Elder is the third time I collaborate with my buddy and fellow piano player Rikard Mathisson (the first two being Rowan and Hawthorn). And as you can tell by these three titles, we have kind of a theme for the songs we make together.
This track started with Rikard sending me the higher pitched piano and I started playing around with what to play below his part. Usually the melody is higher than the chords (at least when I play). The right hand plays the melodi, kind of. If you have four hands playing, you have to get creative!
My favorite part of the tune starts around 2:00 where I get the feeling of two birds (or pianos) having a conversation with each other.
Today I’m introducing you to the track Westerkerk by the dutch composer Mink, or Winterdagen. Mink has written and performed music in different band and constellations for many years, and this year is the year when Winterdagen gets it revival!
This is a solo piano version of one of the tracks of the upcoming EP ‘Phase In’, which will be released on May 29. The songs was is also released as a single.
Tell us something about your track Westerkerk!
In 2018, I had the opportunity to write an audiovisual live show with 8 musicians, which we got to perform at festival on the island of Terschelling, just off the North shore of The Netherlands. Our stage was a beautiful small old church, which had a lovely organ, and a wonderful old piano. On that particular piano I wrote this piece, in between performances. We liked the piece -and the old piano- so much, we decided to incorporate them into the performance. We put the piano in the middle of the crowd, where half way through the concert, I would perform this piece acoustically, which was an amazingly intimate moment during every performace we did. Naturally I had to name the piece after the church it was written at.
For my upcoming EP, I recorded this track on an even older and piano, with some added cello layers. This extra (solo) version of the track was one of the first recordings I did on my new piano at home. It’s part of 1631 Recordings’ new Piano Cloud compilation, which features an amazing line-up of pianists, I’m very happy to be a part of it.
Thank you for the music Mink!
On Friday I released another EP called “Sinclair”. The name was taken from the road where my sisters house is located in my home town of Arvika.
This is the first time I have recorded something on an acoustic piano, so it was pretty special for me. I usually compose, record and mix the song at the same time, so this time I had to really prepare and do each part of the process completely separate! I recorded it live, using my Townsend Sphere microphone with my laptop, and then took it back to Malmö to mix and master.
The recording was made during the Christmas season of 2019 and the first single, Meadow, was releases some time in January, and this was the fastest ever from recording to release I have ever made. I had some other things I wanted to release first so that’s why the full EP had to wait until now.
So. This is me trying to play the piano for real (well, not that I cheat on my other tracks, but this is very live for once).
I hope you like it!
The track Day was written on the same day as my previous song Meadow, and on the very same spot at the video for the same was recorded. I was doing some composing in between takes of the recording session of the song Välkomna till änglyckan, which I recorded at the pre-school named Ängslyckan. Meadow means Äng in Swedish by the way.
Because of the location I first called the song Day for Meadow part II, but after writing the song Night (which will be available on the upcoming EP release featuring these two tracks, and two others), it felt like the two were opposites to each other. Day and night.
I hope you enjoy the song!
Today I’m introducing you to the American multi-instrumentalist and producer Tyler Wells Lynch from Maine. Tyler makes music under the stage name Methyl Lily and has made music for a couple of years.
The track is released on the album Rhododendron which came out late February of 2020.
Tell us something about the track Purple ghost!
This track is off of my latest album, “Rhododendron,” which was released in late February. It emerged from a bout of depression I suffered last year, something I’ve often tried to work through in my music. The initial ambient sound was produced by slamming a string synth with layers and layers of harmonic distortion, tape saturation, and reverb.
Thank you Tyler!
Today I’m introducing you to the final track from the collaboration EP With which was releases a week ago. This track is a collaboration between me and my friend Anders Wiking who is an amazing guitar player. He went to some kind of fancy music school in America a while back, but now makes a living as a pre school teacher and plays music for children with me in our band Rimstad Rockerz.
As a couple of the other songs I started working on this track during the summer of 2019 when I was living in a house in Falsterbo in the south of Sweden. I immediately felt it was a track that would go well with guitar and piano, so I sent it to Anders. When we were talking about titles for the song, Anders at some point wrote “Sakruveta”. And this might be hard to understand if you’re not Swedish, but what he wanted tho write was really “Ska du veta” (which would translate to something like “You know”) but with sloppy (guitar) fingers and autocorrect de activated, he wrote Sakruveta instead. And that’s where the name came from!
So Anders, tell us something about the track Sakruveta!
The song in itself is my first collaboration and it was pretty hard to come up with parts, I’m used to be the one writing the main theme and then Johan does his producer thing and the rest is magic. So I did my best and came up with some pretty solid parts that was partially cut due to my horrible recording skills. The song came out pretty nice and I hope you will enjoy it.
Today I’m introducing you to the fourth track from the collaboration EP With. And this track is made by me and my buddy Erik Slättberg from Örebro. Erik is an amazing piano player which I have written about before, and you should just go ahead and check out everything Erik on the blog here!
Erik stated he wanted to write something in 5/4 pretty early. When I heard the piano track I was pretty sure I wasn’t gonna be able to add another piano to it… So that’s when I started experimenting with drums instead – since I am originally a drummer! The fun thing with working on this track for me is that I had, the week before, worked on another track (a singer songwriter song) by Anders Wiking which was also in 5/4. So I just sat down by my drum kit and started working on a beat. The rest just worked out! So here we go!
Tell us something about the track Seasons!
Seasons is my first track to be released as a collab (in my solo piano project).It is very different from the rest of my catalogue and the rest of Johans as well, and I think we both was a little surprised of how it turned out..hehe.Having a desire to create music with a wide range of emotion, I decided to create a track that was quite opposite to the calm, minimalistic approach that dominates the neoclassical piano genre. I send some piano tracks to Johan, consisting of rhythmic arpeggiated patterns in 5/4, were the melody was more or less embedded in the arpeggios. Johan then added most of the rest, such as drums, which turned the track into…well, i’m not sure if we really know the genre of this odd one. Maybe that is for everyone to decide.
Time for track number three from the collaboration EP With! Today I present to you the track Hawthorn made by me Andy buddy Rikard Mathisson. It has been an interesting journey with Rikard. We first me through Facebook where Rikard was looking for someone to help out with mix and master for his very first release! Since then; we have both grown musically and I’m excited to share with you the second track we have worked with (the first one being Rowan).
On Rowan I wrote the first piano parts and then Rikard added his parts. On this tune, we did the other way around. I worked on my parts during the summer of 2019 when I was living in a house in Falsterbo, Sweden.
Tell us something about the track, Rikard!
I’ve been getting to know this friend of mine, Johan Eckman quite well the last few years, and we’ve been doing several other projects together, mostly not piano related though. One of these days, I got a hunch that we should do a joint effort and combine our two piano voices. It turned out to be a great idea, We share the joy in creating piano music it was great fun, and our two pianos meet well in a conversation, with intertwined melodies. It is a really emotional piece, and I’ve even written some lyrics, although that is a story for later…
Today it’s time to introduce you to the next track from my collaboration EP called “with”. This one is made together with the amazing American piano player, composer and friend Merrill Crissey.
What I think is the most interesting thing with working on this song is that it was actually a “finished” song that I never found a place for on any of my early releases. While Merrill though that I added the strings after I got his piano parts, it was actually the other way around; everything was already there, I just choose to hide it to see what he would add to just my piano track! When I got the pianos and “un muted” the already existing tracks – magic happened!
Well, Merrill, tell us something about the track Gymnopedie from your point of view!
Gymnopedie is not my first collaboration, but it’s the first I’ve ever released. Johan Eckman started by laying down the chord progression. I liked it, but I found it quite challenging to write with for two reasons. the tempo was quite slow and there was a major seventh chord which made harmonies a bit tricky. I experimented with some very busy melodies trying to breath some life into it, but nothing seemed to gel. Finally, I went with the idea of stacking another chord over the original chords and making the melody simple. This gives it complexity in the harmonies but simplicity in the melody. The tune and the harmonies conjured up memories of Erik Satie which helped us decide on the title. Later, Johan put in some nice strings and a beat to give it a more polished sound and keep it interesting.
Today I’m presenting you to the first song taken from the collaboration EP With which was released last Friday. This tune is made by me and the Australian composer and musical magician Richard Labrooy!
I remember how this song started out clearly. I was sitting by the piano in a house in Falsterbo, Sweden and playing some nice chords. One of my sons improvised a melody and sang to it, and that’s how I found out how musically talented my oldest son is! Of course I didn’t remember or use any of what my son sang, but I recorded the chords and sent them to Australia. After a couple of weeks I got this track back by Richard and I was ecstatic to hear what he had made out out these chord and short melodies!
So Richard, tell us something about the track from your point of view!
Well, I can definitely say that the collaboration with Johan was very much overdue. Having known each other for a while now, and being a huge fan of what Johan was doing for the industry, I jumped at the opportunity to collaborate on a track.
I’m usually a little cautious when approaching a new collaborator, but Johan and I were very much on the same page. Basically, he sent me a couple of short ideas and snippets that he had been working on, and I knew exactly where I wanted to take it. I’m a very melodic writer, and I think what he started out with, very much complimented those tendencies.
I already had an idea for a string arrangement that I had been sitting on for a while, and I experimented with fusing it in with Johan’s ideas. It blended perfectly. Once I had the harmonic base I was looking for, I then played around with a little sound design. But the piece didn’t need too much. I like how simple it is, and it really didn’t take long to complete. Although that never stops me from overthinking it…
I very much enjoyed the process of playing with fragments of ideas and seeing how they play off each other, and fuse together. It’s very much like sampling. I think that’s one of the directions music is going, whether it’s hip hop, or neoclassical. There’s a real process in it. And I think that’s one of the best reasons for collaborations like this.