I’m an Argentinian composer. I also studied piano and conducting. Sometimes I have the chance to play and conduct my works.He currently lives in Berlin and sports a super minimal studio designed to do one thing: record piano.
My studio setup is very simple. Consists only of a Yamaha Clavinova electric piano plugged into my computer, at home. I can record directly what I play or make a further processing if I use any notation program.José improvised this short piece. He made it up on the spot and the record button just happened to be on. I didn’t realize this until after we accepted the track. Color me impressed! Also: Hey José, you have to come visit me in Vienna and give me a few lessons!
This “Folka 21” is part of a set of several pieces with a certain “folk” character, which I improvised freely on my Clavinova and recorded on my computer. I had no intention of showing them at first, but then I thought I’d be good to do it.
I love improvising. I do it in live concerts with a duration of about an hour. But it’s also how I start composing. In this case “Folka 21” was not written, so it’s an original improvisation. I found in Ramen Music a wonderful possibility to show this music.
Akeli is a derivate from “Akelei”, which is a flower. flowerpower. peace. sun of peace. So the second name is “Friedenssonne”.She lives in Berlin. She writes and sings in both English and German.
I also did busking. But my voice is not really loud, so that is really hard work for me. I love Microphones of every sort.As for this song, “White Dove”:
The melody in my head sounded as sung through a telephone, with this special “quality” that comes along with that. I’m glad that Paul Pilot has found a way to reproduce this feel subversively.
The title was meant to mean: “white seagull”. But now it is a “dove,” sailing along with me. I didn’t realize the false translation until the cover for the EP was finished and printed. Also it might sound better like this.
Playing “White Dove” live is not so good solo, that is why it took so long to be finally recorded, maybe. But it is a lot of fun to play this with the band.
Since the beginning of this year I am playing live with a new Trio, “Akeli + Ihre Lieblingsband”, which means Akeli and her favourite band. It includes a wonderful percussionist and a lovely acoustic/electric baseplayer. We play quite regular gigs in Berlin.
I am twenty-years-old, I come from Maine, and have been writing (or trying to write) songs since middle school. My musicianship stands in the shadows of many, many people whom I’ve met and who have inspired me over the years. I wouldn’t be anywhere without them, my friends, family, pets, or my bicycle.This song brought with it a small and enjoyable dilemma. Should we pay Aidan for two songs?
As you’ll notice, this song is split into two sections, Just and Machines. Just was written first, and though I considered writing lyrics over it, the guitar riff seemed to function well by itself. My dad actually wrote the cello line.
Machines came about when I was playing Just with my roommate, who was on piano, and our friend who had brought over a mandolin. The lyrics just came out, seeing as I was having a hard time getting someone’s attention at the time.How Aidan sees life as a music maker today:
I think the internet is doing wonders for musicians by allowing so many to coexist and coordinate with each other. The phenomenon of self-promoting musicians has changed the way people hear about new music, and subsequently, the direction that popular music takes. Although more often, it seems that marketability still outweighs artisanship. In any case, I’m glad to have a platform, as I’m sure my fellow music makers are. Play on!Aidan is wrapping up an album in the next couple months.
I was born in Frankfurt and moved with my family to Chicago in 1986. I became a poet and sometimes dancer/performer and moved to Berlin in 2000. My brother turned me into a musician in 2004 and we started a band called Crazy for Jane. Since then I sing songs and sing songs and sing songs and sing songs. I also take a lot of walks.Josepha’s brother is Ramen curator and artist liaison Philipp Conrad. He plays a significant role in this song.
My brother Philipp gave me a Kinderüberraschungsei [“Kinder Surprise,” a chocolate egg with a toy surprise inside it, illegal in the US] after we saw “Lord of the Rings” - I don’t remember which one - and there was the lady warrior in there - I don’t remember her name. Even though clearly I am not good with the details, the little plastic warrior woman became my protectress and she now watches over me, especially when I sleep.
Live. All in a room. Analog. Fun. Friends. Tea.Josepha just had a new album drop. This song is on it. It’s called Traffic Island and can be picked up on iTunes and other online retailers. She’s currently on tour in Europe promoting it.
born and raisedAbout this tune:
creator of time
bearer of time
conductor of destiny
I am a road and snake
opening my heart to open the hearts
that’s why i make music
it is a singing highway we are traveling
and I am just singing along with it
there is a new disease i discovered
it is called planet cancer
and I wonder if people can find a cure together before there is
no way back
my house is a studio
we use whatever is laying around and has a sound
mostly digital recording, sometimes tape…
we use a lot of cheap equipment
I imagine the bass sliding in and right before the downbeat, you rip this over-optimistic upward ascending arpreggio— you land on the downbeat at the top of your range, swagger back down drunkenly, stab messily at the top note a few times, flutter back down like you are a bit miffed at why you couldn’t quite hit that note solidly, give up, try a slightly lower note, angrily buzz around, snort another line of coke, adjust your hitler moustache and then call it a day.Luckily Ben disobeyed my plea for frantic sloppery, and played tight and tasteful, toying expertly with the piano rhythms.
Wu tang manual said to be real, don’t lie about how you are. So we snuck up on it. Made it happen slow. This track was spawned from a series of overlapping events.
We try to get the big picture by taking small parts. A word is not the dictionary. We like to do things ourselves and respect small scale entities. We travel and play. We feel like changes in our artistic world change people and consequently the world.Not only does Ching Ching record in their home, they have a wonderful friend who does all the work! Oh, the luxury!
We have for the most part recorded with the amazing Kevin Blechdom. She sets up in Julie’s apartment usually in the bathroom and puts a million tracks into her laptop using a pre amp and pro tools. She is magical to us and we owe her so much thanks.They have some interesting history regarding their original band name (they changed their name from ‘Ching Chong Song’ to ‘Ching Ching’)
Ching Chong Song was a name i thought of just out of the blue and thought it sounded nice. Unfortunately in the wake of a Rosie O’Donell comment on The View and a few shows at some colleges we were pinned as a band with a racial slur bandname. The asian society of NYU protested us, not for our content or personally—but for having a band name that contained Ching Chong.
We are on tour for work with Nature Theater of Oklahoma so much that we often play shows in other countries. We have booked over ten tours in Europe on our own.When we ask artists to talk about how they feel about music today, a lot of them will have a bag of pros and cons. Ching Ching left us only with this:
We are happy there are a million people makin music. Flooding the airwaves and webwaves with imagination, with songs and thoughts and sound bites.
I’m Brooklyn born, Long Island raised, and Brooklyn dwelling. I went to NYU, where I studied Classical Percussion as well as Composition. I sell macaroni and cheese during the day, and play music at night. I can also be seen biking around town, and eating pizza.Often the songs that pop out in a single day or single sitting are the most powerful.
It was the day after the Japan Tsunami, and I had a lot of personal feelings to sort out. Coming to terms with my own life and death, as well as my relationship with nature, became an inevitability, and songwriting was the best outlet for me to to do that. While most of my songs involve a long editing process, this song was rare in that it remained virtually untouched from the original demo to the final EP version (one lyric change, and one time signature revision).
I record all of my demos in the bedroom of my basement apartment on a very basic home studio rig (mostly MIDI). I recorded drums and vocals in a real studio, where my album was produced by my great good friend Alexander Almgren.
With the exception of most ‘Top 20’ tracks, I am actually really impressed with the direction a lot of new music is going in. I’m always discovering great new music, and I’m constantly being inspired to bring my music to the next level.
I’m waiting for my music to get discovered by the right people, so I can ditch my job selling mac and cheese and play/write music full time.
We record and mix all of our stuff in our home studios. When working with other people, we swap files online. I’ve never met the majority of my collaborators (I’ve never met Paul).The origins of the song:
I had Paul’s music sitting on my hard drive. I loved the fragility of it. Paul releases his tunes as Wildgeas Music on alonetone, and we’d been wanting to work together for some time. The lyrics and music seemed to come together perfectly.
A friend of mine said he could see maple leaves falling from the trees through his window. I loved the image, and have always wanted to write an autumnal song. I adore autumn - and it’s always more magical for me because of the return of Jupiter to our evening skies. I’m an amateur astronomer, and often use planets as metaphors in my song-writing. For this song, I drew on my cynicism about people wishing on Jupiter, believing it to be a bright star.Paul is a longtime musician:
I was born Paul Lennon, I had to play music. Everyone expected it. I picked up my first toy instruments when I was 5 years old. I cut my rock and roll teeth playing the New York City showroom circuit.Tess also has a rich musical history:
My parents, like their parents, are performers— my mother is a singer-songwriter (actually, she sings back-up for me on this track). I grew up surrounded by musical instruments but never took a music lesson. About 7 years ago, I bought myself a synth and a cello and started experimenting and I was hooked.
Bass and drums are my primary instruments, with keyboards being a more recent development. The recording process has always interested me as well, so I’ve spent a good deal of time trying to figure out all of its ins and outs.The first time I heard Contrasts, I knew the jury would vote it on the issue.
Overall, Contrasts came together after a series of extremes, you could say, in both directions. Between the ending of a relationship and the beginning of another, the death of a childhood dog and meeting some new friends, and slowly coming to terms with the amount of time available to me to get things done, I guess I had a lot on my mind. Contrasts addresses all of that at once, and was a way for me to preserve that moment in time.
I record everything at my house, and more specifically, in my living room.
I don’t think I’ll ever stop enjoying the intricacies of the recording process, but playing live really allows for a different kind of energy to come out of the music. It’s fun to get rowdy sometimes. I’d love to make my living by playing music, and especially with my friends. Just being a part of so many musical projects is already a dream come true, so I’m thankful for that and hope the best is yet to come.
I’ve lived in Berlin for 7 years, but I’m Australian. I tend to write songs about human relationships in 3/4 time.It’s natural to be curious about the specific meaning behind lyrics, why a particular song was written, what exactly it is communicating, etc. Kat explains her process:
Most of my songwriting seems to be an exercise in finding a way to characterise moments of ambiguity. I think its important to be honest, especially when its uncomfortable - somehow the most moving melodies come from this feeling.I like this idea; that the complex emotional content of a moment or a specific situation can act as the primary driver of shape and feeling of a song. Perhaps the listener (and even the artist) doesn’t really know what that moment was—but the song solidifies it and gives it a home.
Songs are a fascinating art form. I still don’t understand how it is that humans can be so affected by something made of sound. Made of nothing tangible.We must have some ability to process these captured moments and stories, to relate to and re-synthesize them in a way that gives them emotional meaning to us, even if is complex and ambiguous.
This is a story about a mysanthropic depressive who can barely leave the house. People are strange and confusing. My favourite line from this song is, “they clutch their faith as their only defense / against / the void”.Kat is currently working on her third album.
So far, I’m really happy with the songs - I’ve spent the past year exploring different ideas about singing, and the results seem to be quite interesting.
As you can probably tell, I like repetition! And I often get stuck in slow moving repetitive loops when I’m dreaming. Maybe this is a sign of some kind of mental illness and I should see a doctor, I don’t know.. But this track was an attempt to evoke this dream atmosphere.Knowler has released music as a part of many projects, bands and small labels, though these days he primarily self-releases.
Most of the music I make is released via my label Actual Size Music. Having dealt with a few small labels in the past I definitely prefer the freedom of doing it myself, but I wouldn’t rule out working with a label again. I dream of many things and hardly any of them make sense. Last night I dreamed I was pushing a small white cat around in a wheelbarrow. The cat could speak Portuguese.Daniel’s recording setup is minimal:
Most of my solo stuff is recorded in a loft in South London using a Macbook, Reaper and some cheap microphones. And plenty of duvets hung from the walls!