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.
This Friday I released a new song. Or, it’s actually not new. Usually when I write music, I record it at the same time. Then I mix it, master it, makes some kind of cover art and then start looking for a available date do release the song.
This one is very much different!
I wrote this between the takes of a recording session at the pre-school where my buddy Anders Wiking works. I had like five minutes here and there so the video of me playing it is as close to an improvisation I can get.
When I got home from the recording session I didn’t want to record the song the way I usually record. At home – with my nord electro and some kind of sample library. I wanted to try to record it with an acrostic piano.
Six months passed and I found myself celebrating Christmas in Arvika. My little sister had just bought a house, and the previous owner was some kind of piano professor at Ingesunds musical university. When the professor moved out he left an amazing upright piano just standing there, so that’s where I decided to record the song!
I recorded it on the 29th of December in Arvika – took it with me to Malmö and made some adjustments (mix and master) and then just uploaded it to be released on the 31st of January.
I hope you like the tune – because to me; it’s very special!
This song has both been recorded and released before as a part of my EP Piano pt. 6.
This song is kind of a co-write by me and my buddy Dan Sigurdsson (the guy who wrote the song Begravningsauran from this album). I was working on the “A part” and needed a “B part”. I tried to come up with something for a while, and then came to think about my piano part from the Broms Friskusen song Ögon. It worked like a charm!
For the previous recording I used a lot of synths, strings and effects for the song. But I really liked the piano part, so that’s the reason why I wanted to try to record the song again but with piano only.
It worked out great I would say!
As many other of the songs taken from this album this tune is written and recorded in my parents basement during last Christmas (in which you gave me your heart and so on…).
Winters in Sweden is equal to darkness. Sun will rise around 9am and go back to hiding again six hours later; if the sun can shine through the clouds at all that is.
So I guess this tune is my homage to the Swedish winter. And the darkness that comes with it of course…
The blog as you know it has now been up and running for about a year. If I remember correctly; the first post ever was a Behind the piano post about me and it was posted on the 13th of December 2018. The first Spotted post was posted on the 28th of December about the track Respite by the artist Astralus.
It has been a great year where I’ve seen both the interest of the blog increased as well as the interest of the music I make.
Thank you for being a part of this wonderful journey!
Next up is 2020 and I hope that year will be filled with many own releases (making plans right know) and many great posts about great new music and artists!
And by the way: today is my 34th birthday. Why not take a listen to some of my songs to celebrate?
Happy new year!
Sometimes in my work as a pre-school teacher, we get interns from the iniversite. Aspiring pre-school teachers. A few years back I got a student that was totally uninspired and didn’t seem very interested in working (or even talk) with kids. This was of course very frustrating, and somehow I ended up writing this song after work.
I still like this song, but the first few times after recording it it reminded me of that student. Not a pleasant memory, but I do like the song!
This is the only track from the album which I haven’t written myself! I am kind of involved in the original tune since it was written by my buddy Dan Sigurdson. I occasionally play piano together with Dan in the project Broms Friskusen, and this was a song that Dan didn’t want to play (because it was to old) but I kind of forced him into including it in our list of live songs because I love it!
This is also one of the songs that I always play when I warm up or when I need inspiration. Or when I just want to play something instead of staring at the wall.
And here’s the original track:
This track from my album For the once left behind was written an recorded in the basement of my parents house in Arvika about a year ago. Like (almost) every year; I travel to my parents for celebrate Christmas. Each year I try to bring some kind of recording equipment. A couple of years ago I only brought my Maschine (which resulted in the tracks Arvika and Falsterbo).
This time I brought my nord electro, which resulted in this song (and a few others.