even today, after all the music education I had (conservatory, college), I still sit at the piano and the first thing I play is an improvisation (that sometimes ends up growing into a piece). So I can’t really pinpoint the exact time when I started to make piano music. However, I only decided to make some of this music public as late as 2015.

    Tell us something about that moment you realized you could make songs yourself!
    Well, as I said before, it was always very natural for me to create music out of nothing, so there wasn’t really an “aha” moment for me. I remember, though, the first time I wrote a piece to offer to someone: I was in high school and was in love with a girl; because I was too shy, I thought that offering her a song showing my feelings would be better. It didn’t work very well, but I realized more clearly in that moment that I could do it!

    What are your favorite artists in this “piano genre”?
    I end up not having favourite artists in this contemporary composer/pianist genre because I like to find new ones and realize how different they can be. It’s really beautiful to witness their different personalities and ideas. I must also confess that I don’t listen that much to fellow pianist/composers of today (I should probably invest more time on that), and most of the time I listen to the classical repertoire instead.

    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? 
    Not really. Every time I sit down by the piano I mostly start to improvise. Unless, of course, it’s a concert and then I’ll play my music!

    What rules (in making music) needs to be broken?
    I think that rules are definitely made to be broken, but I believe they’re usually broken in different times and ways. For instance, it’s very clear that nowadays the “standard piano sound rules” in recordings are being broken: long gone are the days that all recordings sounded the same, with their Steinway Ds, decca trees, similar studio sound engineering and so on. People are now recording with different pitches, prepared pianos, felt pianos, and looking for a more unique sound identity. I think that each era has its innovations and it’s very important not to stagnate in the same processes. I don’t know what rules need to be broken, but I do know that it’s important to think freely and not to get too attached to any music rules.

    How do you record your music? Yourself? In a big studio? etc.
    I always record it and produce it myself, but studio wise It all depends on the final result I’m after. My first two solo piano albums were recorded in big studios, with top gear. The first one on a Steinway D, the second on a Yamaha S7. It sounds very standard, and it was what I was after to serve those pieces. However, my whole third album (to be released in September) was recorded in a friend’s garage, on his Yamaha U3 semi-abandoned upright piano, using unusual gear and techniques. I was looking for a different type of sound, and that worked for me. My next EP I’m already working on, is being currently recorded right here in my home studio, with the windows opened and featuring bird sounds… it all depends on the result I’m searching for.

    What’s your take on sampled instruments?
    I produced and composed mainstream for many years before dedicating myself to my own piano music, and during those times I extensively used sampled instruments for a vast number of reasons. I witnessed the unbelievable development of these virtual instruments over the past decade, and I must confess that sometimes I got lazy and instead of going to choose the right piano for a recording, set all the microphones, call in the piano tuner and so on, I would just pick a virtual sampled piano from the list I had, and went for it. It’s easy, sounds great, and it’s much faster than recording a real piano. However, there’s a very serious downside of all this: everything starts to sound the same, and a lot of the sound identity and imperfection of music making starts to disappear. That’s why I decided at some point to use sampled instruments much less than before. I do recognize, however, that these can be immensely helpful in many situations but, at least at this point, I’m happier working with real instruments.

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

    That is a very interesting question that I already made myself before (little kids always make interesting questions!)… but I still can’t answer it. There was a friend of mine, a singer and songwriter, that once said her song ideas are floating in the air, and sometimes she can grab some of them, other times she can’t. Truth is, I have no idea where my pieces come from. I could say that they come from my intellect or compositional abilities, but I feel that’s not true. The composer skill is in deed what makes the development of an idea into a full piece possible… but the initial idea itself, that little seed, it doesn’t really come from my technical skills. I have no idea where it comes from…

    Thank you very much for your participation Rui!

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

  • Spotted!

    Spotted: Mjorn – Golden milk

    Today I’n introducing you to the artist Mjorn and the track Golden Milk. Mjorn’s real name is Miron Nabokov, and Miron has lived most of his life in Russia, but is now based in the Netherlands.

    As a child, I had a love-hate relationship with my piano because of the music school I had to go to. I managed to graduate even though I never even learnt to read sheet music there (that came years later, to the utter shock of my former teachers). Nowadays, I am happy to be able to express my ideas musically.

    The track Golden Milk is a part of the EP Cyclical which was released on September 18, 2020.

    Tell us something about your track Golden Milk!
    The EP portrays the natural cycle of seasons, and Golden Milk represents autumn. It’s the calmest and the simplest track on the album. It’s also the only one suitable for playing solo. I hoped to convey a sense of melancholic cosiness everybody experiences on those long autumn evenings with a warm drink.

    Thank you Miron!

    For more information and updates; check out these links:
    Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / Spotify

  • Spotted!

    Spotted: Josh Shackleton – While a Little Love’s Alive

    Today I’m presenting you to the tack While a Little Love’s Alive by the British born, Geneva based, composer Josh Shackleton.

    I’m interested in space as a composer, whether it’s an emotional space, a mood or exploring somewhere physical that I can best portray into something sonic.

    The track While a Little Love’s Alive was released on the EP Loom, which was released on the 11th of September, 2020.

    Tell us something about the track While a Little Love’s Alive!
    This release was written and recorded during a period of isolation, a fraught time. Loom was like a diary, I could pour myself in, flutter and weave my thoughts outside of four walls, for moments of despair, moments of warmth, floating above the passing and giving myself into it.

    Thannk you for this Josh!

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

  • Spotted!

    Spotted: Matthias Gusset – Wingstrokes

    Today I’m introducing you to the track Wingstrokes by the Swiss drummer, guitarist and keyboarder Matthias Gusset.

    Wingstrokes is the second single from an upcoming album, and it was released on the 4th of September, 2020.

    Tell us something about your track Wingstrokes!
    I wrote Wingstrokes on my upright piano at home. It was a sunday morning after a long night. While trying to play the arpeggio fluently it felt like a bird trying to fly higher but struggling with the wind. With that picture in my head I had a vision for the feeling of the song. I wrote it to remind myself and hopefully the listener that struggling isn’t a bad thing at all.

    Thanks for this!

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

  • Spotted!

    Spotted: Galdmatic – 824: The Summer of 2020

    Today I’m introducing you to the track 824: The Summer of 2020 by the American artist Galdmatic. Galdmatics real name is Nahum Galdamez and Nahum comes from Los Angeles. Nahum has however lived all over America and Canada for the past ten years.

    I am classically trained since age 6 but have been producing and creating pop and alternative music for different projects on and off for the past few years. I have always had the inclination to return to my classical roots and this summer,

    The track is released as part of the EP called Crown World EP which came out on September 4th of 2020.

    Tell us something about the track 824: The Summer of 2020!
    824: The Summer of 2020 is a personally meaningful song as it encapsulates my recollections of a very tumultuous year.
    It is a song of pain delivered with a sound of hope. 
    The piece consist of three short introspective sections: 
    824 – Being from Los Angeles, the death of Kobe Bryant was a profound shock to everyone around me.  It was weird having to process grief for someone we’d never personally met, but as I wrestled with that emotion, I had the initial melody of this song appear in my head for a few days.  
    As the year continued to evolve, so did the song. The middle of the composition represents the daunting transition I had to make as I moved my family and I back home across the country to California. The melody is an ode to the feelings of separation that developed after driving away from a place where I had experienced so many new things and made bonds with so many great people. 
    And finally, the concluding “mini-act” represents the part of the year when the pandemic hit home, through the death of my uncle and grandmother. This final section is a melodic eulogy that ties all this experience together. It is a transition, a send off, and a tribute to beautiful lives that were well lived. 

    Fun FACT: When I received the final master cut of this song, I realized that the running time was 2:24 – those were the basketball numbers of Kobe (24) and his daughter (2). This wasn’t done on purpose and it was a great synchronicity to discover. 

    Thanks to you Nahum for sharing this with us!

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

  • Spotted!

    Spotted: Andrei Poliakov – Lullaby in the moonlight (

    Today I’m introducing you to the Russian composer and musician Andrei Poliakov and his track Lullby in the Moonlight. Andrei got his musical education as a pianist in St-Petersburg and then continued his professional career as a oboist. He now lives in Geneva, Switzerland.

    “I do not feel bound by a genre or a style, and instead I use and abuse the variety of styles to paint a deeper and more colorful, meaningful musical picture. Nevertheless, the Piano is always staying as a centerpiece of my compositions as I believe the richness and diversity of sounds of the “king of music” easily trumps any other instrument I know”.

    The track Lullaby became available on streaming services on the 17th of September, 2020.

    Tell us something about your track Lullaby in the moonlight!
    “Lullaby” is my latest piano single, showcasing nocturnal and diurnal perspectives through two tracks. Evolving from lush beauty into dramatic invigoration, “Lullaby in the moonlight (” is a an intimate, quiet and lulling solo-piano piece, replaying moments when all the daily conquers are over, the large world turns small in a room around you, busy streets of the cities are going quiet, the night’s veil is just about to fall on your tired eyes. The opening bracket at the end of the track title symbolises the moon in descent. This track is dedicated to the city of St-Petersburg, one of the most wonderful cities in the world which I love dearly, where I was born and lived the most in my life. The beautiful artworks for the release were provided by a very talented artist from Germany, Natalia Osenchakova; the artworks were inspired by the magnificent scenery of St-Petersburg, too.
    Lullaby in the Sunshine) will be released 3 weeks after the Lullaby in the Moonlight on the 8th of October. The second piece will feature an array of styles and live instruments to develop the story further: it’s a humorous take on the idea of sleeping in a full daylight, when the world is at its peak of energy, rushing and loudly making its way to the evening; sun rays sneaking into your tightly closed eyes.

    Thank you Andrei!

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

  • Behind the piano

    Behind the piano: Andrea Sertori

    Another week has passed, and it’s time to dig deep into the minds of another contemporary composer and piano player. This week I’m has a talk with the Italian composer Andrea Sertori, so lets begin!

    Where are you from? And where do you live?
    From Italy and precisely in the beautiful city of Bergamo. 

    How long have you been playing the piano, and do you play other instruments as well? 
    I’ve been playing the piano practically forever, I was about 9 years old when I took my first lessons. Later I was lucky enough to study and play synthesizers in depth. 

    Tell us about how you started playing music. 
    When I was little, my parents used to take me to see some relatives. In a big hall there was an old piano. And I was very attracted to that austere and mysterious instrument. So I started with little toy keyboards. My father, a great lover of classical music, encouraged me to try the instrument. 

    How long have you been making piano music? 
    I’ve always played as a keyboard player in several rock bands. Then 3 years ago I started making music by myself. 

    Tell us something about that moment you realized you could make songs yourself!
    I needed to concretize some ideas that I couldn’t share with my band. So the Mosaic Room experiment was born, my first solo work. 

    What are your favorite artists in this “piano genre”?
    Basically I don’t think I belong to a specific kind of piano. In my productions there will be piano solo pieces but I will also continue to mix piano and electronics. Certainly when I compose solo piano pieces I am inspired by the music of the great romantic pianists. 

    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?
    There’s an intro of an old song I used to play with my band that I need to warm my fingers. It’s a piano intro similar to song Firth of Fifth of Genesis. 

    What rules (in making music) needs to be broken?
    In my opinion there must be no rules in producing music, of course the technique is fundamental, but it must not be an end in itself but used to best express and make concrete what comes from the mind and heart. 

    How do you record your music?
    Today, in the digital age, it’s easier to do it yourself. Also for this reason many musicians can produce a lot. It’s clear that a big studio can add value in terms of quality. 

    Whats your take on sampled instruments?
    In today’s musical context, sampled instruments have become fundamental. The thing I can say is that ideas are more important, even if today a great quality is required and samples can give it without too much effort. 

    And the questions my oldest son once asked me;
    Where do all your songs come from?

    In a little drawer in my heart. 

    Thank you very much for this Andrea!

    For more information, go here:
    Facebook / Instagram / Spotify

  • Spotted!

    Spotted: Stephen Caulfield – Heliograph

    Today I’m introducing you to the track Heliograph by the British composer Stephen Caulfield. Stephen have been making music since a very young age, and has released lots of music since then.

    The track Heliograph was released on the album Circuits which came out on September the 7th of 2020.

    Tell us something about the track Heliograph!
    A heliograph is an old way of communicating using reflections in a mirror that signal using flashes of sunlight. The song is a duet between piano and a vibraphone and the music represents the messages being sent back and forth with each note of the vibraphone signalling the glint of the sunlight in the mirrors.

    This album kind of took me by surprise, I wasn’t planning on making it and all of a sudden, there it was. I had been working on music for a number of different projects and when I put them together I realised that they worked well together and formed a cohesive album that I really like. On the album I have continued to explore ambient and piano led composition, but I have also introduced some stronger orchestral elements too which I think provide some nice dynamic range over the course of the 15 tracks. As well as the music on Circuits, I have made videos for each track on the album using a series photographs of light manipulations I made that I then animated.

    Thank you for sharing this with us Stephen!

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