SERGIO DÍAZ DE ROJAS
Sergio Díaz De Rojas is a Peruvian pianist and composer currently based in Valencia, Spain. He has released one album, three EPs, various stand-alone singles, and has been invited to participate on diverse initiatives such as Piano Layers by 7K!, Recollections I, II and III by Sonder House, and Project XII by Deutsche Grammophon. His works have reached over ten million listens on streaming services, and have been carefully crafted on limited cassette and vinyl editions. His improvisation Untitled was one of the most celebrated features on Nils Frahm’s Piano Day 2018 playlist, while his piece Istanbul was not only included on the first publication of Upright Editions but was, too, a key element on the birth of the project, according to its founder Garreth Brooke. His music has also been featured on radio stations such as KEXP and Flux FM, on well-known Peruvian media outlets Perú21, Radio Filarmonía, and ATV+, and on several music platforms around the globe. In April 2019, he travelled to Germany to perform in Potsdam, Düsseldorf, and Frankfurt, with his appearance at the third edition of Q3Ambientfest being the highlight of his debut tour.
Lau Nau, aka Laura Naukkarinen, is one of the more interesting names in the contemporary music scene in Finland. Her songs are imbued with a cinematic breadth of vision and her idiosyncratic, finely honed sound world builds on fragile, spectral otherness. She works using both acoustic and electronic instruments, from field recordings to analogue synthesisers, from vocal music and traditional instruments to musique concrete and field recordings. She also composes, produces and performs music for new films, silent films, theatre, dance and sound installations. Her works have been nominated to various music prizes as Teosto-, Emma-, Jussi- and Femma prizes. She has held lectures and workshops on film music in Colorado College and Moscow Film School.
Lau Nau’s first solo albums were released in the US (Locust music 2005 & 2008). The debut album, ‘Kuutarha’, won acclaim from the likes of Pitchfork and Dusted, with The Wire naming the LP in their top 50 albums of 2005, and citing her Philadelphia show of that year amongst “60 concerts that shook the world”. In 2017 Lau Nau’s 5th album ‘Poseidon’ was released in three continents (Europe, USA, Japan). The album has garnered a wide acclaim across media and fans, won the main Femma prize. ‘Poseidon’ is a suite of luminous, melancholic, world-weary songs that exist in a world of all their own, treading the line between chamber folk and experimental pop. Centred around Laura’s voice and piano, the album also includes a small cast of guest musicians, including Helena Espvall, Matti Bye, Pekko Käppi, Antti Tolvi and Samuli Kosminen. Kosminen has mixed and co-produced the album. Each song is a gem of its own, with lustrous melodies spun from the web of seasons, by turns ghostly and earthy.
David Allred is a musician, multi-instrumentalist, composer, songwriter and sound engineer based in Portland, Oregon. While primarily working and touring internationally as a solo artist, David has also released music under various collaborative projects such as Allred & Broderick (with Peter Broderick) and Good Enough for Grandpa (with Greg Eldridge). David has additionally appeared on works by Heather Woods Broderick, Lubomyr Melnyk, Masayoshi Fujita, Chantal Acda, Brigid Mae Power, Birger Olsen, Jung Body, St. Tsunami, The Beacon Sound Choir, etc.
Oleg Shpudeiko is a music composer and sound artist who records as Heinali and writes music for games, films, performances, creates sound art installations and performs live shows. Among his works is music for an award-winning video game Bound by Plastic/Sony Santa Monica, SynthTap performance that fuses tap dance and modular synthesis and sound art installations (together with Alexey Shmurak) in collections of The National Art Museum of Ukraine and The Museum of Modern Art of Odessa.
His latest Madrigals album marries his interest in modular synthesis with his love for Early Music. It was named contemporary album of the month in The Guardian, shortlisted for the Aprize music award and featured in top 2020 albums by SLUKH, COMMA, The Attic, The Village Ukraine, See Kyiv, Neformat, Red Bull Ukraine, Beehype, The Claquers. “As if Palestrina composed music for little electric boxes with patch cords. Except it’s the boxes that compose music like Palestrina,” one reviewer observes. He has been working on a generative polyphony patch for modular synthesis since early 2018, which now provides the structural framework for his live set.
Aimée Portioli (b. 1985), known as Grand River is a Dutch-Italian composer and poly-instrumentalist producer based in Berlin.
While mainly connected to the fields of electronic music and sound design, her compositions transcend these genres. Influenced by classical minimal music Grand River’s work integrates a large variety of sound structures and symphonic calculations in which she crafts absorbing experimental and ambient narrations combining traditional composition with contemporary sound research. Her first release “Crescente”, was released via Spazio Disponibile in 2017 and has been named as one of the best releases of the year by XLR8R.
Since then, her work has been presented in festivals and venues across the world such as Berghain, Mutek, Mapping Festival, Nachtdigital, Le Guess Who, De School, Paral·lel Festival, The Labyrinth, Funkhaus, and many more. Together with the visual artist Marco C. she sometimes presents the A/V performance called “0,13%”. Her full-length debut album “Pineapple” followed in 2018 on Spazio Disponibile along with participations on Ghostly International and the Australian Longform Editions in 2019. In September 2020 she released “Blink A Few Times To Clear Your Eyes” on Editions Mego. Since 2016, Aimée also runs the record label One Instrument.
Resina is Karolina Rec’s solo project. The Polish cellist and composer is known by her fellow Poles from collaborations with an eclectic list of artists from Maciej Cieślak through Hubert Zemler to Zamilska, but since 2016 she’s been carving a solo path with her own project. Her second album Traces sees her expanding the sound palette, employing not only otherworldly soundscapes created from heavily looped and processed cello, but also wordless vocals and rhythms. These take inspiration from an obsession with damaged sacral objects, memory, survivors of violence and the ravages of time. On May 31, 2019 ‘Traces Remixes’ EP will be released by 130701 / Fat Cat Records with remixes by Lotic, Ben Frost, Abul Mogard and Ian William Craig.
Laure Boer is a multi-instrumentalist and singer based in Berlin. Her music is inspired by electronic and traditional folk music, and described as “witchtronics”. Her performances are hypnotic improvisations around traditional instruments, odd percussions and sometimes French texts; a vibrant universe that is both vulnerable and brutal.
In the fall of 2019, she did a 2 month residency in Manila, Philippines, organized by CTM Festival, Goethe-Institut, Nusasonic and Musicboard Berlin. She performed at the WSK Festival in Manila. In January 2020, she was resident at Amplify Berlin, ACUD working with Rabih Beani, the founder of Morphine Records.
She recently release the album ‘Agate et la Pierre de Sable’ with Kashual Plastik, a tape with two deeply thrilling journey music poems, the mind of the deep listener takes off.
Born in East Berlin and now based out of Potsdam, the poly-instrumentalist composer duo BRUEDER SELKE are Sebastian Selke on cello and Daniel Selke on piano. With an improvisational essence characterised by a sensitive interaction with the lack of material goods learnt in GDR times, as CEEYS, the duo have released an anthology of works focussing on themes from their East German childhood. But far from losing themselves in a banal Ostalgie, their latest predominantly acoustic double album HAUSMUSIK poses questions of individual balance and plural harmony in the present day.
Sebastian and Daniel can be heard on numerous film music productions, albums and projects. Collectively, their beautiful abstract compositions have received excellent feedback from both music press and audience alike. Their duo works can be found on renowned labels including 1631 Recordings, Oscarson, 7K!, Lady Blunt Records, Neue Meister and are used on worldwide television formats and streaming platforms. Just out under CEEYS is their meditative THESIS 17 with Peter Broderick and Daniel O’Sullivan of CONSTANT PRESENCE on Gregory Euclide’s Thesis Project.
As Brueder Selke, their reworking of Fishermen by German-Turkish singer-songwriter Alev Lenz on Spitfire Audio found honourable mention by the composer. Also winning high acclaimed is their collaboration ZERO CROSSING with New York composer and producer Eric Maltz and his record label, Flower Myth, where they can be heard on cassette Sebastian’s Klingenthal cello, rare East German toy instruments, expanding to crude custom installations from the Klingenthal Studio, all released by Canadian content provider LANDR (standing for Left and Right, the stereo channels).for the first time.
Continuing as Brueder Selke in 2021 is the forthcoming GO EAST series of an outstanding library of samples from their restored collection of East European synthesizers, two childhood pianos with one being felt-prepared,
After their debut LP THE GRUNEWALD CHURCH SESSION in 2016, as CEEYS, both released a trilogy of LPs dedicated to their personal reactions to the fall of the Berlin Wall, in combination with stories from their early classical apprenticeship in the centre of life and training that was a modern socialist plattenbau. On CONCRETE FIELDS, WÆNDE and HIDDENSEE, the duo combined their cello and piano setup with other traditional instruments of the socialist era, including many varied and quasi-antique synthesizers. Originally conceived as a trilogy and subsequently reimagined as an anthology, the CEEYS catalogue in total could also be split into three duologies: THE GRUNEWALD CHURCH SESSION & CONCRETE FIELDS (from sketchy childhood fragments to the 1980s), WÆNDE & HIDDENSEE (the historic turning point in 1989 and the vague 1990s), HAUSMUSIK & MUSIKHAUS (an acoustic solo and a programmed rework album from the present). It serves not only as a narrative from the past and the East-West divide, but stands as a continuing dialogue between seeming conflict and aspiring harmony in the interplay between the duo.
Another core element of their work is the collaboration and exchange with other artists, and this became the prime motivation for the founding by Brueder Selke of the Q3AMBIENTFEST in 2017, an annual carefully-curated music festival which has found its home in the fabrik Potsdam. Here, Sebastian and Daniel invite like-minded artists, respected acts, and friends, not only to make music on a physical stage but at the same time to grow and strengthen the special bond between music, from avant-garde to pop, and Potsdam’s varied historical architecture. Out of the love for their newfound home Potsdam, a love awoken by their parents in their childhood, the brothers have further brought to fruition a series of film and house concerts.
Furthermore, the brothers are working on a photographic tour of their Klingenthal Studio as well as an exhibition of the photography series that has accompanied their albums.
The two have just finished recording their double-piano album MARIENBORN, the first under their real name. In their latest musical incarnation Brueder Selke, the duo continues their exploration of the fields of experimental and the thereby accessible electro-acoustic music between the avant-garde and pop. And after a year full of surprises and uncertainty, there will also be further releases under their trademark CEEYS. A reworking of their album HAUSMUSIK, titled MUSIKHAUS, is ready for an autumn 2021 release, full of excited anticipation and further handpicked works from Brueder Selke.
Ell Kendall is a sound artist and orchestrator from London. He is known for his use of experimental scoring techniques to create notated works for classical ensemble. His influences range from avant-garde composers and performance artists, to early religious musics, and ritual.
His debut studio compositions have featured on BBC3’s ‘Unclassified’ – “Ell Kendall is an artist who is doing so so well” – Elizabeth Alker
While his work continues towards the completion of his debut record, Ell is also creating works for the NHS, researching and developing new music to aid patient well-being and respiratory rehabilitation in the wake of the pandemic.
Mara Simpson is a British musician and story-teller, currently based in Brighton. Through her songs and collaborations with artists (Poppy Ackroyd, Jools Owen), visual artist (Becky Lu, Gudrun Olsen) and local communities, she draws together the sublime and ridiculous from our everyday.
“I see music in shapes and colours, I write because I’m alive.
I fervently believe in magic, in the moments of transcendence when everything makes sense.
Through this I stay awake, I stay alive.“
Growing up on a Hertfordshire cul-de-sac then flying back ‘home’ to Kenya where her parents were born, shaped in Mara the traveller, the outsider and the romantic, that have become hallmarks of her music. Mara is classically trained in composition, piano and guitar as well as fine art. She has performed over 300 shows, both on festival stages and intimate concerts, most recent stages include Fusion (Germany), Kaltern Pop (Italy), Together the People (UK) and Sazavafest (Czech). She’s become known for captivating audiences with her soulful melodies, rich lyricism, captivating voice, unassuming charm and wicked laugh. Mara paints a beautifully rich soundscape, setting the scene as she takes her audience on a journey with her, through the beauty of every day to the magic of remarkable.
Melodilalia is a duo creating electronic music with oriental music inspirations. The genres we can hear in this combination are: Trip-hop, downtempo, jazz and ambient. By mixing several different styles, the result is an interesting modern and spatial sound with two warm vocals.
The project was born in 2018, surrounded by fields, forests and lakes, where they also draw inspiration from. Their compositions present two contrasting worlds, the world of nature, nature and fairy tales, and a dehumanized industrial civilization that strives for technical perfection. The musicians are fluent in ethnic genres, they also use unusual instruments, e.g. Tibetan bowls, various types of bells, melodics, ocarinas, everyday objects, so that the improvisations created during the concerts take the listener to another dimension.
vaghy (Tamás Vághy) is a Hungarian composer and pianist. He is newly entering the contemporary and modern classical music scene. His musical life has many faces because he loves immersing himself in a lot of musical genres.
He grew up with a piano in his room when he was a child so he met his main instrument quite early and started learning it at the age of 5. Later he realized that his strength lay in improvisation because he didn’t like bounds – so he rather chose to learn from private teachers and practiced a lot on his own. Ever since he’s been fighting the bounds and trying to break out of the conventional.
A few years ago he saw a Nils Frahm video and realized what he had been doing in his bedroom studio was a good way to express himself. Frahm gave him a confirmation about anything that he thought and created in music before and that he is on the right way. His compositions were in the drawer and in his head so after that moment he felt it was time to take them out and finish them. These days he is experimenting a lot within the modern classical style, from chamber music to solo piano music and piano sounds with electronic essentials.
His first official release can be heard on Blue Spiral Records’ The Minimal Piano Series Vol. 2 selection. ‘Invisible Touch’ – which was composed for the occasion of this composer contest – not only made it to this record but also opened the whole album that features minimal piano compositions.
vaghy is currently working on his first solo album called Minimalism. He plans to use only piano sounds and minimal electronica with vintage instruments. This debut record is scheduled to be released in 2020.