Árstíðir

Árstíðir (English: Seasons) is an Icelandic indie-folk band with classical, progressive rock and minimalist elements. This tune is titled “Ljóð í sand” (Poetry In The Sand). Árstíðir became known to a wider internet audience in 2013 when a Youtube video went viral (3,000,000+ hits) showed them performing impromptu, Heyr himna smiður (“Hear, Smith of heavens”, a 13th century Icelandic hymn) at a train station in Germany. The video was shot by their PR manager after they had played a concert the venue inside the train station. The a capella was noted for improvising with the vaulted acoustics of the train station to effect the echo chambers of a monastic chapel.

Find the Icelandic Hymn that went viral on Youtube here.

Find their album on iTunes here: Svefns Og Voku Skil (Sleep & Waking Returns)


Carry Me Home


Jamie Scott, 30, is a British singer, songwriter and producer. He started playing guitar and piano at the age of seven. Scott is heavily influenced by 1970s artists like Cat Stevens and James Taylor, and also by neo-soul artists like D’Angelo. Scott has had major success as a song writer with many artists and is one of the main collaborators with UK boy band sensations One Direction.

Jamie Scott official website.


Pianists’ Live Improv


I’ve featured Ólafur Arnalds & Nils Frahm previously on separate posts titled: Near Light and Said & Done.  Now the two solo artists come together to create a new song live in front of an intimate audience at Roter Salon, Volksbühne Berlin.  The musicians test/practise with the new equipment up to the ~ 2:20 mark on the video and the improvision starts from there.

Genius. And Magic.


Body Caligraphy


Related Post: New Beginnings At Sunrise

Abandon Window


Jonathan Julian “Jon” Hopkins, 35, is a London-based producer and musician who writes and performs his own melodic electronica and dance music. After starting his career performing keyboard for Imogen Heap, he has produced or contributed to albums by Brian Eno, Coldplay, David Holmes, and others. Hopkins composed the soundtrack for the 2010 film Monsters, which was nominated for an Ivor Novello Award for Best Original Score. In 2011 Diamond Mine was nominated for a Mercury Prize, which is annually awarded for best album from the United Kingdom and Ireland.[7] Immunity was also nominated for the 2013 Mercury Prize.[8]

Find this song on Hopkins’ Album Immunity on iTunes here.


Alone in Kyoto


Air is a music duo from Versailles, France, consisting of Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoît Dunckel.

The Band’s Website: en.aircheology.com.

Find their album here.


Nights Like Tonight


Rugged, raspy, and roaring with charisma, Halifax’s Ben Caplan is to folklore what smoke is to bourbon. Perfectly coupled. Ben’s songwriting is as bold in range as it is in ferocity. Fueled by a quality of melodrama and powerful lyricism, it’s the romance and the manhood crashing with his voice that gives Caplan a truly innovative and experimental artistry. A sound that bridges the gap between controlled composition and unruly passion. Striding in pace with gypsy-inspired strings amid the sultry tones of clarinet and saxophone, Caplan has marked his place in the Canadian music landscape with a growling spirit similar to that of Tom Waits. Breaking between guitar, banjo, piano, and melodica, Caplan’s stage show is almost reminiscent of a burly and bearded Freddy Mercury; a raging, strong, and exploratory songwriter, it’s the blues in his soul, and the heart in your chest pounding as one that makes Ben Caplan & The Casual Smokers an act not to be missed.” (Source: Audioblood)

Liked this? Check out Ben Caplan’s Under Control.

Find Caplan’s Album on iTunes here.


Hymnalaya


This band from Iceland was formed in 2012. The sound of Hymnalaya is rooted in old Hymns which are combined with indie, ethnic and ambient textures.  The band can be found on Youtube, Facebook and on their website here.


Paula Cole


Paula Cole, 45, is an American singer-songwriter. Her single “Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?” reached the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100 in 1997, and the following year she won a Grammy Award for Best New Artist. Cole was raised in Rockport, Massachusetts; her mother was an elementary school art teacher, and her father was a professor of biology and ecology at Salem State College and a polka musician. She attended Rockport High School, where she was president of her senior class and performed in school theatrical productions such as South Pacific. Cole then attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston, where she studied jazz singing and improvisation.  Cole got her first big professional break when she was invited to perform on Peter Gabriel‘s 1993-1994 Secret World Live tour. 


Gulls


David Gray. Needs no introduction. Play anything Man. Play anything.


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Comes and Goes


Greg Laswell, 39, is from San Diego California.
I’m a (big) fan…own all his albums.
In this clip, he’d joined by a cellist.
Laswell + Cellist = Magic.
Liked this? Don’t Miss “What A Day” and “Not Out


4 Mains


An encore for Wim Martens…


See prior Wim Martens’ post and bio @ Wim Mertens

Wim Mertens


Thank you Keith at 3Bones for introducing me to Wim Mertens.  Mertens, 60, is a Flemish Belgian composer, countertenor vocalist, pianist, guitarist, and musicologist.  Let’s just say I’m transported.

Vocals come in at 1:40.


January Stars


This is a beautiful rendition of George Winston’s “January Stars.” Love this tune. It captures the feel of January.  If do not have Winston’s album “Winter Into Spring“, you need to check it out here.

Here’s a Wiki passage:

Winston dresses unassumingly for his shows, playing in stocking feet, stating that it quiets his “hard beat pounding” left foot. For years, the balding, bearded Winston would walk out on stage in a flannel shirt and jeans, and the audience would think he was a technician, coming to tune the 9-foot Steinways that are his piano of choice. As The Boston Globe reported in 1986, “Much of his playing is introspective, mood-setting and, frequently, tranquilizing. Casting my gaze about the auditorium, I observed members of the audience with their attention fixed upon the pianist and others absorbing the music with eyes closed. Winston is not a self-indulgent performer who protracts his renditions to the point where he dangerously tiptoes between a yawn and a snore. Instead, he keeps his presentations pithy and free of excess and his audience awake.”


The Sound of Taste


What does flavour look like? How does it sound? These are the questions that inspired herb and spice experts, Schwartz, to create what they describe as a ‘Sonic Flavourscape’. Several tons of black peppercorns, cardamom, turmeric, paprika, cumin seeds, ginger, chilli and coriander were rigged to explode in perfect sync with a bespoke musical composition. Each explosion represents an individual piano note or chord, which when filmed at high speed, creates a surreal three dimensional sound scape.”


A Great Big World


~ 26,000,000 views on Youtube in < 60 days, and somehow I’ve missed this. A cave dweller – where have I been?

The singer/songwriting duo “A Great Big World” features the talents of Ian Axel and Chad Vaccarino.  Formed in 2010 while they were music business students at New York University, the duo toured in 2011 playing their own songs, as well as covers by such artists as Ingrid Michaelson and Five for Fighting.  The duo hit the big time after their song “This is New” was covered on Glee and when they released the single “Say Something,” a duet with Christina Aguilera.  A Great Big World’s First Album titled: Is There Anybody Out There will be released on January 21, 2014.  Link on iTunes here.  Band’s website: agreatbigworld.com


Source: Mme Scherzo

Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence


Thank you Geoff Clow @ Gorgeous Company for introducing me to Ryuichi Sakamoto and this tune which can be found on his album titled 1996 at this link.  Sakamato achieved his artistic and commercial breakthrough with his acclaimed score to the film of the same name: Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence.  The film was entered into the 1983 Cannes Film Festival in competition for the Palme d’Or. Sakamoto’s score also won the film a BAFTA Award for Best Film Music.  

If you liked this, don’t miss Sakamato’s Amore at this link and Rain at this link.


Playing Love


Source: Thank you Mme Scherzo
Related Posts: Friday Night: Mesmerized…

She Keeps Me Warm


Mary Lambert, 24, was born in Seattle, WA. Lambert is a singer-songwriter.  She is also an award winning spoken-word artist. She published her debut book of poetry, 500 Tips for Fat Girls, in January of 2013. Lambert is known to be revealing in her poetry and music, often discussing her early childhood traumas, sexual abuse, body image, bipolar disorder, and her sexuality.  Lambert’s songs, often emotionally charged, have been considered a mix of Adele, Tori Amos and James Blake. Her shows are described as “safe spaces where crying is acceptable and even encouraged.” Lambert was sexually abused as a child, and has described herself as “ending up being a depressed eight-year-old”. Her family was expelled from the church when she was six, after her mother came out as a lesbian. Lambert taught herself how to play piano and write songs at age 6, as an escape from her traumatic and abusive household.

This song, her newest single, “She Keeps Me Warm”, has had over 2,000,000 views on Youtube since it was released.  You can find this tune on iTunes here and her EP titled Letters Don’t Talk here

And for some of her spoken word poetry, check out: I Know Girls


Bio Sources: Wiki & MaryLambertsings.com

Indiana


Jon McLaughlin, 31, is an American pop rock singer-songwriter and pianist from Anderson, Indiana. His debut album Indiana was released on May 1, 2007. McLaughlin grew up playing piano since early childhood, though he disliked the lessons, and often sought to avoid them. Along with his older sister and brother, Jon McLaughlin began piano lessons at a very young age presenting an ability his parents hoped to foster. He loved playing the piano, and creating his own sounds, but lessons was another thing. “I took lessons every Thursday and I’d come home complaining to my mom. My dad traveled during the week for work, and when he’d call on Thursday nights, I’d inevitably give him the same grief I gave my mom. To their credit, they never forced the lessons; they allowed me to talk it through and somehow, at the end of every conversation, I’d say, “I think I am going to keep going.” They had infinite patience with me.”  (Bio Sources: Wiki and MTV.)

The rest, as they say, is history.


I’ll keep my lanterns lit


Memory rushes in, then washes you away
I am losing you to the sea
I’ll break from the weight of my mind,
but your ghost I will gladly bear
and with all your grief in my arms I will labor by singing light
I’ll keep my lanterns lit x8
If you had a single fall,
You just could not last forever could you?
You just could not last for me

~ Son Lux, Lanterns Lit


Ryan Lott, 34, better known by his stage name Son Lux, is a post-rock and alternative hip hop musician based in New York City, New York. He spent much of his childhood moving from place to place. Born in Colorado in 1979, Lott lived in California and Connecticut before landing in Atlanta for high school. He had been playing classical piano since age six; he also played the guitar; and in Georgia he picked up the drums and began learning pop and jazz piano as well. (Source: allmusic.com)

Find this song on the album titled Lanterns on iTunes.


Near Light


Ólafur Arnalds, 26, is a multi-instrumentalist and producer from Mosfellsbær, Iceland. Ólafur Arnalds mixes strings and piano with loops and edgy beats crossing-over from ambient/electronic to pop.

  • His official web site can be found here.
  • This song can be found on iTunes on his 2011 Album titled “Living Room Songs.
  • His 2013 album “For Now I Am Winter” can be found on iTunes here.

“Greatest Moment of My Life”

You are a college student.  You go to see Billy Joel perform on campus.  He was a childhood idol. You also happen to play the piano.  You raise your hand during the Q&A section.  He calls on you.  You ask if you can play your favorite song with him.  He agrees.  The rest is history.  As this student describes it: “The greatest moment of my life.”   Sit back and enjoy…this is something special.


Thank you Lori @ Donna & Diablo for sharing this wonderful clip. (LOVED IT!)

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I can’t get up…

Beautiful vocals, lyrics and video. The only line that stuck with me and my bleary eyed self this morning was “I can’t get up.” Yet, I couldn’t hit the snooze button on this tune. Here’s Lily & Madeleine with Back to the River

Kiss the Rain


Yiruma is the stage name of Lee Ru-ma, a 34-year old internationally-acclaimed pianist and composer from South Korea.  He began playing the piano at the age of five and moved to London when he was eleven, in 1988, to study at The Purcell School of Music. He held dual citizenship, South Korean and British, until 2006, when he gave up his UK citizenship to serve in the South Korean Navy.  ‘Kiss the Rain’ is one of his most popular selections.”  Thank you Dr. Bill Wooten for introducing me to this performer.


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Said and Done


I sourced this from musictouchesthesoul.  And this Nils Frahm music video titled “Said and Done” did exactly that… (And don’t give up on this one too early)


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Easing into Friday Night with Patrick Watson…


Patrick Watson  is a Canadian singer-songwriter from Montreal, Quebec.

There is a house built out of stone
Wooden floors, walls and window sills…
Tables and chairs worn by all of the dust…
This is a place where I don’t feel alone
This is a place where I feel at home…

And I built a home
for you
for me

Out in the garden where we planted the seeds
There is a tree as old as me
Branches were sewn by the color of green
Ground had arose and passed it’s knees

By the cracks of the skin I climbed to the top
I climbed the tree to see the world
When the gusts came around to blow me down
I held on as tightly as you held on me
Held on as tightly as you held on me…

And I built a home
for you
for me


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Easing out of the work week with Till Brönner…

Till Brönner is a German Jazz musician, trumpet player, singer, composer, arranger and producer.  Smooth, peaceful and easy…



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Sunday Morning: Soak in San Francisco

A short two-minute video shot and produced in one of the world’s greatest cities, San Francisco. Original soundtrack provided by creator’s 15 year piano prodigy son.  As he states…”no further inspiration needed.”

Good Sunday Morning…



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Sunday Morning…

Sunday Morning: Riding The Red Arrow

This music was composed by Arvo Pärt, an Estonian classical composer.  The pianists are Marjan Peternel and Primoz Urbanc.  The original piece was composed by Reinhold Gliere, a Russian composer born in Kiev (1875-1956).  The song “The Hymn to the Great City” was adopted as the hymn of Saint Petersburg in 1965 and has been playing when the Red Arrow sleeper train leaves Leningrad Station in Moscow to the Moscow Station in Saint Petersburg.  Shame that I didn’t get a chance to ride this train and hear this music during my visit to Moscow in the 70’s, although I’m confident I would not have appreciated it then.  Beautiful composition and master pianists…just what the doctor ordered on this Sunday morning…

Source: Thank you Madam Scherzo