Today I’m introducing you to the American composer and piano player Andrew Shapiro from Brooklyn, New York and his track Mint Green. He started recording solo piano music in 2009, and that partricular recording was made in one day at Philip Glass’s studio.
The track Mint Green was released on the album Numbers, colors and people back in 2008 and re-released as a solo piano single in 2021.
Tell us something about your track Mint Green!
I was a young artist making my first album and was amazed a piece of art-music could find the reception that it did. But it was in the way that it did I continue to find fascinating. Mint Green has resonated with fans of a number of disparate artists and genres. It’s Classical, Ambient, Emo, Pop and Trance simultaneously. One could make the case that this is really a piece of Electronica realized by a human on a piano… When the piece reached into mainstream territory –initially on Coldplay’s Pandora station– I started hearing from people all over the world. In recognition of this journey, I’ve created a remastered and shortened version (four minutes); the one I play on TV and in other appearances.
Thank you for this Andrew!
Today I’ll present you with the track The Void by Andrea Carri and Ian Urbina. When I read the content for this post I decided to do something I don’t normally do and just copy/paste in what Ian wrote to me. It was a little hard for me to rewrite, and why would I want to rewrite the words from a real journalist?
I am an investigative reporter and director of the journalistic non-profit, The Outlaw Ocean Project. For more background on me here’s my Wikipedia page. However, I believe musicians and journalists are both storytellers and created The Outlaw Ocean Music Project as a first-of-its-kind collaboration of such creators. In combining their mediums, these narrators have conveyed emotion and a sense of place in an enthralling new way. The result is a captivating body of music based on The Outlaw Ocean book and reporting. While reporting for 5 years at sea, Urbina built an audio library of field recordings. It featured a variety of textured and rhythmic sounds like machine-gun fire off the coast of Somalia and chanting captive deckhands on the South China Sea. Using the sound archive and inspired by the reporting, over 400 artists from more than 60 countries produced EPs in their own interpretive musical styles — be it electronic, ambient, classical or hip hop. Andrea Carri, whose track you were interested in is part of this project.
Andrea, tell us something about the track The Void!
Working on The Outlaw Ocean Music Project inspired me to alter the way I write music. It usually takes me a bit of time to transform my ideas into complete tracks. With this project, I would typically compose my music organically immediately after reading chapters of The Outlaw Ocean — such as “Storming the Thunder,” “A Rusty Kingdom” and “Adelaide’s Voyage.” At times, it took me longer to read a chapter than it did to write the music influenced by it. Ian has done incredible work with The Outlaw Ocean Project and investigating the nuances of a topic we often ignore. The things I read woke me up to a world I never would have known, compelling me to learn and understand more about what is happening on the ocean. Because of Ian’s book, I began to follow Sea Shepherd and their campaigns around the world. Music has an ability to convey messages fundamental in alerting people on issues such as there, and I hope listeners can dive deeper into the realm of The Outlaw Ocean through my melodies.
Thank you very much for this Ian and Andrea!
There is a couple of links in the text about, so if you want to learn more, please click on them!
Today I’m introducing you to the French composer and piano player Pierre-Alexandre Monin and his track With you. Pierre-Alexandre started playing the piano at the age of eight, and the piano is his best way to express the music in his mind.
I use it to compose, and also to simply express in the moment what is trailing deep inside me. I love spending time on my piano, improvising, just to express what is happening in the present moment.
The track With you was released on the EP with the same name on march 8th, 2021.
Tell us something about the track With you!
I composed it while thinking of those pleasant moments which are imbued with melancholy. I wanted a very simple melody that was delicate and sweet. And emotionally ambiguous. I found it in this major key. For a long time I played it in C. The piece was brighter. And when the time came for the recording, I said to myself: I would like it deeper. At the last moment I changed the key and finally recorded it in G.
Thank you very much for this!
Today I present you with the track Smiles by the guitarist and composer Denis Turbide. Denis got his first guitar about 40 years ago and started releasing guitar music in 2008. This song is, however, a piano version of one of his guitar songs.
This version of the songs was released as a single on the 5th of march, 2021.
Tell us something about your track Smiles!
Smiles is a collaboration with fellow Canadian Jesse Brown AKA Winston Church. It’s a reworked piano version of a guitar tune I released back in 2011 called Dimples. This was the first track of mine to be added to a Spotify editorial playlist, Peaceful Guitar. I called it Dimples because my son has dimples.
Thank you very much Denis and Jesse!
Today I’m presenting you with the track Brother from the Dutch composer, producer and piano player Wouter Hardy (HRDY). In 2019 Wouter produced the song Arcade by Duncan Laurence which won Eurovision Song Contest for the Netherlands. Last February he started making neo classical music, and this is his second release.
The track Brother was released as a single, but will also be part of an album in December, 2021.
Tell us something about your track Brother!
Brother is really special to me. I wrote it for my big brother. It’s about our history together as brothers written as an intimate musical piece. Enjoy!
Thank you for this!
Today I’m presenting you with the track Per Aspera Ad Astra by the British composer and piano player Dom Mason from Birmingham. Dom has made music since he was a teenager and plays a variety of instruments. He also works as a ballet pianist!
The track Per Aspera Ad Astra was released on the album Lockdown Sessions: Songs for John, which came out on the 19th of February, 2021.
Tell us something about your track Per Aspera Ad Astra!
The album is an exploration of my memories of John, my late stepfather. He sadly passed away during the initial lockdown in the Spring of 2020. This particular track is a moment of calm reflection, its placement at 6 is deliberate as it follows on from the busier ‘Memories of Sevilla’ and precedes the bittersweet ‘Little Bird’. The Latin title translates literally as “Through hardship(s), to the stars”, which perfectly summed up John’s struggles with his health in life over many years. The album represents the journey towards a peace which I believe he has now found. It is deeply personal. Some of the more tender, heartfelt melodies (such as track 14’s ‘It’s been a long time’) reflect those personal emotions.
Thank you very much for this!
Today I’m introducing you to the American composer and piano player Dan Schrage and the track Jarrett. Dan has written a lot of music for licensing (film and television) but hasn’t really released any of it. During the lockdowns of 2020 he started to write music again, and this time with the intent of releasing it to the public.
The track Jarrett was released as a single on the 24th of February, 2021.
Tell us something about your track Jarrett!
“Jarrett” is the product of a late night improvisation session following a week or so with Keith Jarrett’s The Köln Concert album basically on repeat. I am not a jazz musician, and “Jarrett” doesn’t sound like most of The Köln Concert, but if you know the album well you may hear the subtle influence of some of those quieter moments of Jarrett’s 1975 improvisational performance at the Opera House in Cologne (German: Köln).
Thank you Dan!
Today I’m introducing you to the American composer Bruce Stark and his track Little Waltz. Bruce is a classical trained composer, born and raised in California, now located in Redmond, Washington. After Juilliard he spent over 20 years in Tokyo before returning to the U.S. in 2013.
The track Little Waltz was released as a single on the 5th of march, 2021.
Tell us something about your track Little Waltz!
The track Little Waltz is a composition from a piano scorebook collection entitled “To A Child’s Heart,” composed during the 2020 lockdown, and dedicated to the child’s heart in all of us. Little Waltz is a delicate, even fragile, little piece for piano. It it touched with a bitter-sweet lyricism and nostalgia. A nice metaphor is a small flower, like the cover art.
Thank you Bruce!
Today I’m introducing you to the German composer and piano player Dennis Korn and his track Sad Lullaby. Dennis After studying musicology he devoted himself entirely to compose and produce music.
The track Sad Lullaby was released on the 26th of February, 2021. It will also be featured on the upcoming album Night songs.
Thank you Dennis!
Today I’m introducing you to the artist Saah, based in Austria, and the the track Changes. Saah was given an old piano at the age of nine and immediately fell in love with it.
I live in Lower Austria, next to vienna with my family,(I have two kids) and three pianos named COCO, the baby grand, and two stage pianos called baby and juna….
The track Changes was released as a single on February 26th, 2021.
Tell us something about your track Changes!
My latest release „CHANGES“ was recorded in my tiny home studio. Sometimes in the morning hours it happens that the sun appears in front of my studio window, while playing and recording. Then, I guess I am one of the most grateful humans in the world… that also happened while I was recording CHANGES.
I am kind of addicted to this feeling… so i guess i try to be aware of the beauty of the moment, because life means constant change. I am very grateful to have the opportunity to do what i love and to share my work with people who want to listen….
All of my songs become companions… like my pianos, i think that’s why they all have names!
Thank you very much for this!