Neoclassical Suite is a column that will present 7 recent, distinctive tracks of the neoclassical-modern classical-contemporary -and beyond!- music field.
Marius Nitzbon, born in 1999 was six years old when he started getting piano lessons. Quite early it was obvious that Marius was more likely to improvise rather than playing the notes straight away.
Today, Marius has his own homestudio in Hamburg where he produces his entire works such as his first album ‘Colours for the Blind’. Marius’s love and fascination for analog and acoustic instruments inspire his works which are essentially instrumental.
His musical interests have no limitation. On the one hand Marius composes solo-piano pieces, on the other he makes electronic music. Marius likes to melt those two genres together. Both can find their place in his compositions dispite their opposition.
Patrick J. Hagan
This piece reflects on the loneliness we all felt this year and how, while it can feel crushing at times, it can also become an opportunity for self-reflection and inner growth. This happened to me while standing at an empty intersection in Brooklyn one night.
My name is Sacha Hoedemaker, and I am a Dutch composer. I have played the piano since I was eight years old; honing my craft bit by bit. I got picked up quite early in my career by successful directors and producers. They offered me to work behind the scenes, which was a tremendous opportunity for me to work on my songwriting-skills.
I started working on numerous projects; I wrote compositions for commercials, shows, and indie-movies. It dawned on me that my work mainly helped other people excel in their career — which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But whenever I wrote a great composition, the producer got the credits. Over time, my job left me unfulfilled; it felt like I was not living up to my true potential — in other words, things had to change.
And luckily for me, change came earlier than I expected. I always say, “You never know how things will turn out. Whatever happens, happens. The important thing is that you followed your gut.” And I did. It still feels a bit unreal to me, but I am so proud to announce my music to you.
In only a few years, Brussels-based Echo Collective have forged an enviable reputation in the post-classical world: sought out for their instrumental and arranging expertise by icons such as A Winged Victory For The Sullen and the late Jóhann Jóhannsson, or lending their interpretative intuition to genres as diverse as alt.rock, synth-pop and black metal.
Finally, an album of their own material, The See Within, confirms Echo Collective are equally inspired creators, using their past accomplishments as a springboard to a new, illuminating vision. From brief, singular themes to lengthier, shifting and questing episodes, this masterclass in composition, expression and technique bridges intimacy and grandeur in line with the most rewarding of post-classical works.
The See Within is scored composed for violin, viola, cello, harp and, in its first appearance on an album recording, the magnetic resonator piano (MRP). “All sounds are acoustic, and produced in real time,” explain co-founders Margaret Hermant (violin, harp) and Neil Leiter (viola). “No processing or post-production other than reverb. The acoustic element is Echo Collective’s identity. A natural sound.”
(neoclassical, jazz, piano solo)
Sam Miller is a man of unique talents. A rare musical soul who thrives in our modern day of synthesizers and microchips, but who would be equally content playing Bach fugues in a cathedral filled with orangutans. His musical output is driven by curiosity and exploration, noticeably lacking the self-aggrandizing spirit of so much pop music.
From the mysterious deserts of New Mexico, Miller is at once a songwriter, composer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist. He is a master storyteller, who walks a tightrope pitched between the beauty of life’s complexities and the abyss of the subconscious. His lyrics grow more dynamic and intriguing with each listen. An elegant love song is simultaneously a riddle that would tickle the ghost of Lewis Carroll.
One of the most impressive measures of Miller’s writing is how the melodic content of the songs carry the weight of his lyrics. His attention to detail in arrangement and production creates fully realized songs that arrive at a clear destination. There is a confidence and thoughtfulness that is applied to each composition. Clever melodic hooks manage to echo in your head for days, allowing the depth of the lyrics to slowly unfurl in your thoughts. Miller’s deep and resonant voice evokes Scott Walker, Nick Cave, and even Johnny Cash. At its climax In One Place at a Time is soaring chamber pop akin to Devotchka, at its most introspective it is indie pop held together by synths and drum machines. With a close listen, there are hints of americana, traditional country, psychedelia, and even exotica.
Renault and Peugeot are wine-guzzling, chain-smoking French composers who write melancholic music about art to support their dissolute lifestyles. They sincerely hope that you enjoy their compositions, and support them generously, so that they can continue to afford their expensive debaucheries.
Thomas Hewitt Jones
Thomas Hewitt Jones is an award-winning composer of contemporary classical and commercial music. Winner of the 2003 BBC Young Composer Competition, his music has been published by Boosey & Hawkes, Oxford University Press, Banks Music, the RSCM, Encore Publications, Universal Music, and is frequently heard on radio, TV and the cinema in the UK and abroad.
Thomas has written three ballets which toured the UK in 2008–2011 with Ballet Cymru, most notably a dance setting of Dylan Thomas’ masterpiece Under Milk Wood. His choral and instrumental music is frequently performed worldwide. He has also written numerous Christmas carols, including What Child is This? (OUP, 2012). Recent large-scale works include Wildflower Meadows, a song cycle commemorating the First World War, and the Christmas cantata Incarnation, released on Regent Records, both with words by regular collaborator Paul Williamson.
Commercial commissions have included work in America and scores for films in the UK, as well as music for the London 2012 Olympics Mascots animated films, with stories by Michael Morpurgo and narration by Stephen Fry. Thomas has also composed the music for a new musical version of Rumpelstiltskin which premiered at The Egg, Bath in December 2014. Recent performances include the premiere of a new set of songs charting the history of Bath with words by Paul Williamson (Bath Abbey, 2015), and the UK premiere of choral and orchestral work Panathenaia at the British Museum, commissioned by Hugo Ticciati.