Julia Thomsen, ‘Eternal Love’

Words By Joey Rochert.

Julia Thomsen’s new composition ‘Eternal Love’ which is out on Friday April 28th is a beautiful gem that is a must-listen for anyone looking for a serene and contemplative musical experience.

Thomsen’s use of live strings and piano tones in the composition is stunning, creating a dreamy and ethereal atmosphere that feels both timeless and deeply rooted in the natural world. The combination of the two instruments, makes for a rich and layered soundscape that is both soothing and awe-inspiring.

Also, what stands out on ‘Eternal Love’ is the way Thomsen masterfully blends different musical styles and genres to create a unique and enchanting composition. The classical elements of the live strings and piano are seamlessly woven together with an ambient aura, resulting in a sound that is both traditional and contemporary.

It is out on April 29th, you can presave here.

Photo Credit: Julia Thomsen.

Julia Thomsen, ‘Saranghae’

Words By Joey Rochert.

We are utterly mesmerised by the most recent piece that Julia Thomsen has created, which is titled ‘Saranghae’. This song by Julia is really breathtaking, and it is well deserving of a place among the very best examples of its sort that can be found. Julia manages to capture the peacefulness of the environment around us, providing us with a brief relief from the craziness of our days and allowing us the opportunity to unwind and have a more optimistic outlook on the world.

On ‘Saranghae’, which is a continuation of her past releases, she displays her fervent playing on the piano, and we witness her once more finding her way into our hearts. She is a consistent composer who also pushes the boundaries of not just the modern classical genre but also her own discography.

Photo Credit: Kingdumb.

Julia Thomsen, ‘Travelling Through Wonders’

Words By Joey Rochert.

Julia Thomsen teams up with producer Marie for a one-of-a-kind remake of her standout composition, ‘Wonderness’. The new release, which is called, ‘Travelling Through Wonders’ reaches the pinnacle of beauty and leaves one in a state of relaxation.

For all of you who practise mindfulness meditation, this one is your golden ticket to a relaxing getaway! It is enchanting from the first note, and that aura of tranquillity does not fade away as it continues along its road of enchantment. The arrangement that Julia came up with is magnificent, and she is brimming with passion. In addition, Marie provides an additional layer of shine, resulting in a new vitality that contributes to the original.

‘Travelling Through Wonders’ is out on the 27th of January.

Photo Credit: Kingdumb.

Julia Thomsen, ‘Angels of Peace’

Words By Joey Rochert.

Julia Thomsen encaptures the serene air flowing as we lead up to Christmas with the release of her new composition, ‘Angels of Peace’.

The latest release from the British composer is better than any of our wildest dreams could have imagined it being. In addition, Julia surrounds us with her lovely arrangements, which bring the spirit of the holiday season to the forefront and provide an opportunity to cleanse and reflect now the year is concluding.

Because it is so potently moving, this piece has a glimmering quality, as if it were meant to be the soundtrack of a blockbuster movie in Hollywood.

Photo Credit: Julia Thomsen.

An Vedi, The Interview Series.

Words By Joey Rochert.

Hello, An, Let’s talk about your new album, ‘ConTempoRary Violin’, where did you find the inspiration? 

You know, inspiration is a very “dangerous” phenomenon. An artist may have an inspiration, but it is never endless. I have been used to working hard since childhood. And the violin is the instrument that itself gives inspiration to those who love music. In his youth, a violinist must practice every day for many hours, regardless of the weather, mood and surrounding events.

I made many concert programs of music for solo violin, I experimented a lot in this field. I have more than 200 works for violin solo in my repertoire, including pieces written by different composers especially for me and my own music. But I wanted to make this album special and not like what prevails in the music industry in this genre. It took me a long time to choose the right music for this album. 

A few months before the recording of this album, I released several songs in different genres as a singer-songwriter. I also worked on several new concert programs for the Philharmonic as a solo violinist. Finally, I chose one of the most difficult works by Johann Sebastian Bach for solo violin – Partita No 2, consisting of 8 movements. This, perhaps, could be called “the first side of the reel.” For the “second side of the reel” I chose works that were written in the 21st century: the mystical “Starless Nocturne” by Jay Reise, the delightful oriental “Heyran” by Jan Tamzejian, a real musical “mini-series” about Space “The Birth of the Universe” by Colette Mourey and the mysterious Sonata No 2 by András Derezckei, movements of which are called “Amorf” and “Nervus”. I also remembered that I wrote one piece in 2019 in one night. I made a new version of this Fantasy “Cranes” and this work completed the album “ConTempoRary Violin”.

I decided to take this project entirely into my hands, so I was fully engaged in recording, sound engineering and production of the album. The album came out in August, and my two music videos for tracks from the album “Starless Nocturne” and “Heyran” came out in September. These music videos have already received official selections and nominations at several international film festivals and music awards.

Which composers in the current industry inspire you the most?

I am inspired by those composers with whom I am well acquainted. My teacher, composer, and professor at the Conservatory Alexander Koblyakov is a very important person in my musical life. I was a student in his composition class and in a few years I found my own “language” of instrumental music, and later I transferred this knowledge and experience to songwriting.

I am very glad that my friends-composers whose music I performed at the Philharmonic this year became Grammy® winners and nominees. Danaë Xanthe Vlasse, Nadeem Majdalany, Tom Nazziola, as well as John Finbury (Latin Grammy® 2020) and other composers that I know – all of them are a true inspiration for me.

Recently, I joined the project of an amazing composer with a difficult fate – Mehdi Rajabian. Just google his name and you will understand that this is a true warrior of art who lives for music. Of course, his life story might inspire anyone.

An Vedi
Photo Credit: An Vedi.

What is the best thing about being a composer in 2022?

I’m not sure if this is the “best”, but, as in past centuries, being a composer is not enough today. Now we have a lot of tools for creating digital content, including music, and, theoretically, every person who has downloaded DAW can call himself a composer. But let’s remember how the composers of the past lived. It seems they never slept or ate. Bach, Handel, Mozart and other composers of classical music created hundreds of works during their lifetime. Tons of music paper, ink. Years of rehearsals. Decades of live performances. And they had to go somewhere every day so that people could hear them. And no sound recordings. Of course, we do not know how the fate of digital content carriers will turn out in 100-200 years, but in the present and foreseeable future, every composer can be sure that almost every person on our planet can hear everything that he has composed and recorded.

Is there a certain place you often go to write? E.g a certain room, or environment?

It may be like the story of the violin. Sometimes I “need” to compose, at least a little. And here the environment plays little role. But, objectively speaking, I visited many countries and cities for my musical affairs, I was in many palaces, museums, and exhibitions. I have many memories of beautiful places on our planet and this inspires me.

Sometimes it inspires me that I just see a piano or a guitar and I urgently need to play one of these instruments and write something down in a notebook.

But there were also some rather strange cases. Once I was at a jazz big band concert in a large concert hall with several thousand seats. And I suddenly had a desire to write down one song and even an arrangement for it. And it was not a jazz song, but something like an anthem or a chant. Since I was sitting on the balcony and there was almost no audience next to me, I wrote down the music and lyrics on a sheet of music paper, while the well-known jazz melodies of the 20th century sounded on the stage.

What is your first memory of music?

When I was 2 or 3 years old, my parents (they are not musicians, but they love music) bought cassettes with popular classical music. Most of all, I remember fragments from Symphony No. 40 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and the ballet “Swan Lake” by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, which were performed by some famous orchestras and recorded on these cassettes.

My later musical impressions, around the age of 7 or 8 – I first heard the music by “Queen”. Apparently, that’s why I work in many musical genres as a violinist, composer, singer-songwriter and a conductor too.

Photo Credit: An Vedi.

An Vedi, ‘ConTempoRary Violin’

Words By Joey Rochert.

With the new album ‘ConTempoRary Violin,’ An Vedi gives us a classical performance that is unlike any other. The strength of the violinist’s playing demonstrates that sometimes this space is all that we require, and the new release from the violinist gives the instrument some much-needed room to breathe.

Cover versions of well-known songs are presented on this disc; however, unlike the original versions, these versions are not in their standard format. It is easy to get lost in each track, and it is invigorating to hear how passionate An Vedi is about the violin and classical music as a whole.

You can check it out below.

Photo Credit: An Vedi.

Julia Thomsen, ‘Senses’

Words By Joey Rochert.

At the moment, Julia Thomsen can do little wrong, and she is strengthening her name in the classical scene and the electronic worlds thanks to her most recent EP, ‘Senses’.

Although we are familiar with the original versions of these pieces, producer T mo’s remix breathes fresh life into them, making them feel like brand-new additions. Moreover, T mo contributes to the creative ideas initially flowing from Julia and blends both classical and electronic genres seamlessly.

Check it out below.

Photo Credit: Julia Thomsen.

Saskia Griffiths-Moore, The Interview Series.

Words By Joey Rochert.

Hello, Saskia, Let’s talk about your new album, ‘Together In Love And Separation’, what was the inspiration for creating the album?

Chandra Chakraborty reached out to me having heard of me as a folk singer and invited me over to play music together, tempting me with the offer of dinner too – how could I say no? Once we started playing we knew we had something beautiful and unusual here and set about creating an album project right away to show the world!

What was it like working with Chandra Chakraborty?

Chandra Chakraborty is a truly extraordinary human being. She moved in with her musical guru’s in her teenage years and they even helped arranged her marriage. In her culture it is extremely rare to find women who are empowered to perform and sing throughout their lives and music is not just a fun hobby for someone like her, it is something she dedicated decades of her life to, gave up living with her family for and it exists within a spiritual tradition. Without making a fuss about it, all of that tradition, that sacrifice, that intense dedication and spirituality is fused into who she is and how she performs and it has been an honour and privilege to work with her.

Saskia Griffiths-Moore
Photo Credit: Saskia Griffiths-Moore

Which composers in the current industry inspire you the most?

I am inspired by strong female vocalists of the western folk traditions, Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, Eva Cassidy, Gillian Welch to name but a few.

Is there a certain place you often go to write? E.g a certain room, or environment? 

I like to write on my boat. I find the peace and quiet of nature to be my best inspiration and while my boat is nothing fancy, floating on the water surrounded by trees and birds and knowing that no-one can hear me makes me feel safe to experiment. I will accept the living rooms of friends as a close second and of course, recording studios as a third favourite.

What is your first memory of music? 

Titanic! Remember the song ‘Near, far, wherever you are…’ – my earnest little 5 year old brain absorbed that song and I used to hum it to myself hoping someone would hear me and think it was nice and ask me to sing it properly. They almost never did but I grew a somewhat secret obsession with singing that only came out in my teenage years.

Photo Credit: Saskia Griffiths-Moore.

Julia Thomsen, ‘Walking In A Dream’

Words By Joey Rochert.

With her latest piece, “Walking in a Dream,” Julia Thomsen transports us to a state of bliss. She does not hold back with her performance here and she charms with a richness that is the ultimate respite from the daily madness. 

Julia Thomsen
@ Julia Thomsen

The arrangement of the piano and violin in “Walking In A Dream” is absolutely stunning, and the way that each instrument is layered on top of the other has us clinging to the arms of our chairs with glee. The path is not like many others, and it is accompanied by profound feelings as it unfolds.

Photo Credit: Julia Thomsen.

Saskia Griffiths-Moore & Chandra Chakraborty, ‘Together in Love and Separation’

Words By Joey Rochert.

The new piece that Chandra Chakraborty and Saskia Griffiths-Moore have created, entitled ‘Together in Love and Separation’ has us completely enthralled. This album is incredibly euphoric in every way imaginable, and the duo’s ability to combine western and Indian musical traditions into a single piece is truly remarkable.

@ Rupert Hitchcox.

Vocally, both of them fly with unparalleled assurance, and they captivate us with every movement of their timbre when they are performing. The new album brings a classical aura that derives mainly from the traditional music of India, but it also includes layers of current and nostalgic folk music from the west, which adds additional flair and excitement to the overall experience.

There are a total of eight tracks on the album, and every one of them contributes something novel to the music industry. Because of this, you will not want to miss them performing live on July 19 at Cecil Sharpe House in London alongside the renowned London Chamber Orchestra, which will be led by Úna Palliser.

More information on the show at Cecil Sharpe House can be found here.

Photo Credit: Rupert Hitchcox.