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!