Behind the piano

Behind the piano: Klaus Sahm

Today we dig deeper into the minds by the composer Klaus Sahm, who made the track Depaysement which I have written about here!

Let do it then!

Where are you from? And where do you live?
I grew up in a small village in the middle of Germany between Frankfurt and Cologne – now living in Berlin.

How long have you been playing the piano, and do you play other instruments as well?
I’ve started playing piano, when I was 7 years old, switched to guitar when I was a teenager and got back to the piano when I was 18 years old.

Tell us about how you started playing music.
My mother played piano and violin and my parents were listening to music all the time, since my father had 8 siblings and everyone had to learn an instrument – they grew up with, what you called “house music” back then.

How long have you been making piano music?
I just started April 2020 to record and release my first track.

Tell us something about that moment you realized you could make songs yourself!
The moment came by chance, since all my gigs for other artists where cancelled and i never had this much time in the last 5-6 years – so I sat down at the piano, recorded some improvisation. A friend of mine told me, that I could just release it to be available everywhere, which wasn’t my intention in the first place – never done that before.

What are your favorite artists in this “piano genre”?
I honestly don’t really listen too much piano-songs myself, since i was more interested in jazz – and my favourite player was and will always be Oscar Peterson. In terms of silent piano songs I love the work of Goldmund (Keith Kenniff).

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 love to play “Hymn to Freedom” by Oscar Peterson – or a real old hymn like “Great is thy faithfulness”.

What rules (in making music) needs to be broken?
Form and structure – these days there is music made for platforms like TikTok. There have always been forms and structures, like the sonata form for example – but nowadays music tends to get stuck in forms and platform-adequate structures.

How do you record your music? Yourself? In a big studio? etc.
I record music mostly in my home studio. My Piano is a Swiss Burger-Jacobi from 1946.

Whats your take on sampled instruments?
There is nothing wrong with that, especially when it comes to expensive instruments, that most people can’t afford, like a big grand piano – there are a lot of good companies out there, that record and program really good instruments, especially for orchestral music – but as always, nothing beats the real thing!

Anything else you want to share?
Something I should have pursued earlier: if there is something you “plan” on doing, just start. Don’t wait for “the perfect moment” – just start and things will fall into place. Do it! 

And the question from my son:
Where do all my songs come from? 
It often resembles a mood, a feeling, a thought – I like taking photographs all over the world and photos tend to tell me something, that I can transform into a feeling or sound. I’m heavily influenced by my surroundings. 

Thank you very much for this Klaus!

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

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