ONE OF the sea changes we’re seeing from all this viral upheaval is the emergence of artists finding their own voice in order to create, whereas previously they might have been happy in a more collaborative set-up; or, indeed, were putting their sonic skills to the service of others in production, mastering, arrangement and other such un- and less-sung roles that bring us the albums we love.
One such artist is Berlin-Stockholm composer Magnus John Anderson (yes, he divides his time between both), whose first, delicate venture into the world of modern solo piano composition, nuanced and contemplative, you can hear below.
Magnus talks of “Elkhorn” and the new album from which it is taken as a form of homecoming, after helping others along the way down the years.
And it’s quite the peregrination he’s been on; he was recording technician and mixer for Benny Andersson (ABBA) at Mono Music Studio on Skeppsholmen, Stockholm, working on recordings for the proper platinum list – Celine Dion, Britney, Backstreet Boys. His work behind the scenes has seen him chart Stateside and in Japan; he’s worked film soundtracks; served as tech on a Grammy winner.
But the spotlight swings his way, and he is grateful; now, commuting between Berlin and Stockholm – he holds down jobs in both capitals – it’s time for Magnus to let his own compositions breathe and sing.
His debut album is entitled Bleaching, features nine tracks and although we have no release date as yet, should be with us come spring on van Drumpt; in terms of personnel, it is a simple affair; musical assistance coming solely from cellist Annika Blomfeldt.
“As a twenty-year-old, I wrote a great many piano pieces and composed music for string quarters and choirs, but I never quite took that step to becoming an artist myself,” he says. “Instead, I wrote music for others.
“Thanks to my wife and Berlin, that dream has been awoken in me once more and I have now returned to my roots.”
He says his work has a light touch of French melancholy, and he’s accurate in that call; think Satie at dusk, not actually sad per se, but taking intelligent melodic account of the world.
“I have previously written music which is more bombastic,” Magnus concludes; “this is going to be the polar opposite – rather minimalistic compositions.
“I hope that other people will enjoy and appreciate them.”