A Tree On A Hill – Blue Dahlia

Artist: A Tree On A Hill

Song: Blue Dahlia

Genres: #Instrumental, #Neoclassical

Location: Fribourg, Switzerland

Release date: August, 2022.

Comment: There’s no much I can tell you about A Tree On A Hill. I don’t even know the artist’s real name. What I can tell you, though, is that this Swiss artist feels a deep connection with nature, which inspires him to compose moving pieces such as Blue Dahlia. The track represents the lifecycle of that beautiful flower, from the moment it is planted to the moment it gives way to a new cycle. In a way, listening to Blue Dhalia makes this interconnected world feel alive.

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The Aquaerials – Cemetery Walk

Artist: The Aquaerials

Song: Cemetery Walk

Genres: #Instrumental, #Neoclassical, #Piano

Location: Grand Rapids, United States

Release date: August, 2022.

Influences: Ólafur Arnalds, Max Richter, Sigur Rós

Comment: I used to live next to a small cemetery. It was one of those green areas that happened to have some old graves in them. You would think it was a creepy experience, but, actually, taking walks there was extremely peaceful and serene, no matter what your mood was. I felt something similar when I listened to Cemetery Walk, the second track in The Aquaerials’ hauntingly beautiful new EP: After the Apocalypse. If you’ve been paying attention, you may remember then that The Aquaerials is the moniker of multi-instrumentalist Mark Swanson. who keeps composing gorgeous neoclassical melodies, just as the five tracks that make this record.

With all that is happening in the world nowadays, from the war in Ukraine to Twitter’s implosion, it comes in handy to have the soundtrack for what comes after the end of times.

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Pablo Suárez – Shiver

Artist: Pablo Suárez

Song: Shiver

Genres: #Instrumental, #Neoclassical, #Piano

Location: Mexico City, Mexico

Release date: May, 2021.

Influences: Olafur Árnalds, Max Richter, Ludovico Einaudi

Comment: With composers such as the ones mentioned above as his influences, it’s no wonder that Mexican composer and pianist Pablo Suárez‘s music sounds so enchanting. It is the type of minimalist neoclassical compositions they excel at. Take for example Shiver –part of Pablo’s latest album Retrospect–, with its delicate piano melody and hypnotic strings (played by Luis Cardoso): you won’t want the song to end.

The artist’s goal with this album was to capture the intimate aspects of each instrument, minor flaws included, to produce nostalgic melodies in piano and violin. I guess each one of us will experience the record differently, but we will all find it nothing short of magical.

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Mihail Tarlev – Forgotten Dreams

Artist: Mihail Tarlev

Song: Forgotten Dreams

Genres: #Instrumental, #Piano, #Relaxing

Location: Rome, Italy

Release date: February, 2022.

Comment: Forgotten Dreams is a beautiful and delicate piano composition from Mihail Tarlev, a Rome-based composer. Inspired by his own journey to start making music, this relaxing piece does feel ethereal. Check it out!

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dieg0 – Insieme

Artist: Dieg0

Song: Insieme

Genres: #Instrumental, #Ambient, #Relaxing

Location: Valencia, Spain

Release date: January, 2022.

Influences: Ludovico Einaudi, Yiruma, Mozart

Comment: Diego Salvati used to write indie folk songs influenced by Damien Rice and John Mayer, and he played them in a still-active band called Colourshop not only across the UK but all over Europe as well. He then moved to Spain in 2015 and started a solo project, Dieg0, with the focus on writing easy-listening piano melodies following the footsteps of modern composers as Ludovico Einaudi and Giovanni Allevi. Insieme, which is Italian for “together”, is his latest composition and it is as magical as any piece by those other artists.

Dieg0‘s intention with this melody was to express how we get sad and happy moments from any relationship and that we have to take them all in: “together”, the good and the bad. As an interesting tidbit, both the music video below and the cover art were taken and recorded simultaneously by Alfredo himself during a boat trip he did from Ibiza to Valencia. The sky was so grey and the sea so black, that he didn’t need to use any filter or special effect to get that dark tone.

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Seamus O’Muineachain – Vltava/Shannon

Jana Talířová

Artist: Seamus O’Muineachain

Song: Vltava/Shannon

Genres: #Instrumental, #Ambient, #Relaxing

Location: Belmullet, Ireland

Release date: January, 2022.

Influences: Brian Eno

Comment: I discovered a few years ago that listening to ambient music while studying or working did wonders to your ability to focus (trust me, give it a try if you haven’t done it), which is why I’m always keen to discover more ambient pieces. Unfortunately, the vast majority of ambient music sounds exactly the same, and that makes finding great tracks that also sound unique all the more remarkable. Seamus O’Muineachain‘s latest album, his fifth one, is full of such tracks, with the closing piece, Vltava/Shannon, being my preferred one.

The Irish musician named this record Different Timezones because it was written and recorded between the Czech Republic (CET) and Ireland (GMT) last year. The atmospheric songs highlight simple melodies and textures in a delicate but very fulfilling way. In Vlatva/Shannon, for example, you can listen to some birdsong in the background, but just enough of it to enhance the track without letting it become too distracting. If you enjoy this piece, I recommend that you check Seamus’ back catalogue as well. You won’t be disappointed.

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Steve Luck – The Haven

Artist: Steve Luck

Song: The Haven

Genres: #Instrumental, #Neoclassical, #Piano

Location: Newcastle, United Kingdom

Release date: April, 2021.

Influences: Yann Tiersen, Ólafur Arnalds

Comment: The Haven is a hauntingly beautiful neoclassical piano piece named after the house in Northumberland where its composer, Steve Luck, spent most of his childhood holidays. This British artist has been composing and releasing music since 2014 and will release an album in October. Definitely keep him on your radar. In the meantime, enjoy the tenderness of this nostalgic piece.

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Raffael Seyfried – Passage

Artist: Raffael Seyfried

Song: Passage

Genres: #Instrumental, #Neoclassical, #Piano

Location: Germany

Release date: March, 2021.

Influences: Otto Totland, Nils Frahm

Comment: Relaxing piano-based piece from German composer Raffael Seyfried. It got a gorgeous texture that makes the whole track even more enjoyable.

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Edward Cross – MiddleHill

When I listened to MiddleHill for the first time, it reminded me of the work of Ólafur Arnalds, so seeing him listed as one of the influences of British multi-instrumentalist and composer Edward Cross wasn’t a surprise. What starts as a piano piece recorded on an old, creaky instrument, quickly ends up immersed in a full-blown soundscape that includes strings, electric guitars and woodwind. This results in a mesmerizing neoclassical song that evokes nostalgia, hope and a little bit of sadness. Written and recorded during the first lockdown, MiddleHill will keep us company for years to come.

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David Baron – The Han

Korea is a country with a long history of hardships: from Japanese occupation to many wars and losing family members when the country got divided, among other things. Korean people have a word, Han, that has no direct translation to English and is, actually, difficult to explain. It comes from the Chinese Character 恨 (Han) which means resentment, hatred, or regret; but its meaning is much more complex in Korean. It is associated with families that were separated when Korea split and linked to the concept of ‘the beauty of sorrow‘. It is a form of sadness or longing that’s become part of the Korean identity.

American composer David Baron‘s wife is Korean and they often talk about the concept of Han and how it applies to modern life. I mean, the whole world has been in a state of Han since early 2020. All of this inspired David to compose a beautiful waltz-based piano piece that “aims to capture the duality of sadness/hope”. He managed to achieve that astonishingly well because you can definitely perceive beauty and sadness impregnating The Han. It’s a hauntingly charming composition.

With regards to the artist, as an arranger, engineer and producer, David Baron has worked with artists such as Lenny Kravitz, The Lumineers, Shania Twain and Phoebe Bridgers. He’s also successfully scored films, tv shows and ads over the years. Baron releases his solo work on Woking-based UK label Here & Now Recordings, often collaborating with other artists on that label like Donna Lewis.

Enjoy The Han below.

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