A while back I introduced you to the track Swimming with Kawatora by Ryan E Weber (REW). Ryan its from Lake Michigan, USA. After being part of different musical projects in different styles, REW<< is now heading in another musical direction focusing on the neo classical piano genre.
Tell us something about this latest release of yours!
Following on from my 2018 EP Conversation Arctique, Salix Babylonica is another series of neoclassical miniatures which I have the great fortune of releasing with the always outstanding label Hidden Shoal. Each of the five tracks is centered around the piano, with the spaces around each note coloured with strings and synth. The full release will happen May 14th and the single and video for Salix Amygdaloides is out now.
Tell us something about your track Salix Amygdaloides!
So I had this weeping willow tree in my backyard growing up. It was fun to swing and play on, but I was horribly allergic to it and would break out with rashes any where I touched it, so I’d have to avoid it. Sometimes, however, despite knowing I’d be in for problems, the allure was too great and to have a swing or climb on it. I was thinking about this and that melancholy funny looking tree when working on the EP Salix Babylonica (which is the scientific name for the weeping willow), so I explored and researched it and took pieces of its history and science related to inspire the songs.
Thank your for this Ryan! I was about to ask you about the title, but you gave me that answer without me asking about it. Nice 🙂
Today is another great release day! It’s 14 degrees celsius outside, and spring is here!
This song is released in collaboration with The Sonder House and is the first single from my upcoming EP called The trip.
Old as I is an instrumental version of a song called Gammal som jag, which I wrote for my band Rimstad Rockerz, and you can listen to it here. Anders Wiking wrote the words and I wrote the music. A theme for the entire album where Gammal som jag is featured is seeing your kids grow up and become as old as we are (well, kind of).
When I was writing songs for this upcoming EP I just started playing this song, and eventually I pressed record and afterwards I don’t regret it. It even became the single for the EP, right?
So, I guess it’s about time I wrote a little something about my latest EP, right?
Like someone might have guessed; the title of the EP and the titles of the songs is linked together. I (and I guess most europeans?) write dates like this YY-MM-DD. So, I skipped the year, and just wrote the month and the day of the month. Hence; 09 – September.
This EP was written and recorded during the month of September.
Next time – I promise to come up with better titles…
Fun fact might be that 0901 was my submission for The minimal piano series VOL 2. So far it’s doing pretty well on it’s own though.
I usually think of solo piano music as (neo) classical music. That was until I started talking to Erik Slättberg about his album Growth (2018). It then became clear to me that there’s an entire world of solo piano jazz to be found if you just bother to look for it. That’s how I found German composer and pianist Tom Blankenberg from Düsseldorf.
This is one of the songs from Tom’s album Atermus. He describes the album himself as “It’s very me”, and if he is anything like his track London Fields, I’d gladly get to know him better!
Tell us something about the London Fields!
London fields was written after spending a weekend in London. It evolved out of the first improvisation I did after that weekend.(A very long tine after writing, i found out that there would be a movie out with the same title… crashed totally last autumn.)
I tried to form a complete song around this first chord. This sould be the backbone of the track I planned. On the day in the studio recording it, months after the writing process and after having performed it live a few times, I changed it in three bars… Plan vs. Reality.
Thank you for sharing with us Tom!
New music you say?
Yeah, I got that coming too fairly soon.
But last week a friend of mine sent me his own version of, what he thinks, is the best song I’ve ever made. The song is called Väntan (Wait) and is taken from my very first album Först ska vi äta, sen sova och sen kommer pappa.
I have told you before about that album, and how I made it so the kids at the pre school I worked at at the time would have some nice music to fall asleep to (hence Sleepy Songs btw.).
Anyway. He sent me this song.
At first I wasn’t sure what he changed with it, because it was basically my track for the first minute. And then it came. The vocals!
He had written lyrics for my song! And it was wonderful!
That made me think of two things
- Too bad I didn’t know him when I recorded my album 48:50 – because that was pretty much the deal with that album. I write the backgrounds – you write the lyrics and sing the song.
- I really need to freshen up that old album of mine and make a re-release.
So, thats what I’m working on at the moment.
It was interesting to go through my old projects. I think I read (or watched) Olafur Arnalds talking about the re-release of his first album and how strange it was to go through the old project. What was I thinking here?
I have changed a couple of things, and I also found a forgotten unreleased song that I will include as a bonus track. I will also skip one of the tracks because it’s not good enough… And of course, I will try to include the vocal version of my song Väntan with dear Anders Wikings’ vocal on it.
That’s all for now!
Just like my previous post, about the song Arvika, this song is about one of my favorite places in the world. My wife has had this house in Falsterbo in her family for a very long time, and it’s now owned by her aunt.
One of my favorite things about this house is that it has a piano in it. It’s not in tune and it’s not a fancy piano. But like the piano in my parents house; that doesn’t matter. It is located in one of the places where I enjoy being.
Early in the summer of 2018 I sat down by the piano and started to play a couple of chord over and over again. I sat there for maybe an hour just listening to the chords and trying to figure out what kind of melody would fit over those chords. Then something interrupted me. And then we had to go back to our apartment in Malmö again.
During the vacation in Arvika, like I told you in the post about the song Arvika, I only brought with me my Maschine from Native instruments with the goal to learn how it worked. The song Arvika was the first one I produced that summer, and Falsterbo was the second one. And like Arvika, the main track on this two-track single is an electronic version of the song, and the second track is a solo piano version.
It ended up with just those four chords. Simple as that!
On the cover art you can see my youngest son walking on the bridge over the golf course heading down to the ocean.
Enjoy the song!
If the playlist doesn’t work, please use this link instead!
I have always been the drummer. If you needed a drummer for your band; I was the guy you would turn to! Everyone else played guitar, so I was kind of original.
It has been a very sentimental evening, and I’ve been going through some old recordings. So I wanted to share a bit of Johan history with you all! This was the band closest to being successful.
I present to you Vienna Heat!
A while back I wrote about the confusion regarding my artist name, and the reson why both Sleepy Songs and Johan Eckman is written as performing artists on most of my recent releases. On Spotify that is…
Well. The confusion seems to never stop.
On my latest single Arvika; there’s only one artist.
Why is that then? I can see the reson why the first track only has Sleepy Songs since that one is another genre. But the second track, the piano solo, must be in the same genre as everything else I have released recently, right?
Not according to Spotify.
Since one of the tracks of the release is not in the classical genre; the others can’t be in the classical genre either.
So, that’s the short explanation why my single Arvika, as well as my upcoming single Falsterbo won’t be listed under the artist Johan Eckman.
My 5 year old son just asked me a pretty interesting question.
Where do all your songs come from?
Well. I haven’t thought so much about that.
My answer, however, was that they come from my fingers; and also from my brain.
It didn’t turn into a deeper conversation than that this time, since we were playing a board game at the time.
He won two times out of two by the way.
But he gave me something to think about…
The summer of 2018 was a hot one here in Sweden. Probably one of the hottest ever, and definitely the hottest one I’ve ever experienced. I spent the four-week summer vacation in my parents’ house, which is located in my hometown Arvika.
The summer before I had brought my keyboard with me so I could record piano and other things for an album with Rimstad Rockerz. This year, however, I wanted to challenge myself a bit. About seven years ago I bought myself a Maschine from Native instruments. I have used it a lot since then when making dance songs or hiphop-beats, but I haven’t really used all of its potential. So before the summer I decided that I was only going to bring my laptop, my Maschine and a really tiny two octave keyboard.
The songs was written on the piano in my parents’ house, but was interlay recorded only using my Maschine and that tiny keyboard. The basement of the house was pretty much the only place where the temperature wasn’t unbearably hot, so I spent a lot of time there.
And this song was the first one that came out.
The picture on the cover was taken a couple of years ago. It’s the night view over my hometown taken from Viksholmen; which is a place where I always end up after a night out in Arvika. It has this amazing view over the entire city. The picture is actually upside down; so the sky on the picture is actually the reflections in the lake (if that’s not obvious?).
Back in Malmö after the vacation I decided to make a solo piano recording of the song as well, which is the second track on the single.
I hope you enjoy it! I surely loved making it; and now I know better how to use my Maschine!
If the playlist doesn’t work, you can use this link instead!