This song is a really old one. About ten years ago I signed a deal with a publisher who tried to pitch my songs to the asian market. I didn’t make piano music back then, but rather what you would call ”commercial hit music” or something like that. I never got a placement through this publisher, and soon moved on to making other kinds of music.
I still listen to these songs every now and then, and it strikes me every time that they are all pretty good! I was especially found of a track called Back on the track. It had this piano part which I really likes. So one night when I was playing it I decided to just record it, and it turned out pretty good. I wasn’t sure about how it would work as a sleepy song, so when I send out the demo of the album to a couple if friends I asked them for their honest opinion of which tracks that I should put n the album, which tracks should go as singles an a couple of other questions I don’t remember. One of the reasons I even started sending out the demo was because I wanted to see what they thought about this particular song.
When I got their responses they all had put Back on the track as one of the singles. Quite the opposite of what I thought to begin with.
But here it is! My third single from my upcoming album!
Another song about the Ice hockey World Cup. And for all the hockey fans out there it’s kind of obvious why the song is named Finland.
For those of you that doesn’t follow hockey; Finland won the gold medal.
I wanted to make a tribute to their fantastic team that won agains all odds after being laughed at before the World Cup started.
This song is probably one of the happier ones I’ve written under the name Sleepy Songs. As you will see (read) in upcoming posts about the other tracks I will release the next few moth they have kind of a common theme. And the theme might be kind of strange… I wrote some of the songs during the Ice Hockey World Cup, and this particular song was written when Sweden played Norway.
I am from Sweden, as some of you might already know. And for those interested in the result I can only say this:
I have probably touched the subject before, but I don’t think I have ever explained why I choose the moniker Sleepy Songs in the first place.
The story gets back to 2010 when I made the gold selling record Prinsessans Rockband with my uncle Per Gustavsson (you know; the guy who has made many of the drawings for my early covers). I wrote a really sad song, what would be called a lullaby (in Swedish godnattvisa). It was about the dragon who couldn’t go to sleepy because of all the scary things that kept him awake. We decided it was indeed a lullaby, but when we were about to find a name for the song we didn’t like the title Drakens vaggvisa (the dragons lullaby). Instead I suggested Drakens sovasång (the dragons sleepy song). Listen to it here!
Shortly after this I started working with the piano songs that would later become my first album Först ska vi äta, sen sova och sen kommer pappa, and since I didn’t want to put my real name on the release I had to come up with some kind of artist name.
And there it was; Sova-sånger (Sleepy Songs)!
Written by Anders Wiking.
A while back I was driving home from work, listening to the album Först ska vi äta, sen sova och sen kommer pappa, witch by the way is a sentence you use a lot working with the youngest kids in pre-school, and my favorite song Väntan (wait) started playing. The song has a kind of sad/melancholy sound and the rockets sounds in the intro turns it in to some kind of depressed New Year’s Eve thing.
The day before listening to this in my car I saw a tv-show where, in one scene, a mother and her child was on the ship “Estonia” that sunk between Sweden and Estonia back in 1994 drowning around 950 people, and you got to watch them slowly drown, a very claustrophobic scene. So with that scene in mind and some depressing New Year’s Eve music on I started to sing along and just improvise in the moment. when I came home I hade the melody ready and knew what I wanted the lyrics to be about. Then I simply recorded it to the track and sent as a surprise to Johan. I had no real intent to have it published, it was just something that I did because it was fun, but Johan did his mix-wizardry and it turned out great!
A while ago my buddy Anders Wiking sent me one of my songs from the debut album Först ska vi äta, sen sova och sen kommer pappa to me. He had written a vocal part for the song Väntan (Wait). That got me thinking about that record and how it doesn’t really fit together with the music I currently make. And, I didn’t really know how to make this kind of music back then.
I decided to dig up my old Logic projects for the songs to see what would happen if I did some changes with my current knowledge.
It took a day or two, but then I had a brand new record; too good not to be released. Not fireworks or anything, but it was something I was more happy with than the original version. Feel free to compare!
The main thing I did was to replace all the orchestral strings with a string quartet. And on one song I replaced it with three cellos! I also removed most of the synthesizers and all of the drum loops (most obvious on the opening track Vi åker till Kina). One song was beyond saving and didn’t fit at all (it was actually a song I made many years before the others when I was studying music production in Växjö, hence the title So Old), but instead I found another song that I, for some reason, decided not to put on the original release (Den glömda, The forgotten one).
And of course; I had Anders do a proper recording of the vocals for Väntan which can also be found on the Reworked release, as well as a separate single. I asked him to write a post about that song, so I guess that one will be posted eventually.
And as always; feel free to share and put a song you like on a playlist of yours!
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!