• Behind the piano

    Behind the piano: Lynn Yew Evers

    Let’s do a little Christmas special! Since Lynn’s latest track is a Christmas song I though it would be a perfect fit. And for those wondering; in Sweden we celebrate Christmas on the 24th, so thats why I’m posting this today. 

    Where are you from? And where do you live?
    I was born and bred in Malaysia.  I live in the USA for 9 years now. 

    How long have you been playing the piano? 
    I started at 4 so I have played it for 46 years now.

    Tell us about how you started playing music. 
    I got a toy piano as a birthday present at 4, I tried it on the first time and almost immediately fell in love with the instrument so I begged my parents to buy me a “big” piano and teach me to play. 

    How long have you been making piano music? 
    I composed my first song at 9 so I have been doing it for the past 40 years.

    Tell us something about that moment you realized you could make songs yourself! 
    I remember the first song I composed from a poem “Two Little Blackbirds”, I was reading the poem and find it bored so I went to the piano and started to put in “tune” to match with the words and worked out nicely. From then on I composed more and more tunes! *

    What are your favorite artists in this “piano genre”?  
    Jim Brickman, Yiruma and Kevin Kern.

    What song inspires you the most when you’re making music? Can you name just ONE song/composition?
    Without Words

    Tell us something about your latest release. 
    It is a Christmas single – Winter Wonderland with my arrangement in a light jazzy style.

    What’s happening next?
    New releases etc. I am ready to release a cover song single in January 2019, following a solo piano album in February.  

    Thank you Lynn! Please check out these link to social media:
    Facebook / Twitter / Instagram 

    Ans also, of course. SPOTIFY!

  • Behind the piano

    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:
    Facebook / Homepage / Instagram / Spotify

  • Behind the piano

    Behind the piano: Sleepy Songs

    Of course, I will have to start with interviewing myself to see if the questions will work!

    This should be interesting; and I’ll try to keep it short…

    What’s your real name?
    My name is Johan Eckman.

    Where are you from? And where do you live?
    I grew up in a small town called Arvika in Sweden. When I was around 20 I moved to my current city with is Malmö in the south of Sweden,

    How did you come up with your artist name?
    When I first started making piano music; I made it for the kids at work (I work as a preschool teacher for kids in the ages of 1-5). Usually we had some kind of calming music during nap time, but I wasn’t very happy with the old CDs my workplace provided. So I decided to make my own relaxing music. Sleepy Songs was the name I choose when I finally released those songs on Spotify and has stayed with me since.

    How long have you been playing the piano?
    I started playing the piano my second year of what we in Sweden call “gymnasiet”. I guess you could compare it to high school in America. I was about 16 years old. I’m actually more of a drummer…

    How long have you been making piano music?
    Since around 2011 when I started my first job as a preschool teacher.

    Tell me something about that moment you realized you could make songs yourself!
    I guess it’s pretty common as a kid to think that rockstars and artists arn’t human. They’re something else. I started making music with my computer when I was around 14. Thats kind of how I learned to play instruments; by “composing”. That’s still how I learn and get better with my instruments; by composing. I don’t know that many songs by other composers…

    Have you made music in other genres before?
    I have made so much music in my days… From singer songwriter to Swedish schlager. When I was about 20 years old I got a publishing deal with a company that tried to pitch my “hit-songs” to Asian record companies. They didn’t succeed. I have made songs in pretty much every genre you could think of. I consider myself to be a better songwriter/producer than a piano player. I’ve also made a gold selling children’s music album called Prinsessans Rockband.

    What are your favorite artists in this “piano genre”?
    Olafur Arnalds. He’s the only one I get back to every time.

    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?

    There is three songs I always come back to. One of them is my own song 0334. Another one is Tomorrows song by Olafur Arnalds, and the third one is a song called Längtar, which is written by my buddy Dan Sigurdson for our band Broms Friskusen. 

    What song inspires you the most when you’re making music? Can you name just ONE song/composition?
    That would be Tomorrow’s song by Olafur Arnalds.

    Tell me something about you latest release.
    My latest release was the single Arvika (7th december 2018). During the summer vacation of 2018 I only brought with me my Maschine from Native Instruments and a tiny keyboard (only two octaves). I’ve has my Maschine for many years without knowing how to use it properly. I figured it was time. But I couldn’t do another one of my piano solo songs, so I decided to make something more electrical, but still with the piano as the main instrument. So down in the basement of my parents house in Arvika I made this song. When I got back to Malmö again, I decided to make a piano solo of the song as well, so this single contains two versions of the same song; one with electronics, and one with only the piano.

    What’s happening next? New releases etc.
    I have one single coming mid January, another single late February and a four track EP coming in March. At the moment I’m doing the last finished of another EP which hopefully will be released in May.

    Thank you for reading! I think it went pretty well, didn’t it?

    I’m not going to bother you with social and streaming links here. They can be found all over the place.

  • Behind the piano

    On Thursday…

    On Thursday I will post the first post in my blog series Behind the piano. It’s a really soft start since this first post is all about… me! Of course. 

    I have gathered a lot of interviews during the past weeks, and I’m more than excited about introducing all of these people to you! Some of them you might now already, and hopefully you’ll find a couple of new favorite piano players!

    See you Thursday!