Category Archives: Music

New album release: Piano & Guitar, Vol. I

A new album is released: Piano & Guitar, Vol. I.

Where the previously released album (2meetu) in July 2016 had a distinctive electronic sound, the P&G album contains a more pop rock oriented direction. As the title indicates, the guitar and piano are omnipresent and the arrangement of the songs is build around the acoustic piano and acoustic and electric guitars.

The P&G album became like a time travel through Ewald’s favourite music styles and influences from the past and present.Each of the tracks on the album can be linked to these influences. The album opener ‘Early in the Morning’ sounds like a recording session for Paul McCartney’s 1971 album Ram, while another track ‘Down on the Ground’ breathes a production style from the Beatles AD 1969, when they recorded their swing song album Abbey Road. But the influences certainly do not stop there. Varying from Beach Boys (‘It Doesn’t Take a Scientist’) to a string of jazz and latin influenced tracks (‘When’, ‘That Initial Moment’, ‘Young & Beautiful Lovers’). ‘When’ is actually the finishing of a demo that Ewald already recorded in 1984 and in its chord progression and structure references to the music of Antonio Carlos Jobim. The other tracks on the album were mainly recorded in the summer and autumn of 2016, with the exception of ‘October’ and ‘That Initial Moment’ that were both recorded earlier (in 2013).

‘Lady Blue’ is a multi layered instrumental track that hits off with Asian inspired percussion theme, gradually transforming into a soundtrack like theme (think the music of Ennio Morricone) and then to morph into a mysterious, psychedelic last episode. ‘Mam’ is like a playful, simple interlude, an introduction to what can be considered the center piece of the album, the epic ‘Ride Along The Stars’. After the vocal first part, the track is for the second half instrumental offering the listener a multitude of different instrumental themes before the fading containing a double, improvised solo guitar. The sparse use of Mellotron in the song contributes to its mysterious and psychedelic qualities. As a counter weight to ‘Ride Along the Stars’ the album’s final track is a simple and elegant ballad. ‘Believe in Me’ contains the bare basics of piano, vocal and some sparse cello.

On Spotify:

Also available on Apple Music.

 

Prince (1958-2016)

Today I was shocked to learn about the death of one of the most prolific artists the world learned to know since his first album release in 1978. Prince has been a huge influence to me and his career somewhat coincided with my aspirations to create music. I already been digging Prince’s music long before his big 1984 break through with the movie Purple Rain.

I loved “I Feel For You”  so much that I recorded my own version to understand how he could make such perfect music. Prince knew like no other to blend a mix of funk, soul, pop, rock and electronic music in a way that almost always resulted in pleasant, adventurous music. There was the 1981 album Controversy that to me truly was the eye opener of Prince’s mega talents. It resulted in a string of such great albums like “1999”, “Parade” but without any doubt 1987’s “Sign o’ the Times” was the crown on his career. I am glad that I could watch Prince in a live show in Rotterdam around that time  (although his guitar was so loudly mixed, I felt like it would made me deaf instantly). Besides the great music Prince had also a knack to create superb videos like ‘Alphabet Street’ and ‘Batman’.

In the early 90s I was still a fan and buying all his releases, but somewhere around  “Diamonds and Pearls” I felt that Prince started to follow the currents trends in stead of creating them. Of course the music was still top notch: Prince was music and music was Prince. He simply continued to create great music that may have been not so influential as his 80s work but still was very enjoyable to listen to. Until his final album (HITNRUN Phase 2) he did what he would do best.

I now can say I was extremely happy to witness his 2011 concert in Rotterdam (already 5 years ago) that started somewhere around midnight and was finished when the sun was about to rise. It was the best concert I witnessed: a superb band and wild funky jams.

It has been a pretty rough year so far with some many pillars that your youth was founded on, now falling away.