• Spotted!

    The Hope album: Roger Evernden – Our Children’s Children (Serendipity no. 7)

    2020 was a difficult year for all people; a raging pandemic that killed 2.3 million people,  unprecedented wildfires in California and Australia, a huge blast in Beirut that destroyed half the city, and racial tensions everywhere. The Hope piano compilation album was born of the idea to bring together 12 well-established pianists from across the globe and spread a message of hope through music, each in his own way. – Jean-Paul Zoghbi

    Todays artist from the Hope album is Roger Everdeen from Hythe in Kent, in the UK. Roger doesn’t have any formal training on the plain, but have played since he was 8 years old. He is now retired from his job as an Enterprise Architect and have been focusing on making solo piano work for the past ten years.

    Nostalgia was released as a single on March 26, an is also a part of the album “HOPE”.

    Tell us something about your track Our Children’s Children!
    I’ve written a number of “Serendipities” in the past – the common theme is that they were all inspired by the idea of the Gymnopedies by Erik Satie, which is why they all have the word Serendipity in the title. I called them this because there is a certain element of chance or serendipity in their composition! The recent pandemic, global warming, and other issues challenge our future on this planet, and as I am now 67 I wanted to write something that was dedicated to my grandchildren and future generations – the tomorrow people who will need to respond to and live with the legacy that we are creating today.

    A lot of my compositions start with an idea – in this case “hope for the future”. I then sit at the piano, with this idea in mind, and let my thoughts and feelings flow. The germ of a melody, or structure of a song starts to emerge. I then play around with it and keep working on it until the piece takes on its own life. I use Cakewalk as my DAW, and use a VST for the sound – in this case it was the Ravenscroft 275.

    Thank you Roger!

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

  • Spotted!

    The Hope album: Catty.L – Nostalgia

    2020 was a difficult year for all people; a raging pandemic that killed 2.3 million people,  unprecedented wildfires in California and Australia, a huge blast in Beirut that destroyed half the city, and racial tensions everywhere. The Hope piano compilation album was born of the idea to bring together 12 well-established pianists from across the globe and spread a message of hope through music, each in his own way. – Jean-Paul Zoghbi

    Todays piano artist from the Hope album is Catty.L, born in china but now located in Tokyo, Japan. Catty started playing the piano at the age of three and made her first songs at the age of 15. She also plays the accordion.

    Nostalgia was released as a single on March 26, and is also a part of the album “HOPE”.

    Tell us something about your track Nostalgia!
    I actually wrote this song for a scene in movie Cinema Paradiso.

    After Toto’s return from the military, old Alfredo tells him their hometown is too small for a young person like Toto, he urges Toto to leave permanently to find his dream.

    I was touched by the scene. Although later old Alfredo tells Toto that he must never give in to nostalgia, never look back or return, I know Toto always have a place for his hometown in his heart, he’s taking it and keep moving forward, and finally becomes a successful filmmaker.

    2020 was a different and difficult time for everyone. Sometimes maybe it feels the world is getting worse and worse, maybe we lose the courage and confidence for chasing our dreams.

    Thank you Catty!

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

  • Behind the piano

    Behind the piano: Matthew Thomason

    A few weeks back I wrote about the song Distance by the British composer and piano player Matthew Thomason, and today we will get to know Matthew a bit better!

    Where are you from? And where do you live?
    My family are all from Liverpool but I grew up in Stoke-on-Trent, UK. I currently live in Falmouth on the coast in beautiful Cornwall, UK. 

    How long have you been playing the piano, and do you play other instruments as well?
    I’ve been playing the piano since I was about 5 (I was fortunate that my father taught me from a young age). I also sing, play guitar and direct choirs.

    Tell us about how you started playing music.
    Music has always been a part of my household, whether that’s at family gatherings or going to gigs so it made sense that the young generation would get involved. I was never particularly interested in learning sheet music, I was more interested in playing rock/pop songs to jam with other musicians. Sheet music came later in my development!

    How long have you been making piano music?
    I’ve always enjoyed improvising at the piano even from a young age but I’d say I started developing and performing my own compositions at school when I was around 14.

    Tell us something about that moment you realized you could make songs yourself!
    I remember using a really old version of Cubase and I made my first midi song, in hindsight it was probably really crappy but just the feeling of putting together different elements on top of the piano and arranging a track was a game changer for me. 

    What are your favorite artists in this “piano genre”?
    I’m a big fan of Yann Tiersen and I would say his early film music work (Goodbye Lenin etc) had a big influence on me. I enjoy Philip Glass, Max Richter and Nils Frahm too. I’m currently a student of Lubomyr Melnyk, who pioneered Continuous Music and his philosophy of piano playing is hugely inspiring to me, as well as his mesmerising compositions. 

    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 have a two year-old daughter so most of the time I only get to play nursery rhymes! If I do get a few minutes to myself I like to work on Philip Glass Études, especially No.6. 

    What rules (in making music) need to be broken?
    I think we need to re-consider traditional forms and structures. I think it’s too common that composers feel the need to keep songs digestible and predictable in terms of structure but I feel like music should challenge listeners and take them to places they weren’t expecting. This doesn’t necessarily mean constantly changing your piece, in fact, it could be completely the opposite – maybe the song doesn’t need to move and you can allow the listener space to be absorbed by a rhythmic or chordal pattern. 

    How do you record your music? Yourself? In a big studio? etc
    I tend to record my music at home as I have a really beautiful piano built by Pinkham Pianos that was custom designed for my style of playing. Once I have recorded the piano I normally send the stems over to Switzerland to be mixed and mastered by my friend and collaborator Tim Nyss at Apothecary Sounds. I also produce ambient music so I have a small studio set up at home to work on this.

    What’s your take on sampled instruments?
    I have mixed feelings about them. On the one hand it is more satisfying to hear the rich tones of an acoustic instrument, however, generally I am an advocate of samples. They have enabled musicians around the world who may not have the means or access to studios to produce and share their music. For me, it’s like music socialism – for the many not just the few. 

    And the questions my 6-year old son once asked me:
    Where does your music come from?

    Great question! Most of my music is very reactive – I like looking at landscapes or reading books and then trying to capture how they make me feel. Although a lot of my work is inspired by places I try not to write traditional programmatic music which is very literal, I see it more as abstract landscape composition which is driven by emotion. 

    Thank you for this Matthew!

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

  • Spotted!

    Spotted: Piotr Wiese – Solituned

    Today it’s time to listen to another great track by the polish composer and piano player Piotr Wiese. You can read alla about Piotr on this Behind the piano post!

    The track Solitune was released as a single on the 26th of February, 2021 but will also be part of an EP. 

    Tell us something about your track Solituned!
    At the start of 2020 I shut myself up in an old house deep in the woods, where I had a chance to live and compose for 3 months. This is how ‘Solituned’ was born. The word ‘Solituned’ did not exist in any language, but when it first came to me I was amazed how well it accompanies the EP. My experiment taught me to experience solitude and get attuned to it. Solituned is when you see the space between you and everything else getting bigger, to the point where you are consumed by it, and there is just you drifting in the middle of dark, empty, chill space. After some time you find this state comforting. I hope my music will bring you this same kind of comfort. The track I share with you is the single promoting three-track-EP that will come on 19th of March.

    Thank you very much for this Piotr!

    For more information, please go to any of these following links:
    Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / Website / Spotify

  • Spotted!

    Spotted: Tom Blankenberg – less

    Today I’m introducing you to the track less by the German composer and piano player Tom Blankenberg. Tom works as a sound designer and composer and started taking piano lessons  as a child. After playing in a few bands for a couple of years he rediscovered the piano recently. 

    The track less was released as a single on the 5th of march, 2021. 

    Tell us something about your track less!
    I´m not interested in >more<. It´s >less< that interests me. And that’s how my song “less” should sounds and feel. Delicate, warm, intimate, minimalistic and really close.”

    Thank you for this Tom! 

    Please check out these links for more information:
    Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Website / Spotify

  • Spotted!

    Spotted: Vittoriano di Grazia – So as You Are

    Today I’m presenting you with the track So as You Are by the composer and piano player Vittoriano di Grazia. Vittoriano lives in Salerno and teaches at the “G.Martucci” music conservatory.  He started to play the piano at the age of 7 and made his first compositions at the age of 17.

    The track So as You Are was released as a single on the 1st of march 2021 and will be featured on an upcoming album as well.

    Tell us something about your track So as You Are!
    I really like to improvise on piano, many of my music were born from sudden inspiration and from moments of life lived in my past and in my present; life is like an “infinite soundtrack”, and for me every mood, every memory must be caught to turn it into notes, just listen to yourself inside.

    Thank you for this!

  • Spotted!

    Spotted: Matthias Schneiders – Vagues de Printemps

    Today I’m introducing you the composer and piano player Matthias Schneiders from Germany. Matthias started playing the piano at the age of 16 and soon realized the countless possibilities to touch people with this incredible instrument. While studying composition in Cologne he started creating moders piano pieces.

    The track Vagues de Printemps was released as a single on the 26th of February, 2021.

    Tell us something about your track Vagues de Printemps!
    My latest track Vagues de Printemps is a perfect example for a modern piano piece. With different moods it opens the chance to go trough various emotions while listening. It was inspired by my girlfriend who also painted the stunning artwork. 

    Thanks for this Matthias!

    For more information, check out:
    Instagram / Spotify

  • Spotted!

    Spotted: Luminem – Climbing

    Today I’m presenting you with the track Climbing by the Australian composer and piano player Lucy Graham, aka. Luminem, living in Melbourne. Lucy has played the piano since the age of four and started the project Luminem in 2020.

    Climbing is her second release, which is part of her debut album Back Home, set to release mid 2021. 

    Tell us something about the track Climbing!
    I wrote Climbing after an indoor climbing session. It was a date actually. I came back from it feeling energised and inspired to play! The piece represents both a physical and an emotional interpretation of the title.

    Thank you for sharing Lucy!

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

  • Spotted!

    Spotted: Chloé Charody – The Snow Is Sleeping

    Today I’ introducing you to the composer Chloé Charody from Sidney, Australia but now located in Berlin. Chloé mainly writes big scale productions like operas, ballets and stage music.

    In 2010 I started developing a new theatrical genre called Circus Opera which is essentially an amalgamation of opera, circus and classical music. My first circus opera called The Carnival debuted on London’s West End in 2011 which really launched my career.

    The track The Snow Is Sleeping is taken from the album Castle in the sky, which came out on Valentine’s Day 2021.

    Tell us something about your track The Snow Is Sleeping!
    I wrote The Snow Is Sleeping as a simple piece for my daughter to learn. I wanted to create a work that would start developing her musicality by encouraging her to fully embrace her imagination. I think this song is quite well suited to this playlist as I play this for her quite a lot and everytime I do, it seems to send her to sleep!

    Thank you for this Chloé!

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