Today I’m introducing you to Israeli composer and piano player Firas Matar and the latest release Sunrise Sunset Blend! Firas is born and raised in Nazareth in Israel and has been playing piano since the age of five and started composing own music around the age of 16.
In my first few years I played mainly classic music, over the years I got more and more interested in playing modern music like pop and rock, so I moved to playing “nowadays” music, where you can see lots of that on my YouTube channel.
The track Sunrise Sunset Blend was released on November 10th of 2019.
Tell us something about your track Sunrise Sunset Blend!
In this song I tried to mix tunes from the east and the west together in a perfect harmony. Blending the two together, creating an awesome musical smoothie.
It was created live, on the spot, simply sitting and playing whatever comes to mind, letting the fingers play whatever they like to, and this time it was a sunrise sunset blend.
Thank you for sharing with us Firas!
Today I’m introducing you to American composer and piano player Logan Nelson. Logan grew up in Kansas where he studied piano and viola and played in orchestras. He’s parents had a big collection of movie soundtracks which also became an interest of his; so much that writing music for movies became his job!
The track Lost in translation is released as a single, but will also be featured on the album Lavender Echoes in January of 2020.
Tell us something about your track Lost In Translation!
When I was in the studio working on Lost in Translation, a lot of the string writing had already been deliberately composed in advance for the musicians, but a lot of the tracks elements came unintentionally though collaboration and experimentation. When working to produce out the track, I discovered a tiny toy piano in the corner of the studio (Lucy’s Meat Market). We dusted it off and mic’d it up – eventually improvising a lot of the plucky toy piano stuff that starts and ends the piece. Another unintentional moment of the process was the very end. I was originally hearing a sort of fade out at the piece’s conclusion, but mixer Nick Taylor ended up running with that and pulling the track deep into these nebulous reverbs that consumed the entire existence of the piece. That became one of my favorite moments on the track.
Thank you for sharing this with us Logan!
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!
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!
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!
Today I’m introducing you to Borrtex, a composer and piano player from Czeck republic. Borrtex have been playing the piano since the age of 6, but never really appreciated going to music school. Two years ago he did however fall in love with the instrument and eventually started composing.
The song thōughts is taken from the album with the same name, which was released on November 1st of 2019.
Tell us something about the song thōughts!
Funny fact is, that I composed over 30 songs for this particular album, but somehow, the quality of the sound was getting better with each new song, so eventually I started deleting the first ones, and making more of the new ones that sounded just so much better! At the end, I selected only 10 songs that I felt were good enough for the album. The song titled thōughts represents my creative process. For me, thoughts are just melodic ideas that I have in my head while I’m thinking about something. And once it starts making noise in my mind, I need to make it visible. So, sitting behind the piano and just kind of ‘transcribing’ my thoughts into music is the main point for the title of the song. …
Thank you very much for this song! (And the album is also great by the way).