These are the songs I’ve posted about so far! Have a listen, and find a new favorite! Then you can go ahead and read up on every post you might have missed!
Today I’m introducing you to classical pianist, conductor and composer Yoomi J. Kim from Canada and her song Unconditional Friend.
I ended up accumulating too many degrees (a doctorate in Piano Performance, two master’s in Piano and Conducting, and a cognate degree in Composition) and I hope all my training will be used to bring joy and peace to others around me through music.
Tell us something about your track Unconditional Friend!
I dedicated this piece (Unconditional Friend – single track) to my parents who have shown me a glimpse of God’s unconditional love here on earth. They are not perfect (as no one is perfect), but they have exemplified through their life how to cry out to God in times of trouble and how to celebrate His goodness in times of joy. Life is not easy, but I have an unconditional Friend who pours out His Love constantly regardless of my shortcomings.
Here is the Youtube version where I used my husband’s landscape photos of where we live, Victoria, BC, Canada. Near the beginning, it has a lighthouse photo (sunrise), and near the end, there is a photo of a lighthouse again – this time sunset and almost blue hour. I thought the photos depict a good way of our human cycle – if there is a beginning, there is an end. It’s a journey full of life and different colours (different circumstances). I tried to put more photos with greens with streams when the music goes up high, and when the music becomes fuller and a bit more passionate, I tried to put photos with stronger colours and vast ocean pictures. Reflecting upon this journey of life, the last photo ends with a child looking over the city from the ocean.
Thank you for sharing with us Yoomi!
For more information, check out Yoomis Spotify profile!
Today I’m introducing you to Czech pianist and composer Filip Rachůnek, living in Prague. Filip makes music using the name Fencer and has done so since 2017. He, himself, describes his music as “synthetic / chillout / new age”. With his forth album he went back to the roots and made an album with solo piano.
The album is called Nocturnal keys and was released in April 2019.
Tell us something about your track Helena’s Nocturne!
So, as the title suggests, I wrote this song for my wife Helena. She is my endless source of inspiration, which is also reflected in the song structure – it begins with a simple theme, slowly develops during the middle part and finally bursts in a twice as fast tempo to bring the main idea to the majestic end. “Helena’s Nocturne” was, just like all other songs of the album, played and recorded on my digital piano at home.
Thank you for sharing this with us Filip!
A while back I introduced you to American composer and musician Chris Bartels and the song Rubrik which he made together with Brique a Braq. This time Chris has collaborated with guitarist Rosen Poem and string player Alex Berglund. When I read the pitch for the song, I was almost scared off since it mentioned the word “guitar”. But I’m glad I kept listening, because this is a really beautiful piece of music!
Moons Lost is released as a two track single and will be featured on Blurstem’s full length album that comes out in September.
Tell us why you stepped away from your moniker Elskavon!
Since I started writing a lot more on piano, I decided to step away from my Elskavon moniker on some, and that’s what birthed Blurstem. With that, I started sending improvisations and songs to friends of mine, and artists I admire, to add their touch to it. It’s been a lot of fun seeing the creative input come in – each with a unique flavor. And over half of the album will actually be collaborative at this point.
Tell us something about your track Moons Lost!
This is the title track for Moons Lost, and it’s quite simple – one chord progression throughout the entire song, building up to a climax and back down. While I usually find myself avoiding one chord progression for 4 and a half minutes with most songs, this one seemed to fit nicely – in just letting the dynamics and emotion of the piece be the main focus, not worrying about adding a B section or anything like that. Creative contributions to the track include that of a couple Minneapolis friends of mine – Alex Berglund played strings, and Josh Leininger (Rosen Poem) played guitar. I love what they brought to it.
Thank you for sending me this Chris!
A couple of months ago I attended Manifestgalan, which is the Swedish Independent Grammys, with my band Rimstad Rockerz. We were nominated for a price in the children’s music category. We didn’t win… On the event there where four band invited to play. Three of them were kind of ok.
The forth one were freaking fantastic! So fantastic that I had to get up from my comfortable chair and clap my hands and scream just a little bit when they were finished playing. The fourth band were Symbio. A pretty strange duo if you look at the instruments they’re playing. Accordion and… Hurdy-Gurdy? Is that even a real instrument?! I’ve just heard of it and used a sample library with hardy-gurdy sounds before. But to be honest, I had no idea what so ever on how it actually looked like. Check out this wikipedia article if you’re interested in learning more about the hurdy-gurdy, or just check out the video below to see how it looks like, and how it works.
This is a bit off my main focus on the blog. It’s actually the exact opposite of what I usually write about. This is how I look at it:
Classical music traditionally is written down with sheet music. It’s played in the nicest of rooms for a dressed up and seated audience. Folk music on the other hand is, from what I understand, learned by tradition (like ear to ear). Played outside, probably somewhere in Dalarna in Sweden, during the summer and everyone is dancing (and probably drinking moonshine).
Well. This might nog be the actual truth, but it’s a funny way to look at it!
Hey Symbio! Please tell us something about your track Rising!
Rising is the title track of our latest album. The track is an original track composed by us, just like all the music on the album. Rising is a tribute to all the people who have been going through a hard time in their lives and found their way back. For most of people life is fantastic filled with possibilities to experiences good things! But some times life can be really hard and some times it even happens that you loose the feeling of being happy to be alive, and hungry to continue your life. Terrible things can happen to us or people who are close to us and this can make us loose the energy and the motivation to live. This can be a very critical moment and when you are there, you can’t really see how life could change and you could feel better or good again.. But we humans have an extra ordinary ability to rise time and again, no matter how deep down we have fallen, even if it is usually not easy – It is possible.
When we are in this dark place and ciritical moment, we have to remember that life is hard some times, but it can change and get better. We also need to remind ourselves to beg for help from people who are close to us, because some times it is hard to stand alone when hard things happens in life, and people usually want to help if they can and understand that they are needed. The most simple things can mean a lot some times, just to show another person that “I see you, and I am here to listen if you need.”
We wanted to dedicate this track to all the people who have been through this process, and also to the people who are struggeling with it right now!
Here’s a video from their performance at Manifestgalan. If you watch until the end you can see a very happy dude shouting. You can’t miss him, because of his pink jacket. Well. That’s me.
Wasn’t that the greatest thing you’ve ever heard?
Hopefully the answer is yes.
Thank you Johannes and LarsEmil for this wonderful experience!
Today I’m introducing you to pianist and composer Michael Ottoson from Sweden. Michael has worked with music in some way for the last 30 years or so, but this last year he decided to try something different. This!
The song In Circles is taken from his debut piano album In time we’ll be. The entire album is recorded in the same order which the songs were written in. In time we’ll be was released late march of 2019.
Tell us something about your song In Circles!
This song is written in one go at the piano. I wanted something of a repetitive motion going on in my left hand. After some bars presenting the chord progression, the melody kicks in. Much in the same way as the chord motion, the melody repeats itself and stay quite calm. “In circles” is, like the rest of the album, meant to express an inner longing of keeping things small and easy.
In contrast to a lot of my previous work, this music tells it all just by being what it is. A felted upright with two microphones. I feel like it resonates with me a lot more and hope it does for the listener as well. The up-close microphones also captures all the mechanical sounds and overall flaws of the performance, which I believe adds to the whole thing.
Life is sometimes running ‘in circles’ and sometimes we need to just sit down and simplify things. I hope this song, and album, will help people do just that.
Thank you Michael for this song, and this album!
Today I’m introducing you to London based composer Thomas Hewitt Jones. Becoming a composer was kind of an obvious choice since two of his grandparents were composers and that Thomas comes from a very musical family.
The track Autumn of Life is taken from the album Contemporary String Quartet which was released in February of 2019.
Tell us something about your track Autumn of Life!
I recorded the album with the internationally-acclaimed Carducci String Quartet – my cousin Emma Denton is the cellist! The album is loosely themed, with each track exploring a different emotional concept. This particular track, Autumn of Life, explores the passing of time, and it remembers my Composer Grandmother Anita, who was a huge inspiration to me both professionally & personally.
Thank you for this Thomas!
Today I’m introducing you to Kepa Lehtinen, a finish composer and sound designer. Aside from being a great pianist, Kepa has also studied many other instruments like drums and synthesizers.
His first solo album was released in 2018 and this tune is taken from the follow up called Helsinki in November, which was released in April of 2019.
Tell us something about this latest album of yours!
This album is written for piano, contrabass, and theremin, which is an almost-century-old Russian electronic instrument. Leon Theremin, the father of this instrument, created it by an accident after studied on Russian military radio-engineering school. Theremin is played without direct contact to instrument, and that is why it is possible to create both soft and melancholic athmosphere or anxious and screeming effects.
Tell us something about this track (with the very long title)!
On “Serenade for theremin, piano and double bass” theremin takes the role of a violin in more typical classical duets and compliments the piano well. It also allows for sounds and techniques a violin could never equal. The combination of theremin, piano, and contrabass creates a sound full of cinematic darkness that immediately commands attention. The theremin is no longer a freak but a stand-alone lead instrument.
I have used several synthesizers for composing, but for last track of this album I constructed an istrument using Commodore-64-home computer. Its robotic sound combined with etheric theremin is really freak.
Thank you for sharing this track with us Kepa!
Today I’m introducing you to German composer and producer Klinger based in Hamburg, Germany. He started his piano career by posting short 60 second songs on Instagram (60 seconds due to their limits on how long a video clip can be on instagram).
This is Klingers first full length piano composition and it was released in April, 2019.
Now that you have gotten the last of full length songs, will you release more songs soon?
Yes, there will be an ep soon and Prisoners in Paradise will be featured on it. The basic theme around the ep will be “insects”. Not the most obvious choice for piano music, I know. Acutally my mother brought it up, after listening to the new songs for the first time. My sister even drew some pictures of me, a piano and lots of insects.
Tell us something about your track Prisoners in paradise!
I made a very simple video symbolizing what the song is about.
It features a wasp trapped in a pot of strawberry juice.
But this is not only about wasps. I guess all uf us find ourselves in such situations from time to time. We’re drawn so heavily by something we crave and when we’re finally there it turns out it doesn’t make us happy at all. And even more: It’s very hard to get away from it again.
Thanks you Klinger for sharing this with us. The video, drawing and the song is all amazing! Looking forward to hear (and maybe even see?) the EP!
For followers of the blog, Anna Sofia Nord is nothing new. Anna Sofia is a Swedish pianist ands composer who lives in Örebro. You can read more about Anna Sofia here, and about a previous release here.
Music is both my occupation and passion.
Anna Sofia started to record her own piano music last year (2018) and this is her fifth piano piece; released as a single in April 2019.
Tell us something about your track Reflection!
This piece started out as a theme with a touch of Swedish folk music and evolved from there. A melancholic reflection of things passed. My music often comes from a feeling or theme i improvise over until i find a structure that i like.
Thank your for this Anna Sofia!