• Spotted!

    Spotted: John Michael Anderson – Waltz No.1 Dance of Dawn

    Today I’m presenting you with the track Waltz No.1 Dance of Dawn from the American composer John Michael Anderson, living in Los Angeles. John Michael is a multi-instrumentalist who has works professionally as a musical director and touring musician for the past 15 years.

    As a result of this current pandemic and the touring industry coming to a standstill, I have focused much more on composing, recording, and releasing my own music.

    The track Waltz No.1 Dance of Dawn was released as a single on the 10th of December, 2020 and will be part of an album sometime 2021.

    Tell us something about your track Waltz No.1 Dance of Dawn!
    The title of this track was inspired by my 5-year old daughter. I tend to work on compositions before sunrise and with this piece I was trying to represent that energy within the music. That is where the “dawn” comes into play. As far as the “dance”, my daughter actually loves to dance while I am playing this Waltz, and on the recording you may actually be able to hear her dancing in the background. I could have taken out the room noise from the song, but I thought it adds a nice touch. 

    Thank your John Michael!

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

  • Behind the piano

    Behind the piano: Marcus Moon

    I have previously posted about the track Moonstruck by the Sweden born, Canada located composer Marcus Moon. And now it’s time to get Behind the piano and get to know Marcus a bit better!

    What’s your real name? 
    Marcus Lindström 

    How did you come up with your artist name?
    The Moon is a great inspiration for me as an artist and composer. It felt absolutely natural to use it in my artist name. Plus it has a better ring to it than Lindström 

    Where are you from? And where do you live?
    I was born and raised in Malmö, Sweden. Moved to Canada in 2006. I now live in Vancouver.

    How long have you been playing the piano, and do you play other instruments as well?
    I have only started playing piano in the last year, and I hope to develop my skills  as much as I can. It will improve my composing process I am sure. Before the piano, guitar was my main instrument. 

    Tell us about how you started playing music. 
    I grew up listening to a lot of singer/songwriters, and storytelling has always been at the heart of my music. I picked up the guitar at a young age, like so many others, trying to be like my musical heroes of the time!

    How long have you been making piano music?
    About 2 years now.

    Tell us something about that moment you realized you could make songs yourself!
    I started learning music theory simply to improve my guitar skills. I got hooked right away on the process of creating new music, and I knew pretty quick that this would be my mode of artistic expression. It was something I had been thinking about my whole life, but i never had the confidence to do it. Starting out, I made myself a challenge where i was to write a piece of music every day for 100 days straight and post the result on instagram each day. It was an enormous task, but by immersing myself in it, I developed my skills at an incredible rate. After only 100 days I really felt like a composer, albeit with a lot still to learn.  

    What are your favorite artists in this “piano genre”?
    To be honest, I still have a lot to discover when it comes to contemporary pianists/composers, but to give just one example, I have been listening a lot to Lera Auerbach recently. I find her to be quite brilliant. Look her up on spotify! 

    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? 
    Yes. My own Moonlight Requiem from my upcoming album. I have a preference for playing sad songs, and simply because it’s one of the few songs I’ve mastered at the piano so far, haha. 

    What rules (in making music) needs to be broken?
    Personally, I prefer to NOT break rules. The need to be original and ‘groundbreaking’ can really put a damper on the creative flow. I’ll leave that to the academics and the musical geniuses of the world. I believe that too much pressure to be original may keep a lot of people from writing music. Myself, I use the same composition rules  that have been used for centuries. Sometimes I get comments that my music is not innovative enough, but that doesn’t matter to me. I will never win any awards for groundbreaking achievements in composition, but I just want to write beautiful music from my heart that touches people. I really believe in the power of music to change the world!

    How do you record your music? Yourself? In a big studio? etc.
    I recorded my first album in a beautiful venue, which was located in an actual barn on an actively operating horse farm. I had the fortune of working with some of the very finest musicians on my album. They really took my music to the next level. 

    Whats your take on sampled instruments?
    Nothing beats a real musician, although I am very impressed with the progress of virtual instruments. I use them a lot in preparing demos. 

    The last question is asked by my 6 year old son:
    Where do all your songs come from? 

    My songs come to me when I have a story that I want to share with the world. Usually, it’s a personal story, but not necessarily. I always write down the story first, often as a poem. Then I write the music that I feel best captures the spirit of the story. I am a storyteller first and foremost, and music is my language.

    Thank you very much for this Marcus!

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

  • Spotted!

    Spotted: Matthias Krauss – Ray of sunlight

    Today I present yo you the latest track, Ray of sunlight, by the German composer Matthias Krauss, based in Cologne. Matthias started playing the piano as a kid and soon found that he was way more interested in writing his own melodies rather than playing what he was taught at his classical piano lessons. For the last 30 Years he’s been working as a professional musician, composer, producer and engineer.

    The track Ray of sunlight was released as a single on the 18th of December, 2020 but will also be featured on the album with the same name in January 2021.

    Tell us something about your track Ray of sunlight!
    A good friend said: „…this songs makes me feel happy sad – feels like the soundtrack of 2020…🧡“
    For me and surely everybody it was a total strange year. After all my touring activities were canceled in March 2020, I had more time than I expected. So I used the „free“ time to compose and produce my own music. The good thing about this year is that I finished 2 new „Improvising Silence“ Albums. I really hope to give all my listeners an island of peaceful and calm atmosphere, also with the message to „Stay Positive“ in these difficult times. Thank you all for listening to my music. 🙏

    Thank you Matthias!

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

  • Spotted!

    Spotted: Innocenzo Genna – Sweet Sweden (breakfast at Blomqvist)

    Today I’m presenting you with the track Sweet Sweden (breakfast at Blomqvist) by the Italian composer and piano player Innocenzo Genna, living in Brussels.

    My interest in music is not only artistic and emotional, but also professional, because for years I have been working in the Internet and technology sector as a lawyer and policy expert, so as to be involved in the major political debates concerning music and technology: from P2P to online piracy, from online platforms to the liberalization of collecting societies, up to the recent European copyright reform.

    The track Sweet Sweden (breakfast at Blomqvist) was released on the album Post Quarantine Piano which came out on December 21st, 2020.

    Tell us something about your track Innocenzo Genna – Sweet Sweden (breakfast at Blomqvist)!
    This is the instrumental version of a piano song which was intended to be completed with lyrics. The melody was inspired while having in mind a special somebody, however the flirt did not work. then, Because of that, I did not find the mood to write the lyrics, thus the composition remained just instrumental. The title of the song is somehow linked to Swedish sweeties and desserts, some of which were available at my preferred coffee-bar in Brussels, the Blomqvist Expresso Coffee Bar, an amazing nordic café which was run some years ago by an adventurous Sicilian girl (not the one for whom I fell in love).

    Thank you very much Innocenzo!

    Here’s some links if you want to know it all:
    Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / Website / Spotify

  • Spotted!

    Spotted: Emma Paunil – Nebula

    Today I’m introducing you to the latest track, Nebula, by American composer Emma Paunil, living on a 80 acre ranch in Southern Arizona. She started playing, memorizing and performing at the age of 4, and got classical trained by Ashley Hendrix and the Arizona Study Program.

    Although I performed well with this, for the 18 years it took me to complete the program, I often felt very stressed by the piano. It wasn’t until my sophomore year of college when I moved into my first apartment alone, that I started (oddly enough) desperately missing the piano as one of my limbs. The same piano I’ve had since 4 years old was moved in with me, and my composition life slowly began.

    The track Nebula is taken from the album Ataraxia: Transformative Piano, which was released on December 11th of 2020.

    Tell us something about your track Nebula!
    “Nebula” is different from my other tracks in Ataraxia, because its inspiration came outside of me, rather than from within. I am 100% an improvisation artist when it comes to composing (even though I used to live and breath sheet music for over a decade). When I sit down on the piano, what usually happens is that I express my inner feelings or emotions through the keys: “speaking.” The presence of “Nebula,” however, seemed to stop me right before I began to play. By that, I don’t mean the sound of the melody coming to mind. It was almost like a presence knocked on my brain and said, “Hey, I’d like to tell you how feel.” This is what I like to call the balance of “listening” in improvisation. I can always tell a difference between when an improvised piece is in, “Emma’s voice,” through the piano, or if it’s some other voice that wants to speak. I’ve had several other pieces do that to me, and I always love when it happens. It’s somewhat hard to explain the phenomenon of the feeling, but that’s the best way I can! 

    Thanks for this Emma!

    For more information and updates, check out these links:
    Facebook / Instagram / Website / Spotify

  • Behind the piano

    Behind the piano: Angel Ruediger

    New year, but my theme from last year goes on and we move on to the Brazilian piano artist Angel Ruediger!

    What’s your real name? 
    Angela Ruediger

    How did you come up with your artist name?
    “Angel” is one of my nicknames.

    Where are you from? And where do you live?
    I’m from Brazil, and at  the moment I’m based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

    How long have you been playing the piano, and do you play other instruments as well? 
    I started to have classical piano lessons at the age of nine and never stopped playing since then. Piano is the only instrument I play.

    Tell us about how you started playing music. 
    I asked my parents to have piano lessons. I was an unquiet child, and liked to make many things at the same time (which isn’t necessarily a good thing)

    How long have you been making piano music?
    I started to compose my own tunes since the second year I was taking my classical piano lessons, it was a kind of relaxing moment since I really took the piano lessons seriously and studied it about two/three hours per day, almost everyday.

    Tell us something about that moment you realised you could make songs yourself!  
    It came spontaneously after I started to learn classical piano. No effort, no tension. I got two passions from  playing the piano at that time: learning pieces from Liszt and Chopin (in time)  and composing. 

    What are your favorite artists in this “piano genre”?
    Classical Music: Chopin, Liszt, Grieg, Bach, Mozart, Mahler, Satie, Barber and Debussy
    Modern Classical music: Jóhann Jóhannsson, Max Richter, Peter Cavallo, Gavin Luke , Joep Beving,  Ólafur Arnalds, Carol Comune, and the wonderful Sophie Hutgins.

    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?
    Not really. I usually start my “piano routine” with a lot of practice (scales and arpeggios) and then composing. If a new composition is finished, I play it until I feel its “fluency” is good enough so it can be recorded.

    What rules (in making music) needs to be broken? 
    I don’t follow any rules and I don’t see them, have I’ve missed anything? In fact, this streaming era  is so democratic. The action of “making music”  couldn’t be more free of rules. Of course there are a lot of not good stuff, but there are really great new composers rising, too.

    How do you record your music? Yourself? In a big studio? etc.
    I record my tracks by myself at home

    What’s your take on sampled instruments? 
    I’m totally open to every kind of instrument if it means to make music with quality. I’ve got some ambient/piano tracks I made all by myself, and already got on my 2021 schedule some collabs with artists who use sampled instruments…but definitely acoustic piano is my thing.

    Anything else you want to share? 
    Yes, many thanks for inviting me to this interview, Johan. I really feel honoured. I also have to say that I love your music. And I would like to finish this interview  mentioning a quote from Oscar Wilde I’m really fond of:
    “…This is why music is the perfect type of art. Music can never reveal its ultimate secret.” 

    The last question is asked by my 6 year old son:
    Where do all your songs come from?
    Depends on the day. Mainly it comes from my soul, but sometimes  from my guts.

    Thank you very much for this Angel!

  • Behind the piano

    Behind the piano: Melany Thompson

    We are staring off the new year (go 2021!) with another great composer. This time I’m presenting you with Melany Thompson from Australia!

    Where are you from? And where do you live?
    I am from Australia and I live in beautiful Sydney! 

    How long have you been playing the piano, and do you play other instruments as well?
    I started learning the piano when I was 4 years old. I have also attempted the flute and the guitar over the years but think I’ll stick to the piano!

    Tell us about how you started playing music. 
    When I was 4 I asked my parents for a piano and they bought me a little toy piano which I was quite disappointed with apparently. I somehow managed to teach myself a couple of nursery rhymes on it and so they bought me a full size upright piano! It was so big I remember they had to shave off some of the doorway in our house to fit it in! 

    How long have you been making piano music?
    I started to write my own melodies when I was a young teenager.  I used to write songs about different boys that I had a crush on (every song was a love song obviously!)

    Tell us something about that moment you realized you could make songs yourself!
    I don’t really remember it being a massive thing, it just came naturally to me to make my own music. Once I started recording my music though, I remember it being such an amazing experience to see other people listening to it and enjoying it.

    What are your favorite artists in this “piano genre”?
    I grew up listening to a whole range of artists from Richard Clayderman to Mozart but now there are a whole range of piano composers that sit in a more modern genre. I love Ludovico, John Williams and all the big film score composers. 

    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 always play Pachelbel’s Cannon as it’s easy to play in any key and to improvise around. Most people know the tune so it’s a good one to warm the fingers up with!

    What rules (in making music) needs to be broken?
    I’m not sure – does anyone follow a set of rules anymore? I think music is so subjective and people are recording in so many different ways these days and using different methods which keeps things interesting and fresh. 

    How do you record your music? Yourself? In a big studio? etc.
    I have done a bit of both – I recoded my first album in a studio in the Blue Mountains on a beautiful concert grand piano. I have recorded digitally using my digital piano, and now I can use my beautiful Yamaha Grand piano (which is fitted with a silent system) to record on so I have a few different options. I love the studio experience but it’s also great to do it yourself at home and get it right without the time and cost constraints of a studio. 

    What’s your take on sampled instruments?
    I’m yet to find the perfect sampled piano sound! It can be expensive ‘collecting’ samples but there are so many amazing sounds that can be created. It’s a bit of a mine-field for me, I’m only just starting to get into digital recording and sample sounds and it’s quite overwhelming to be honest. 

    Anything else you want to share? 
    I feel so lucky to be doing what I love. Music has always been a part of my life but the decision to start recording and releasing my own music was a huge turning point in my life and I’m so excited to see what the future holds! I’m relatively new to this world so still finding my feet and working out the business side of things but it’s a great adventure. 

    The last question is asked by my 6 year old son:
    Where do all your songs come from? 
    My songs come from feelings and emotions. I often write about something I’m going through, feeling or longing for. I also get inspiration from people and relationships. Just sitting down at the piano and improvising is a really important part of the creative process for me which means setting aside a lot of time and space to just sit and play for fun and relaxation. 

    Thank you for sharing this with us Melany!

    For more information and updates, please check out these links:
    Instagram / Website / Spotify

  • News,  Stories

    Thank you, 2020!

    It’s New Years eve, and also my 35th birthday. It time to give you a short summary of the year!

    With this post I want thank all of the readers on this blog and listeners of my music. The year 2020 was, for most people, a shitty year in life. But for piano music (and especially streaming wise), it was a good year (at least for me). Since more people have been working from home; I guess with piano music in the background, the stats have been crazy and I’ve broken record after record. I’ll thank you for choosing to listening to my music, with hope that it got the work done!

    And to top of the piano year; my song Early Christmas morning was added to the biggest Apple Music editorial list with 10.000+ plays daily. Insane!

    And since most piano players and composers have been on some kind of lockdown/quarantine and haven’t been able to perform live, they have composed like never before; which also has made the blog to grow and the submission basked have been full most of the time.

    Earlier I had a much broader spectra with what kind of music I posted about here, but since I’ve gotten more submission than ever since Corona break out I have focused on pure piano music. It’s been hard sometimes to decline great track, but to not be overwhelmed with work, I had to.

    To end this post; lets hope 2021 will be equally good piano wise and much better Corona-wise.

    Happy new year everyone!

    The picture for this post was taken exactly one year ago when I was recording the ep Sinclair at my sisters house in Arvika, Värmland.

  • Behind the piano

    Behind the piano: Kayla Peeters

    Today is the last day of 2020, and also my birthday. I will celebrate with another post about a another strong women in the piano industry! I present to you, Kayla Peeters!

    Where are you from?
    I am from Green Bay, WI and currently live in Green Bay, WI. 

    How long have you been playing the piano, and do you play other instruments as well?
    I have been playing the piano since 4 years old. That would make it my 28th year at the piano. 

    Tell us about how you started playing music.
    My dearest friend wanted to learn so I wanted to learn as well. 

    How long have you been making piano music?
    I have been writing composition for 12 years. 

    Tell us something about that moment you realized you could make songs yourself!
    When I wrote my first album titled “The Beginning”, it was an am amazing experience. That was in 2010. 

    What are your favorite artists in this “piano genre”?
    George Winston. I have met him several times and am very inspired by his music. 

    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?
    George Winstons variation of the Kanon in C or Yiruma River Flows In You.

    What rules (in making music) needs to be broken?
    The new music world is all so streaming based. Part of me wishes it wasn’t so centered around Spotify since it makes it very hard for artists to earn anything for their music. 

    How do you record your music? Yourself? In a big studio? etc.
    I record my music myself and send it to be mixed and mastered by a professional. 

    Whats your take on sampled instruments?
    I don’t really have an opinion. I do feel some of them can sound very professional. It really depends on the pro gram used and built ins being used. 

    The last question is asked by my 6 year old son:
    Where do all your songs come from?
    What a fantastic question! My songs all come from deep within my heart. Every composition is a piece or me. The songs represent a time in my life, a memory or a setting in nature past or present. 

    Thank you for your participation Kayla!

    For more information, please go to these pages:
    Instagram / Facebook / Spotify

  • Behind the piano

    Behind the piano: Starr Parodi

    And so the week continues! Today I’m having a talk with American composer and piano artist Starr Parodi!

    What’s your real name?
    A lot of people think Starr is not my real name, or that my parents were hippies when they named me :-). Starr is a family name and my grandparents last name – so it is my real name after all.

    Where are you from? And where do you live?
    I was born in Los Angeles California and I have lived here most of my life. I love it here, there is so much beauty in Southern California and so many creative people.

    How long have you been playing the piano, and do you play other instruments as well?
    I took piano lessons for 1 year where I was about 7years old, and then I quit because I had a terrible teacher who I was scared of! I started playing again when I was 14 and took it very seriously, practicing 6-8 hours every day. I went away to Interlochen Arts Academy (a music/arts high school) and surrounded myself with the piano and music from that time forward. I also play keyboards, and percussion, and drums (kind of).

    Tell us about how you started playing music.
    I was inspired by listening to friends in bands and started playing piano and writing as a bit of an escape from the world. It took me to a different place that I could really lose myself in and express my emotions. I had some wonderful teachers who also understood me and really inspired me to be creative and to see pictures in my head as I play – which I think lead me to be a film and tv composer as well as a pianist.

    How long have you been making piano music?
    I’ve been making music ever since I was a young teenager, however, I got a lot of gigs playing synthesizer in many bands and didn’t have much chance to play the piano as a solo instrument other than practicing, I am also a film and TV composer and In 2006 I was recording some music for a film project I was working on, and just started playing the piano and improvising, My husband Jeff Fair (who is also my writing partner and an amazing producer and engineer) said, let’s record this and see what happens and that’s how my first solo piano album “Common Places” came into existence. I feel like I really found my “voice” on the piano recording that album. Since then, I have continued to compose cinematic music for film & tv and I always try to feature the piano when it is appropriate. I have also recorded other solo piano albums and have always experimented with finding new timbres and textures that the piano can create, whether its using electronics * filters on the acoustic piano or piano preparation with fabrics and felt to give it a unique sound.

    Tell us something about that moment you realized you could make songs yourself!
    I think I was very young and have always written songs, ever since I can remember. I hear them in my head first.

    What are your favorite artists in this “piano genre”?
    There are SO many artists who I love in this genre, and in many styles within the piano genre. Olafur Arnalds is one of my favorites, Dustin O’Halloran, Ludovico Einaudi, Christine Brown, David Nevue, and in the jazz realm, Billy Childs, Keith Jarrett, Michael Wolff, Herbie Hancock

    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?
    Memories of Tomorrow by Keith Jarrett (the version from the Koln Concerts live album)

    What rules (in making music) needs to be broken?
    All of them!!!!

    How do you record your music?
    I have a really beautiful recording studio at my home and I’m so blessed to have a1928 Steinway B piano that was actually on the MGM soundstage during the late 1920’s thru the 1930’s,. It is rumored that the Wizard of Oz was recorded on this piano. It still has the MGM tag from the soundstage on its leg.

    Whats your take on sampled instruments?
    I love the synthesizer when it sounds like a synthesizer – all the amazing interesting sounds it creates, but when it comes to sampled instruments that are emulating live instruments, I feel like the live instruments really breathe and have a life that sampled instruments just don’t have the capacity to have. Samples still sound great, but I truly love the real thing more.

    Anything else you want to share?
    Music brings healing and peace and light to the world and I feel so fortunate to be someone who creates music.

    The last question is asked by my 6 year old son:
    Where do all your songs come from?
    I love this question – you have a very insightful son! They come from a place I think beyond myself. Sometimes I feel like I am just channeling what is coming through me. Inspired by God, spirituality, my ancestors, pieces I heard long ago as a child and forgot them may find a way into my songs, emotions that run the gamut of highs and lows, all those things are in my songs.. That’s about the only answerI can think of about where they come from.

    Thank you very much for this Starr!

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