Today it’s time again to introduce you to another great tune by Eamon Watt. For starters I think congratulations are in order since Eamon had managed to accomplish what most of us piano music makers want to accomplish; getting on those Spotify editorial playlists! Congratulations Eamon!
Short about Eamon then. Eamon lives on the Shetland Islands and makes a living as a drum instructor. He sometimes uses his moniker The Virtual Conductor.
The song Sailing by the Starts was released as a single early November of 2019, but will also be featured on an album with lullabies in 2020.
Tell us something about your track Sailing by the Stars!
Sailing by the Stars is a peaceful piano tune inspired by an image of a boat, sailing on a bright and starry night, in a flat and calm sea. The Northern Lights gleam above while shooting stars fly across the sky. The song is very calm ma and tranquil to fit in with this image in my mind.
Thank you for sharing your music with us again Eamon!
This song was written and recorded during my Christmas vacation in Arvika 2018. I sat by my piano in my old room in the basement of my parents house, looking out over my old neighborhood. The neighborhood is called Lundellsgärdet, so this is my theme for my old neighborhood in Arvika where I grew up.
Right befor Christmas, I was listening a lot to Erik Slättbergs album Growth, and especially the song Tybblelund, so I guess you can say that the song is very inspired by that particular song with the time signature changing between 4/4 and 3/4, and has a rather jazzy feeling to it.
New music from Merrill Crissey who need no introduction no more!
The song Arashiyama is released as a single but will also be featured on the upcoming EP Japonica.
Tell us something about your song Arashiyama!
One of the most popular tourist spots in Kyoto, Japan is Arashiyama. It means “storm mountain” in Japanese, but whenever I’ve gone there it has always been a placid and idyllic place. One of the most beautiful and intriguing parts of the area is the famous bamboo forest. I decided to write a piece about this place for my upcoming EP Japonica.
For this piece of music I included solo violin in addition to piano. The original intent of this piece was to be very minimalistic as you can hear in the opening chords. But I find that the music I am drawn to the most is usually melodic, so the song quickly turned into a thematic piece with a clear melody.
This is my first piece using solo violin, and it was exciting for me to hear it played on the real instrument after I had mocked it up with plug-ins. There’s no substitute for the real thing. This experience has me looking forward to writing more for string ensembles.
Thank you Merrill!
My latest track is out today!
A while back, I introduced you to the song Sometimes by Gianluca Piacenza. Today it’s time to learn more about Gianluca!
Where are you from? And where do you live?
I’m from Italy, and I live in Piacenza, a small city just 70km away from Milano.
How long have you been playing the piano, and do you play other instruments as well?
I started playing the piano when I was 4 or 5 years old, I also played a little bit of electric guitar in my teenage years but I have always been captured by electronic music and synthesizers, samplers and drum machines!
Tell us about how you started playing music.
I think I’ve always been playing something! When I was maybe 3 years old I received as a gift a little toy snare drum with two sticks and began hitting it! Then I had a little “Bontempi” keyboard and a Casio mini-synth. Then my family rented an upright piano, a beautiful Petrof which I have now in my studio and then I started taking formal piano lessons.
How long have you been making piano music?
Being academically trained in both piano and composition, I only started writing piano music when I was a student at the local conservatory, but at that time I was more of an contemporary-experimental composer. Than I understood that my emotions need a minimal and simple language to transfer to the listeners, and my modern-classical piano journey began.
Tell us something about that moment you realized you could make songs yourself!
When I was a student I had the fortune to have one of the first prosumer Tascam 4 track tape recorders: I could layer piano and synths, drum machines, vocals together and then I started experimenting and adding more gear. Then listening to the results I said to myself: good, you must improve but maybe you could become a composer and a producer! I have so much raw material, piano tracks, songs, orchestral compositions in my hard drives, but I try only to release what in my opinion add something unique and special or has a really deep connection with my soul.
What are your favorite artists in this “piano genre”?
I have so many, but probably I must say Nils Frahm, Olafur Arnalds, Max Richter.
Is there one song which you play over and over again as soon as you sit down by a piano?
I don’t have a specific song I play when I sit at the piano, but I always start improvising something and get in touch with the instrument (especially if its a piano I never played before): I explore the timbre, melodic capability, dynamic and then try to make it sing….
What rules (in making music) needs to be broken?
In my opinion there are simply no rules: as we speak of art, everything become subjective and everyone could potentially have something to say. The problem is that only a minimal fraction of what an artist produce today is really a masterpiece (this is the reason why classical composers like Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin etc. will always stay in another league).
How do you record your music?
I’ve always been interested in recording gear and now I’m very proud of my “Red Couch Studio”, a perfect space for my music in which I have an treated piano room for clean recordings (and a beautiful Yamaha grand) but also a control room with my upright Petrof and a bunch of analog synths and effects. So I learned to record myself properly but at the same time I always like exploring new techniques.
Whats your take on sampled instruments?
I use them and I like them very much, it’s fantastic to see what awesome tools we have now as modern composers… But I firmly believe that a real instrument and a real performance are on another level of depth and emotion.
Anything else you want to share?
Being an indie artist could be very demanding and demotivating at times: I’m trying to develop a real audience for my music, and I really think indie artists are the most interesting these days and I’m always discovering new unexpected talents… Sad thing is that almost nobody else know them… So if you like an artist, please support him and above all spread the word with all your friends!
And as always, the question my 5-year old son once asked me:
Where do all your songs come from?
The inspiration for my music come from everywhere: it could be an emotion, a travel, a book or a picture, a natural sound… But at the end of the day I hope all my songs come from my heart and my soul and are a path to know me as a real person also.
Thank you very much Gianluca!
Today I’m introducing you to Tobias Ambühl, from Davos; a small town in Switzerland. Now Tobias lives in Zurich. Tobias first relationship with a piano came from kindergarten where they had a piano where he spend most of his kindergarten time. When he started school he also started taking piano lessons and have played ever since.
Two years ago he started this solo project of his, which he calls Creendo.
The track Those who cry wolf was released as a single early November of 2019.
Tell us something about your track Those who cry wolf!
What inspired me for the song “Those who cry wolf”: I was looking for a new storybook for my little son, when I stumbled across the story “The boy who cried wolf”. I found that story quite dark and scary and it inspired me for this new song. The song actually reflects the story: The piano with the “echo-like” motive in the beginning would correspond to the boy crying wolf all the time. And when the strings start to play, that would be the part where the wolf really shows up 🙂 But this is merely a coincident, it just happened like this.
Thank you for sharing your music with us Tobias!
Today I’m introducing you to composer Ville Laaksonen from Helsinki, Finland. Ville started playing the piano at the age of five, and soon after started to work on his own compositions. Ville has done a little bit of everything when it comes to music:
I have written and produced songs and albums for others, performed in musicals, sang for millions of people on TV.
The track Desolate is taken from the album Spaces around times which was released late October of 2019.
Tell us something about your track Desolate!
Desolate is one of my favourites from my album. It was inspired by an end of a friendship and the feeling of loneliness. Somehow it brings an open space to my mind, a desert or a calm ocean. Something that can be both frightening and soothing at the same time. There is also a certain meditative quality in the piece. When I play it’s about listening to the end of notes and the reverberation of strings and feeling when to play the next phrase.
Thank you for sharing your music with us Ville!
Today I’m introducing you to composer, piano player, guitarist and saxophonist Jase Moran from Colombia. Jase started playing music when he was about four years old and has continued to play and compose since then.
The song From another dream was released as a two track single, late October of 2019.
Tell us something about your track From another dream!
I live in a town in the central part of Colombia where it’s extremely sunny all the time. Curiously, it has been quite cold lately, it is raining a lot, which is amazing! Rain and solitude have inspired me to create this and many pieces that I’ll be sharing with you soon.
Thank you for sharing this song with us!
Today I’m introducing you to Rob McAllisters new song Equanimity with his project Music Within. I have, of course, written about Rob and his music before, which you can find here! And there will also be a Behind the piano post about Music Within if you’re reading this close to when it was posted.
Long story short; Rob is a Canadian composer who currently lives in Toronto. He started playing the piano when he was about four years old, and started making music about eight years ago.
The song Equanimity is taken from the latest album by Music Within, which was released only two days ago (Friday the 8th of November). The album holds the same title as this tune.
Tell us something about your song Equanimity!
The string part that you hear in this track is a combination of violin played by my friend Drew Jurecka, and my electric guitar played with a violin bow! I had already been experimenting with the sound for another track (a collaboration with SØLYS called Aerial Dreams) and was enjoying the result it produced. I fed the guitar through my amp with a reverb pedal on it and bowed the part. Fun times!
Thank you very much for this Rob!
Today I’m introducing you to American composer and pianist Zir Bijou. I usually wants to write the introduction to the artist myself, but this introduction by Zir was a story in itself, so I didn’t want to mess it up.
I’m from Brooklyn and my diet pretty much consists of pizza . They say the pizza is so good here because of the water.
My grandmother pretty much raised me because my parents fought often and one would leave. She had a rickety old piano she taught me to play on. Playing the piano was the only time I didn’t get swallowed by the feelings of abandonment. I got a break from my persistent thoughts of bitterness and resentment. In return, I would feel the warmth of being grateful to my grandmother who loved me. I saw such pity in her eyes when she looked at me.
The piano, in a sense, is my pharmacy. Drug of choice. I don’t desire to be numb. I yearn to feel.
The song Deep Amber Foliage is taken from the EP Solo Pianist which came out in October 2019.
Tell us something about your track Deep Amber Foliage!
I chose this song to promote first because on a drive home I was listening to it. At one point I forgot I was driving. That pure blue sky and the smell of fall in the air permeated my senses. The tree leaves had begun to yellow. Families were choosing pumpkins together and picking apples at an orchard. Optimism, love, and joy inspired my heart to swell. I literally felt like the Grinch when his heart was getting bigger. I laughed to myself as I imagined myself green and hairy with gnarly eyebrows who happy people avoided.
The song was the perfect soundtrack to my life at that moment. Then it hit me, winter is coming. Totally got bummed then changed the song to “Crystal Clear” from the EP. Heart got a little smaller in that moment.
Thank you very much for this Zir! Looking forward to hear more from you in the future!