Comment: Teo Salfinger is a German composer who crafts neoclassical landscapes with a minimalist touch, where his melodies often carry a melancholic beauty reminiscent of evocative film scores. Just before Christmas, he released “Petite Dances“, his third studio album, with ten little gems encapsulating this. “Shy” is just one example, and the main reason why I chose it as the featured track over the others is that it is cello-based, and I have not written about many cello tracks here. If you enjoy the work of Max Richter and Ludovico Einaudi, two of Teo’s influences, I highly encourage you to check out the whole album.
“Shy” appears to have been crafted specifically for contemplative moments, when the entire world fades away and you are left with your own thoughts. Each cello strum paints a dream, a velvety realm of calmness and quiet understanding. This isn’t a song about grand pronouncements; rather, it’s a composition that celebrates the beauty of introspection. Close your eyes and enjoy!
Comment: Allow me to introduce you to the mesmerizing instrumental piece, “Lilium,” composed by the talented artist Gav Moran and featured on his excellent debut album, “Broken Pieces”. “Lilium” is a musical journey that effortlessly blends simplicity and elegance. The piano melody, at its core, is delicate yet profound, guiding the listener through a cascade of emotions that gradually intensify, culminating in a powerful crescendo accompanied by lush violins and cellos. This piece possesses a captivating quality that lingers long after its last note fades away.
The significance of the song’s title, “Lilium,” holds deeper meaning within its Latin origins, translating to “lily.” The lily, renowned as a symbol of purity and innocence, serves as a fitting representation for Moran’s composition. “Broken Pieces”, which was recorded in Gav’s home studio in Ireland, is full of hauntingly beautiful tracks. I highly recommend that you listen to the entire album in addition to “Lilium”. You will not regret it.
Comment: Happy New Year! Let’s begin 2023 with an enchanting tune from Juliano, a neoclassical composer from Germany. Inspired by an array of related topics such as loss, grief, loneliness and inner conflict, the artist created Torn hoping it would mesmerize the listener with its beautiful melody. It is indeed a captivating piece.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.