A Tribute to Jóhann Jóhannsson

After hearing about the sudden passing of  Jóhann Jóhannsson, I wanted to pay him tribute by compiling a (non-comprehensive) list of his works. The Icelandic composer was best known for his blend of electronic and classical genres. He received Oscar and Golden Globe nominations and awards for many of his film scores, and his solo…

“Divenire” by Ludovico Einaudi

Divenire means “to become”. And that’s exactly the story that this piece tells. This orchestral/piano work is the title track of Ludovico Einaudi‘s album Divenire, which he released in 2006: Einaudi’s Inspiration Einaudi says of Divenire on his website: “Divenire developed over a long period, beginning in 2002 when I was invited by the organisers of the festival…

The Song of the Sun: “Solstice” by Amelia Chain

  How many pieces of music do you know that incorporate the actual sound of the sun into the work? Amelia Chain’s composition “Solstice” uses real recordings of our sun in the work (both as the inspiration and as a musical element). Chain was inspired to create the piece after talking to her daughter about…

About Ludovico Einaudi

Ludovico Einaudi. I’ve heard his name come up often over the last year or so, but for some reason I never listened to his music. That is until someone suggested I find something of his to play on the piano, and I was amazed. Einaudi creates his own unique, colorful world through his music, and…

Trevor Kowalski’s “June 5th”

Today I want to introduce you to Trevor Kowalski. A contemporary pianist composer, Kowalski started young – piano lessons at 6 years old – but loved to create his own sounds rather than follow structured lessons. His newly released piano work June 5th (from his album Certain Paths) caught my attention: After listening to (and playing around with) some of his…

Sequences III by Alfonso Peduto

Some of you may know that I’m an active social media user. I firmly believe in putting myself out there to share my music and, in turn, supporting other artists. This is how I came across the music for today’s post. Today’s blog features a work by composer Alfonso Peduto, whom I recently discovered on Instagram….

“Bladed Stance” by Marcos Balter

I found a new composer today named Marcos Balter. Born in 1974 in Brazil, he’s been a musician his whole life. Read more about him here. Balter’s compositional style is characteristic of 21st century composers in that it’s exploratory and unique. He makes new and colorful sounds through various extended techniques, unlikely instrumentation, and complex…

“Northern Lights” by Ola Gjeilo

So this week I want to introduce you to a 21st century choral piece called Northern Lights by Norwegian composer/pianist Ola Gjeilo. It’s incredible.  The text is the Latin Pulchra es amica mea, from Song of Solomon (in the Bible). Here is an English translation: Thou art beautiful, O my love, sweet and comely as Jerusalem, terrible as an army…

Become Ocean

In 2013, composer John Luther Adams premiered his contemporary orchestral work Become Ocean. The piece won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Music and a grammy in 2015 for Best Classical Contemporary Composition. Become Ocean was inspired by the oceans in the Pacific Northwest (particulary that of Alaska, where Adams lived for much of his life). The name was…