• Spotted!

    Spotted: Anders Wiking – Domherren

    You know what time it it. It’s time for this months single by my buddy Anders Wiking! Do a search here on the site to read more about his previous singles and a more detailed introduction of him!

    Tell us something about your song Domherren!
    Writing this song I really tried to make it a ambient, calm one, So I added all the elements I could come up with such as sliding guitars, airy dissonant chords, soft double stop melody and a simple chord progressions. Combine that with a pretty slow tempo and you’ll get that ambient flying feeling. Or maybe it was just pure luck. 

    For more information about Anders, check out these links:
    Facebook / Instagram / Spotify

  • Behind the piano

    Behind the piano: no-kë

    Hi there no-kë!

    What’s your real name?
    Cassie To

    How did you come up with your artist name?
    My Artist name is actually my dog’s name split in two (Noke/no-kë) Originally when i started to release music, I wanted to keep it seperate to the music I wrote for television, TV and concert music, and wanted a name that was gender neutral. Now though everything is all linked together and my dog doesn’t seem to mind borrowing her name!

    Where are you from? And where do you live?
    Im from Australia and currently live in Sydney 

    How long have you been playing the piano, and do you play other instruments as well?
    I’ve been playing piano for 21 years and started when I was 4. I think i learnt how to read music before I could read words! I have a small collection of different instruments, including Chinese flutes and Erhu, however can only play the flute and saxophone well out of that collection as I played them during school.

    Tell us about how you started playing music.
    I didn’t really have a choice in that it was something my parents introduced me to when I was very young, and didn’t really think much about it as a kid.  I think my teachers realised I had a knack for it so I kept it up all through high school and later studied  music at university. 

    How long have you been making piano music?
    I think my first ever composition I wrote was for piano when i was about 16. Funnily enough now I don’t often write solo piano music (although I think its something I should return to more often!), but a lot of my pieces will feature piano. So I guess on and off for 9 years

    Tell us something about that moment you realized you could make songs yourself!
    I would have been about 15 or 16, at the time I had just performed a solo Joe Hisaishi piano piece at my schools music festival, and I remember all these people saying how beautiful the music was and how it made them feel, and me feeling like I hadn’t really done anything cause all I did was play his music. So i decided to try and write something myself and it ended up being quite popular with my friends and music teachers! That isn’t to say I don’t appreciate the art of performance!! I think at that time I felt really inspired by Hisaishi’s music and how it could effect myself and people in such an emotional way and really wanted to see if I could do that myself. 

    What are your favorite artists in this “piano genre”?
    Currently Ludovico Einaudi

    Is there one song which you play over and over again as soon as you sit down by a piano?
    I always play Joe Hisaishis solo piano music when I’m sitting at the piano, particularly Ashitaka and San from the movie Princess Mononoke. That and probably Rachmaninoff’s 18th Variation on a theme by Paganini as its my dads favourite and he always asks me to play it. Ive also been playing my most recent release ‘Prelude’ a lot

    What rules (in making music) needs to be broken?
    I think the idea that every time you write music it has to be ‘innovative’ and ‘new’ and ‘ground breaking’. Throughout my years at the Conservatorium this was something that always seemed to be a pre requisite – and I get it, without these things music wouldn’t develop and we wouldn’t be where we are with it today, but sometimes I think you should be able to write a piece purely for yourself and not have to be accountable to other peoples expectations 

    How do you record your music?
    Currently all my music is recorded and produced myself in my home studio

    Processed with VSCO with av4 preset

    Whats your take on sampled instruments?
    I think sampled libraries are really useful, particularly if you have a job thats on a tight deadline or really tight budget and cant afford to bring in live players. I dont think they’ll ever replace the real thing, and given a choice i’d always choose live players over sampled instruments, however I do think sometimes they open up opportunities to be creative, especially with different plugins and I think they can produce some really unique results that you may not have gotten using live players

    The last question is asked by my 5 year old son:
    Where do all your songs come from? 

    To be honest.. I’m not quite sure! I think they come from an accumulation of all my experiences of performing music, writing for classical ensembles and writing for television and film all meshed together! A lot of the time the idea for the piece comes from me improvising on my piano and really developing and idea (whether it be a coupe of chords or a melody) that sticks. The way that I know it sticks is that I ‘feel’ something when I listen to it, and I could listen to it a billion times and never get over it. 

    Thank you very much Cassie for sharing your story with us!

    For more information, check out these links:
    Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Spotify

  • Spotted!

    Spotted: Frederik Snæland – Homage To The Faltered

    Today I’m introducing you to Danish composer and piano player Frederik Snæland. Frederik is 23 years old and is self taught on the piano (hand up for that), yet he is a songwriting student on the Royal academy of music in Aarhus.

    This tune is released as a single.

    Tell us something about your track Homage To The Faltered!
    Homage To The Faltered Was written after weeks of writing and trying to find inspiration, I simply took the feeling of being withered of creativity, and the sadness that may impact you from it, and created a tribute to the creative struggle that every artist must go through sometimes. 

    Thank you for the music Frederik!

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

  • Spotted!

    Spotted: Per Störby Jutbring – Braids

    Today I’m introducing you to Swedish composer Per Störby Jutbring, from the west coast of Sweden in the town of Falkenberg; now located in Stockholm. Previously Per has made music for theatre, film and dance performances in all kinds of genres.

    The track Braids is released as a single, but will also be featured on Pers fifth solo album The Thief Bunny Society (18th of October 2019).

    Tell us something about your track Braids!
    I had this idea of recording three string quartets on each other, all with individual parts as a classic counterpoint, but also like looped material, in the manner of an electronic workflow. Adding part after the other making a crescendo, with a slow melody taking form. Or, actually several melodies, like entwined strands of hair.

    The art concept (of the album) is based on the mysterious, unexplainable and magic childhood. The non judgmental inner world of kids, the imagination. The Summer vacation. The Faraway Forest, the nordic birches. The palette consists of piano, string quartet, cello, clarinet and electronics. It’s orchestrated layers, loops, arpeggios, synths and electronic elements among traditional piano/string quintets, and piano/cello duo. It’s performed by Swedish Malva Quartet, Linnea Olsson and Johanna Dahl (cello) and Nils Berg (clarinets). And myself of course, at the piano, electronics, celesta, organ etc.

    Thank you for sharing this with us Per!

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

  • Spotted!

    Spotted: Eik Octobre – Take Me Somewhere Else

    Today I’m introducing you to Danish neo classical composer Emil Skovsgaard Christensen who makes music using the moniker Eik Octobre. Emil was born and raised in the a provincial town in Zealand (also known as Själland, which is one of the islands which makes the country of Denmark).

    The track Take me somewhere else was released as a single, but will also be featured on the upcoming EP Everything has it’s echo which will be released in January of 2020.

    Tell us something about your track Take me somewhere else!
    Actually I came up with the main parts for this the piece back in 2012, so in a way you could say it took me seven years to compose it – but it took us less than an hour to record it. An within this short time after its release on sixth of September 2019 it’s already the far most popular track of this project. Seems it was worth the wait.

    Thank you for the music Emil!

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

  • Stories

    About the song: Back on the track

    This song is a really old one. About ten years ago I signed a deal with a publisher who tried to pitch my songs to the asian market. I didn’t make piano music back then, but rather what you would call ”commercial hit music” or something like that. I never got a placement through this publisher, and soon moved on to making other kinds of music. 

    I still listen to these songs every now and then, and it strikes me every time that they are all pretty good! I was especially found of a track called Back on the track. It had this piano part which I really likes. So one night when I was playing it I decided to just record it, and it turned out pretty good. I wasn’t sure about how it would work as a sleepy song, so when I send out the demo of the album to a couple if friends I asked them for their honest opinion of which tracks that I should put n the album, which tracks should go as singles an a couple of other questions I don’t remember. One of the reasons I even started sending out the demo was because I wanted to see what they thought about this particular song. 

    When I got their responses they all had put Back on the track as one of the singles. Quite the opposite of what I thought to begin with. 

    But here it is! My third single from my upcoming album!

  • Behind the piano

    Behind the piano: Slowburner

    I recently spotted a song by Slowburner called Sunday joy, and I was interested to get to know more about the artist behind the name.

    What’s your real name? 
    My real name is Élvio Rodrigues.

    How did you come up with your artist name?
    That was actually a long process. More than I would like to admit. Maybe “process” is not the right term. I wasn’t doing anything in particular to come up with a name. I think I was more like waiting for a name to come to me. I think not having a good name for the project, delayed its creation. Which might sound a bit strange. Now, the way I see it, ‘Slowburner’ is almost like a synonym to ‘Élvio Rodrigues’. At the end of the day, I could’ve probably named it ‘Élvio Rodrigues’. But then again, I think ‘Slowburner’ has a nice ring to it.

    Where are you from? And where do you live?
    I was actually born in Venezuela, but I grew up in Madeira island, Portugal. I moved to Lisbon to study when I was 18 and I’ve been here ever since.

    How long have you been playing the piano, and do you play other instruments as well?
    I think I’ve been playing the piano for 4 years now. I used to play guitar and bass mainly. But I’ve always wanted to play drums. Actually, it all started with me wanting to play drums. So it’s funny that that’s one of the instruments I haven’t found a way to incorporate in my life. I’ll need to find a way to get my hands on a drum kit eventually.

    Tell us about how you started playing music. 
    I had a few friends that owned a guitar, and I think I tried to play it a few times. I probably sucked at it, but I guess what happened internally was far more important than what happened on the outside. I was hooked. I then bought a guitar, learned a few songs and then started creating my own music, and simply never stopped creating.

    How long have you been making piano music?
    I think I’ve been making piano music as long as I started playing piano. That would be around 4 years ago. Although before starting to play an 88 digital piano, I had a couple of years while I still played the guitar but was also experimenting composing piano songs with an electronic small piano. Then my interest progressed to something closer to the real piano. My approach with instruments is to right away create music with it, without caring too much if technically the approach is the correct one or not.

    Tell us something about that moment you realized you could make songs yourself!
    I think pretty early on I realized I could make songs myself. I think at the time I didn’t really care much about what It was or what it meant. I just enjoyed creating stuff and that’s just what I did. It was a way of expressing myself. And it still is. One of the moments I recall that got me closer to actually being able to make songs myself, was when I started experimenting with more than one guitar at the “same time”. I used to record one guitar to my mobile phone (I’m not even talking about voice memos, this was a service that you could call to and record something), and then experiment playing a different part while listening to the first part. I think that allowed me to explore composing more complex stuff. Or at least not as simple as just playing chords.

    What are your favorite artists in this “piano genre”?
    Obviously Ólafur Arnalds and Nils Frahm are the first names that pop-up on my mind. Both are the ones that I’ve known for the longest time. But there are “newer” artists that I enjoy a lot as well like, Greg Haines, Lambert, Sergio Diaz de Rojas, Tim Linghaus, etc.

    Is there one song which you play over and over again as soon as you sit down by a piano?
    To be honest, no. In general, when I sit at the piano, it’s because I’m going to practice my own stuff, and in that case I just play what I know I need to practice, otherwise it’s just me letting myself go and start messing around with new ideas.

    What rules (in making music) needs to be broken?
    All of them? Well, although I’m a bit anti-rules in terms of music making, it wouldn’t be totally true for me to say that I don’t follow any rules, because if I didn’t, my music would need to sound completely different, right? I can’t really say that I don’t follow rules, since I don’t have anything unorthodox to show. That being said, I think what I meant is that I don’t follow rules consciously. And when I feel I’m starting to do something the same way over and over, I’ll change it up.

    How do you record your music?
    I record my music myself at home in the living room. I’m not even sure if I should call it a home studio.

    Whats your take on sampled instruments?
    Overall, I prefer to play with “real” instruments, but the funny part is that on most Slowburner songs I’m actually using sampled instruments. So, my take on this is, if playing a sampled instrument is the difference between someone being able to record something and put it out into the world vs not being able to do it at all, then go for it and use sampled instruments. If the circumstances in my life were a bit different right now, I would probably try to move away from sampled instruments. But that’s not where I’m at right now. And although I’ve battled a lot with myself because of this, I’m  currently in a mindset on which I just want to create honest music with what I have at hand. Maybe things change in the future and I’ll be able to use more “real” instruments. Only time will tell.

    Anything else you want to share?
    Thank you to everyone who read this far. Well, maybe this: ’Sunday mornings are for piano’ was released on June 7th 2019. Go listen to that and follow me on all the social networks if you want to be notified about what I’m currently working on.

    The last question is asked by my 5 year old son:
    Where do all your songs come from?
     
    This is a great question. I like to think that my songs come all from the heart. But truth is that some come from a specific idea that starts forming in my head. And others really come from nowhere at all. You just sit at the piano, and all of a sudden something happens. Maybe it’s magic. But in that case, where does magic come from? If you guys figure it out, just let me know 🙂

    Thank you very much Élvio!

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

  • Spotted!

    Spotted: Marc Enfroy and Sharon Enfroy – Lavande de Provence

    Today I’m introducing you to Marc Enfroy; an American composer of neo classical and new age music. Marc has been featured on the billboard’s new age album chart with one of his albums.

    The track Lavande de Provence was co-written by Marc’s wife Sharon and was released as a single. The track will also be featured on the album Surrounded which will come out later this year.

    Tell us something about your track Lavande de Provence!
    Sharon and I wanted to capture the feeling of wandering the lavender fields in the Provence region of France. We’ve never been there so we had to imagine it: surrounded by endless purple, the flowers dancing in the breeze, the smell of the lavender as we walk, seeing some children running and playing. 

    Thank you for this Marc (and Sharon!).

    For more information, please check out these links:
    Facebook / Twitter / Website / Spotify

  • Spotted!

    Spotted: Jan Vaschuk – Arrivals and Departures

    Today I’m introducing you to Jan Vaschuk, a German composer and piano player currently living in Leipzig. Jan has a Russian and French descent, and has also spent a couple of years in San Fransisco studying music.

    The song Arrivals and Departures is taken from the EP Moon Studies which was released in September of 2019.

    Tell us something about your track Arrivals and Departures!
    This track, as the name suggests, is inspired by my experience of being a restless expat, changing countries and societies but refusing to take roots, constantly living in the pending state with the only consistent thing being piano studies and music production. It started with me, very exhausted, sitting at the piano and endlessly playing two notes that are a major second apart: A and B.

    Thank you for sharing your music with us Jan!

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