Behind the piano: Erik Slättberg

Behind the piano: Erik Slättberg

The first pianist/composer I want to introduce to you is Erik Slättberg. My friend Bernt had borrowed my sound card and was in some fancy piano studio with Erik, trying to record Erik’s second album. Bernt had some problems, but together we solved it, and the album was recorded. When Erik released the album he contacted me and wanted some advice on how to promote his songs on Spotify. I was happy to help out once again!

I’ll let Erik introduce himself!

How did you come up with your artist name?
I didn’t really come up with a name, so I decided to keep my own name. I’ve always loved to explore the piano and in many ways it feels very personal to me, so keeping my own name felt very honest and natural. I do however have a different company name – Music With Erik – as I do a lot of different projects where i’m not doing it solo. I also work as a piano teacher.

How long have you been playing the piano?
I started to play sporadically when I was around thirtheen, but I didn’t really do much with it until I was around eighteen. I used to play guitar back then but got tired of it. Everytime I didn’t want to play guitar I went to the piano instead. That is basically how I got into it.

How long have you been making piano music?
In one way or another, i’ve been composing for as long as I’ve been into music. I’ve always have had a very strong ability to hear music inside my head. So whenever I was practicing something and it got into my head, my brain started to juggle with it and create new ideas and variations. I guess that’s a big part of how I always learned music and to compose. I play something, my head plays with it, then I go back to the instrument and see what I can do with it. So basically, composing has been a big part of how I learned to play music.

Have you made music in other genres before?
I’ve made jazz, classical and pop music. I also like to mix those three genres together.

What are your favorite artists in this “piano genre”?
It’s hard to pick just one. I also tend to like music that mixes genres and have also been a lot into jazz. I guess Brad Mehldau’s solo piano albums have formed me more than any other pianist, with his striking virtousity and ability to create piano music with a lot of layers. On the more minimalistic side, I enjoy Nils Frahm a lot. He got a lot of interesting stuff and I really enjoy the sound of his productions.

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?
It varies a lot from time to time. At the moment, I do a lot of free improvisation and basically just see what happens.

What song inspires you the most when you’re making musik? Can you name just ONE song/composition?
Also varies, but right now I would pick Brad Mehldaus cover live version of a song called ”Bittersweet Symphony”. For me that is 16 minutes of ecstasy.

Tell me something about you latest release.
My latest release ”Growth” went out November 9th ,which I recorded it earlier this summer. It consists of nine tracks and it is a mix of neo classical, jazz, pop and occasionally some folk. I went through a lot of personal growth this year, and also developed my playing and composing a lot. So ”Growth” felt like the most fitting name. Compared to my previous album, this one has a lot more energy and spirit. If you like piano music that doesn’t close itself from being experimental at times, and which cares more about the emotion of the music than how it fits into a certain style, ”Growth” might appeal to you.

What’s happening next? New releases etc.
My plan is to start composing this winter. I’m going to write 24 piano preludes. That is one for every musical key. A lot of the old composers use this format and i’ve had this idea for more than ten years now. So I think it is time to do it now. I think i’ll release the first set in spring 2019.
I will also have a release concert for ”Growth”, Mars 10th in Örebro, Sweden. I will play a lot of music from the album, but with an open setlist and with room for free improvisation. I like to challenge myself and the audience by trying to be as responsive as possible to the ”vibe” of the moment, rather than getting to fixed about what i’m going to do. That way, I remain more present in what I do.

You can find more info about Erik and his music here:
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