Neoclassical Suite is a column that will present 7 recent, distinctive tracks of the neoclassical-modern classical-contemporary -and beyond!- music field.
(neoclassical, solo piano)
Maria Grönlund is an award-winning songwriter, arranger and pianist from Stockholm Sweden, just launching her solo project with a string of singles, and a Neo-Classical piano based album coming up after the summer of 2019.
Her influences are Òlafur Arnalds, Nils Frahm, Joep Beving and Poppy Ackroyd as well as Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel and a dash of Swedish folk music.
(contemporary, modern classical)
Aidan Tulloch (b. 1999) is one of the most exciting young composers working in Britain today. Born and raised in the North of England, he is based at the University of Cambridge where he studies English.
His debut EP, ‘Figures in a Storm,’ comes from a starting point of wanting to create space for emotion. To give any listener the chance to feel something, to mark out an aural space for contemplation, and to soundtrack lives.
There’s exploration of electronics and synthesisers on this record, with contemporary timbres used by Tulloch as voices that can interact polyphonically with each other. For the third track, though, achingly titled ‘The Brilliant Light of What’s to Come,’ he strips it back for a rolling, 7 minute unraveling of neoclassical piano, complete with drifting strings and percussion.
Away from the studio Tulloch regularly performs spoken word and vocal music, as well as writing for both page and stage. These varied sonic spheres are set to collide with the release of some intricately produced but resolutely authentic indie pop over the course of the coming months. Watch (or, indeed, listen to) this space.
In 2014, I bought my first digital piano. I’ve since been teaching myself how to play. With time, music has grown more and more within me. Now, here I am taking on composition. Through music, I want to tell stories and draw colourful themes. I hope to learn from the stories you hear and the colours you see in my music.
Since the beginning of Ryan Whyman’s musical journey at age six, it has been obvious that he has a unique musical gift. Since performing his first composition for his second grade classmates, he has yet to stop touching people’s hearts with original music inspired by diverse styles and traditions. Whyman’s imaginative and emotionally compelling compositions and orchestrations left one audience member so moved after a performance he told Ryan that listening to them, “makes me want to be a better nurse.”
Whyman’s award-winning musical projects have ranged from The Whyman Project, a chamber jazz ensemble which he himself performed in, to compositions for choir and orchestra to a collaboration with internationally renowned rapper, poet and spoken word artist Watsky. These varied ensembles give a sense of the many influences that make Whyman’s art so special; though it blends many genres, his musical voice is the common thread that weaves his repertoire into a connected whole.
Minismus is a creator of epic orchestral soundscapes designed for film and tv placements but that could serve on their own as masterpieces in the classical genre. Pulling deep from the styles of Max Richter, Johann Johannsonn, Philip Glass, Nils Frahm and Olafur Arnalds, Minismus carefully constructs strings, brass, woodwinds and felt piano into memorable works of art. Minismus’ debut album ‘FILM’ is set for release date June 21 on all digital platforms. Minismus creates exclusively for the new independent label Kwai Music, which focuses on post-minimalistic forms of music in orchestral, ambient and downtempo genres.
(neoclassical, neofolk, vocal)
Afenginn, aka composer Kim Rafael Nyberg, is one of the leading neo-folk voices in Scandinavia, known for his ambitious orchestrated works. Some would say what defines this artist are his seemingly mercurial creative impulses, as each of the 7 full-length albums have been clear departures from the last.
However on closer inspection one finds Nyberg has been steadily and meticulously developing a musical language that is based on the same fundamental investigation – how to combine nearly familiar motifs with asymmetric rhythmic and harmonic developments so as to guide the listener into a dusky borderland rife with epistemological shape shifting. Common in his compositions is the use of minimalistic patterning (akin to the techniques of Philip Glass and Arvo Pärt), which fluctuate between creating a tidal propulsion and a sense of austere fragility. This is consistently contrasted against epic post-rock swells that are both sensual and disbanding.
For the greater part of Nyberg’s career his albums, and the concerts that have accompanied these releases, have been through-composed. For the same reasons that Radiohead is sometimes labeled as prog, Afenginn can also be put into this camp for the way the emotional arc is designed to build across a whole performance. Themes and grooves expand across songs and the instruments are orchestrated to continuously shift roles, all which effectively pulls the audience into the band’s otherworld. Though it’s clear Nyberg’s artistic temperament is decisively independent and uncompromising, what sets his music apart from many fellow iconoclasts is a tendency for his writing to be imbued with warmth and compassion. One leaves an Afenginn concert feeling that they have feasted at the table of a most gracious host, filled by courses rich with untameable longings.
I am an award winning composer, pianist and producer developing my work as a solo artist in the contemporary modern classical genre. In 2018 I founded the Atmospherica Composer concert series which features regular performances from contemporary classical composers. For details about the series please click here
As well as my work as a solo artist I am also an experienced film and media composer. I write beautiful, compelling, emotional music from my own recording studio in Newcastle Upon Tyne UK. From simple heartfelt piano solos to large scale bombastic orchestral masterpieces. From glitchy electronica to uplifting, feelgood, folksy instrumentals, you can hear my music on over seventy five professional productions including feature films, TV documentaries, shorts, and animations. I regularly work with a variety of music libraries. Recent track placements have seen my music used on BBC1, BBC2, ITV, Channel 5, RTL ,Direct Star and TV2 .In 2007 I won two awards from the Royal Television Society for professional excellence in music.I am a member of the music writers committee of the Musicians Union and founder of the Guild of Northern Media Composers.