Today I’m introducing you to American composer Philip G Anderson based in Atlanta. The album Wilderness was created as a way to escape the “small, claustrophobic, and dark room” where he writes and records his music. And the song titles reflect the theme of the album; Mountains, Along the forest floor and Lakes being two of them.
I seek to tell a story and convey feeling with the music I write and in doing so, connect with the listener.
The album was released the 1st of march.
Tell us something about what inspired to for the songs on the album!
I was inspired early on by imagery of the vast wilderness in the Pacific Northwest of The United States. I wondered what the dense, lush forests, flowing rivers, and vast mountains would sound like musically. And so, I composed 10 pieces to reflect what I felt that would sound like. A soundtrack for exploring the wilderness.
Tell us something about your track Along the forest floor!
When writing this track, I specifically imagined walking through a dense, misty, and overgrown forest. I wanted to capture the peacefulness and calm of that and the feeling of the cool mist in the air and the soft moss underneath my feet. I started off by writing the piano part which is the driving force in the piece. I spent a lot of time crafting the melody so that it flowed well and didn’t become too repetitive. After that, I felt that slowly evolving string textures layered underneath the piano part would give the track the sense of space that it needed and would help transport the listener into the place and the feeling I imagined when composing it. I wanted to the end the piece on a bit of a mysterious note to underscore the idea of the vast wilderness and not entirely knowing what’s out there. So, the piece undergoes a transition near the end where the piano drops out and delicate string textures come to the forefront of the piece ending in a subtle crescendo.
Thank you for sharing this enchanting pice of music with us Philip!
Today I’m introducing you to the song Mist by Swedish composer and pianist Maria Grönlund. You might recognize her name, because I have written about her song June and me before.
The song mist is released as a single but will be featured on her upcoming album with is scheduled for the second half of 2019.
It’s an album based on the life story of a truly fascinating man that I heard about when sailing to the Finnish island Åland two summers ago, and it will be called ‘Songs of a Sad Sailor’.
Tell us something about your song Mist!
I came up with this little piece Mist, when experimenting with alternative fingering techniques, I think I’ve come upon something like this in a Debussy piece I played long ago, don’t remember which one. It’s basically a way of doubling your speed by using a finger from your left hand and your right hand every other time, all in the same keyboard position. I hold my left hand above my right hand and it looks kind of like a funny animal, it would probably make good shadow figures!
Thank your for this wonderful piece of music Maria! And I really want to see those shadows of your hand playing your song. Maybe an idea for a music video?
Today I’m introducing the latest single by Merrill Crissey, which you all have met before, both here and here. Merrill is a piano player and composer based out of Orlando in the United States. If you want to know it all, just click the links above!
This single was released on Friday to celebrate Piano Day!
Tell us something about your track Summerfield!
This song is rather personal for me. My grandmother lived in a rural area in Florida called Summerfield. As a child we would spend holidays and many Saturdays out in the country. I would play with my brother and sister out in the field. I recall jumping on haystacks, feeding the cows, and wondering at the enormous oak trees. My grandmother grew a large garden most years and was an excellent cook. In the summer we would sometimes take turns as kids staying with her for a week or so. I remember eating so much during those weeks and playing outdoors enjoying the simplicity of country life. This song is really just a nostalgic expression of my memories of those days and that place. My grandmother passed away a few years ago, but she would have been one hundred years old this month.
The track is intentionally somewhat melancholy and has a quasi-country feel to it. It was one of those pieces that I can hardly remember making. It seemed to just happen, and most of it fell into place rather quickly. Thanks so much for listening.
Thanks Merrill for continuing to deliver wonderful music for the blog!
Today I’m introducing you to American composer and performer Ryan Steward, born in Salt Lake City but now located in France, since 2,5 years ago. Up until this date Ryan has released four albums and is now working on his fifth which will be called Celtic Spell. The album will come out in October, and until then Ryan is releasing a single every month up until then.
The album will have a Celtic theme, hence it’s name.
Tell us something about Eyes closed!
When my wife and I were young and dating, we had to be creative with our dates. We met when we were 19 years old and neither one of us had any money. We didn’t even see a movie or go to a restaurant for the first four months of our relationship.
You know, like the typical dinner and a movie date?
Nope, not us, we just spent time together.
She listened to me play the piano for hours and we philosophized about the meaning of life. She lived on campus and we both worked there too. I spent almost every waking hour on the university grounds to be with her, to work, and to go to classes. One of our favorite pastimes was to have one of us close our eyes while the other person guided the first around campus. We would take long walks, about 10 minutes or more, which allowed for some distance from our starting point. We would guide the other person around bushes, step up onto rocks, duck under trees, etc in an attempt to confuse them and also to build trust that they wouldn’t fall or get hurt, even when walking through “rough” terrain. When we were finished with the walk, the person with their eyes closed had to guess where they were. Sometimes, to our amazement, we would guess correctly. It was a simple time in our lives and one we both look back upon very fondly. When I sat down to write music for my upcoming album and ultimately this song, the memories of this time enveloped me.
When you listen to this song, recall a time or moment in your life that you deeply cherish and listen to it with your Eyes Closed.
Thank you Ryan for this amazing piece of music! Eyes closed everyone!
Today I’m introducing you to Australian composer Nadav Cohen, based in Melbourne. Nadav does not only produce ambient and cinematic music and is not afraid of visiting other genres like hip-hop and acoustic pop. His first release came out on Spotify 2018, and later this year he has plans of releasing at least one more EP and a couple of singles.
Fighter, however, is “just a single”, released mid February. But it’s a great one!
Please tell us something about your track Fighter!
I wrote Fighter after I decided to take a break from my university degree studying Statistics and Business. Despite what others around me were telling me to do, I found that university wasn’t allowing me to fulfill my creative side and I felt quiet claustrophobic despite me enjoying a lot of the work I undertook during my studies. I wrote Fighter as a reminder to continue fighting for my dreams and constantly fighting for what I believe is the right path for me to take. I believe that if you’re really passionate about something you should follow it no matter where it takes you. Life is always up and down, you just need to remember what’s worth fighting for.
Thank you for the music Nadav! Looking forward to hear more from you in the future!
Today will be a little sneak peak on one of the artists from my Behind the piano series; Judson Hurd. Judson is an American composer and piano player born North Georgia. When he was a kid he lived in Paraguay where he first started leaning the piano at age four. The song Deconstruction is a single; released to celebrate Piano day!
Tell us something about your track Deconstruction!
Deconstruction is my latest single to be released today on Piano Day! Deconstruction is about when we deconstruct things in our life that include loss, relationships, and other things that bring us fear or negativity. I can’t wait to share this with the world.
Thank you for this song Judson! And Happy piano day!
Today I’m introducing you to Jennie Löfgren, a Swedish composer and piano player. Jennie is born in Östersund in the north of Sweden but now lives in Stockholm. This album, Dreamology, is a compilation of her three EPs (released in 2018) which together with the title track Dreamology has formed this wonderful album.
This is the first real album från Jennie, at least in a while, since Jennie mostly composes music for picture.
Tell us something about your album Dreamology!
I’ve been playing the piano and coming up with piano pieces since I was a child. One day I realized that if I die now, nothing of that will be left. I haven’t recorded any of it, although it has always been such a big part of me. So I decided to record and realease the next 10 piano pieces I wrote and that became the Dreamology-series. It was also the first time I recorded, arranged and produced an entire album totally by myself. I usually collaborate with different people on the production but this time I wanted to know what happened if I shut myself in a room and made all of the choices myself. What would that sound like?
Well, Jennie. It would sound awesome. Just listen to this!
Today I’m introducing you to The Aquaerials latest album Discordia. The Aquaerials is, despite it’s name, a one man band; and it’s only member is Mark Swanson. He’s an American composer and pianist beased in Grand Rapids in Michigan. Mark has been making piano music since 2015 and this is his 10th album (wow, that means 10 albums in just four years!).
My music ranges from modern-classical to synth pop and post-rock, but it’s all centered around the piano.
Tell us something about Discordia.
Discordia includes 6 minimalist, atmospheric piano pieces that were written and recorded at my home between July and December of 2018. The album was released on February 8th, 2019. It’s just a collection of happy, sad, whimsical and lonely piano tunes.
Tell us something about the track Sunken piano!
Most of these pieces take weeks for me to complete, but Sunken Piano, was literally written from start to finish in about 30 minutes while I was waiting for my wife to get ready for dinner one night. It just kind of wrote itself, so I stayed out of the way. The rest of the songs were more stubborn than that.
Thank you for sharing this album with us Mark!
Today I’m introducing you to American composer and pianist Andy Feldman, located in New Jersey. He got interested in the piano at the age of three, and started making own music in high school. Most of the piano compositions from that time just got uploaded to Soundcloud and was forgotten about. A few years ago, Andy started to take his piano music more seriously and refined his improvisations to actual songs.
A Memory rendered is the first single from Andy’s EP Rest and be thankful, which was released early march.
The EP title comes from a viewpoint in Scotland that sits atop what once was a long road out of Glen Croe. It was traditional for travelers to rest at the top and be thankful for reaching the highest point. Many of my songs are about looking backward with a bit of nostalgia, or looking forward in hopes of finding something. I thought it would tie the EP together nicely to have a track and title that is about appreciating things for what they are. So while the other tracks may be about other things and other desires, in the end, we are left with the things right in front of us.
Tell us something about your track A Memory Rendered!
The track A Memory Rendered comes out of an improvisation I played roughly 10 years ago. Over the years it became refined into what you hear today. I actually just listened to the old recording recently and realized I had completely forgotten about a part of the track that used to be there, so the piece has definitely evolved over the years. The piece is meant to convey looking back on a time when things seemed simpler. When I first recorded a demo of this years ago, it was titled “A Memory,” but when the file was bounced down in Ableton Live, it got the word “rendered” added to the end, since that’s what Ableton did at the time when you bounced or rendered a file. I ended up liking the sound of it better, so I kept it.
Thank you for the music Andy, and keep up the good work!