Behind the piano

Behind the piano: Elise Hammers

A couple of weeks back I posted about the track The Swan by Elise Hammers. Today we go Behind the piano to get to know Elise a bit better!

Where are you from? And where do you live? 
I am from Trondheim in Norway, but I live in Oslo.

How long have you been playing the piano, and do you play other instruments as well? 
I taught myself the piano as a child. I think I learned it quite gradually from starting primary school. I really loved filmmusic, so the first song I learned was the titanic theme song. I started to play violin with a teacher when I was 9. She was so much fun, and she also liked to play a lot of different instruments like I did. Even though my lessons was for violin, she helped me borrow a viola. We would play a bit of violin, viola and piano, and for a brief period the cello. After getting an illness that would become cronic, I wasn’t able to play for many years. I started playing again about 1,5 years ago. I have also started to learn more cello. I really wanted to be able to record my own compositions. I think and hope I will be able to in the future, but I realised I needed som help from a professional musician for my next release «Rebirth».

How long have you been making piano music?
I started composing in 2015 after getting sick. The majority of the music I will release I have been composing for the last 3-4 years. I have always had so much music in my head, but I didn’t have the tools nor the energy to get i out. My notation skills are not the best, but when I started learning a music program I finally had a way of letting the music out.

What are your favorite artists in this “piano genre”? 
I listen to a lot of different artists within this genre, but I guess Peter Sandberg, Ludovico Einaudi and Nils Frahm is some of my favorites. I am also discovering a lot of new artists on the playlists I am on. The last days I have been listening to Jade Ashtangini a lot.

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?
That is probably «comptine d’un autre été» by Yan Tiersen, and «Victor’s piano solo» by Danny Elfman.

How do you record your music? Yourself? In a big studio? etc.
I record my music in my home studio. I don’t have a real piano yet, but I am hoping to have one in the future.

Whats your take on sampled instruments? 
I think for a lot of people there is really no other option. I use sampled piano, but real violin, viola and cello. I am lucky to have the means to buy and maintain these instruments. The string set I use for my violin costs like 150 euro and have to be changed quite frequently. It is also a question of space, especially when it comes to a piano. And obviously nabours when you live in the city. I do believe it is important to keep the «realness» in music, and I will admit I don’t like listening to songs with obvious midi strings. Yet I do understand that people might not always have many alternatives when releasing without a label.

And the standard question form my now eight year old son:
Where do all your songs come from?

I absolutely love this question, and I have asked myself the same many times. To me, music is a bit like google translate. I think it is a translation of whatever I am feeling in the moment. I believe especially unprossesed emotions have a tendency of expressing itself as music in my head. Sometimes if I don’t really understand what I am feeling, I listen to the music I have been making lately, and it speaks for itself.

Thank you very much for participating Elise!

If you want to know more about Elise and her music you should check out these links:
Spotify / YouTube

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