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Matti Bye’s latest video ‘Melt’

***Video by Martin Zaar and Matti Bye. Thanks to EYE Film Institute in Amsterdam for the original footage. ‘Melt’ is taken from Matti Bye’s  forthcoming album ‘This Forgotten Land’ (in stores November 3rd, 2017).

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Interviews: Matti Bye

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This is the best introduction for Swedish musician and composer Matti Bye, an excerpt of his bio on his official site: «Matti Bye’s music is like a series of these highly charged moments. It makes you lose yourself, it makes you discover yourself. It takes your hand, it sets you free. And it’s damn exciting.  

Extraordinary music such as Bye’s does not fall fully formed from the skies. Since the late eighties Bye has been employed by the Film House in Stockholm (“a hive of film-related activity”) and there he has created, in his own words, a “private world of music”. A somewhat odd career by anyone’s standards, but a very fruitful one – it’s given Bye time to develop his own voice. 

And, as said, what a voice it is. 

The lights go up.

The audience goes home.

The curtains go down. 

When a film stops rolling you – hopefully – keep on thinking about it. Key scenes and choice dialogue from it replays in your heart and soul; you look into a blackened department store window and one of its protagonists stares back at you. “This is me,” you think. 

Matti Bye’s music is like this, as well. It’s a vessel for understanding, a wide-eyed declaration of innermost feelings, a traditional/innovative art form – i.e. deeply personal – yet it’s extremely easy to love and relate to. And you can hum it in the shower, if you’d like. 

So listen to Matti Bye, and hear the best movie you ever saw.«

So Matti, how did you get involved in music?

I remember I hummed music.. My father put me into piano lessons and I loved the piano from the beginning I liked to practice and the classic music was my new world!

Tell us a few things about ‘Den Allvarsamma Leken’. How was the experience like doing this soundtrack?

Its a famous novel in Sweden that you read when you are young and in love because its about a forbidden love.. It was very easy to make music for the film with my string quartet I played with for such a long time.. We know each other like in a rock band and instantly respond to images.. We played a lot to silent films in live performances and then you get trained in quick articulation to images, so I give them some themes and we just play to the film and enjoy.

In what way is ‘Den Allvarsamma Leken’ unique for the neo-classical fan? In other words, why should the unaware one get hold of your music?

I don´t know, sorry.

Your previous album ‘Bethanien’ was released by Tona Serenad. Were you satisfied by this cooperation?

Yes! They’re my best friends that run the Tona Serenad. I love them and they are brilliant artists.

You were nominated and won the Swedish Grammy Award? Is it true? If yes, how did that affect your life & art?

I was of course very happy to get the prize, film music has not always been in the center of filmmaking but I notice a change coming..

You are one of the big names of new classical music. Which are your favourite genre artists?

There are a lot of good new pianists around, I like they play soft! I think every composer and pianist for piano music struggles with the balance of not being too sentimental if you know what I mean ; ) and that is every since Chopin and all the other romantic composers started to make music. For me my big inspiration is from composers with strong melodies like Beethoven and Schubert. I always listen to them and play their music but I also like very much the attitude in the avantgarde composers like Satie and John Cage.

Is new music, like yours, promoted by the Swedish government?

Yes, sometimes.

Matti Bye’s soundtrack for the film «Häxan» stood out for the way it enhanced the content of the film’s sequences to maximum effect, intimately complementing the theme, atmosphere and various elements in the scenes. The central musical theme, while remaining consistent, ranges between highly evocative free allusions and thematic uniformity in a bewitching flow of wide-ranging sequences, without ever losing expressive tension.

Did you expect this reception for «Häxan» soundtrack?

Very nice review but also made with the great Finnish artist Lau Nau, she is a great part of the soundtrack atmosphere.

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Which are your future plans? Are you currently working on new stuff?

Yes a new piano record on Tona Serenad! Its called ‘This Forgotten Land‘, out on November 3rd, and of course already thinking of the next piano record… I have so many new ideas!!!

Any plans for live appearances? Visiting Greece maybe?

Yes I would love to come to Greece, please invite me if you know any place to have a piano session. I don’t have a booking agent and never have time to contact concerts venues so if you have any suggestions please let me or John Henriksson know.

Something else you’d like to add and haven’t been asked?

Dear John (& Christos), ´Thank you for your questions and I´m so happy you like my music, hope we meet some day.

Photo credits: Martina Hoogland Ivanow (2nd one)

******Also published on Last Day Deaf

Christos Doukakis – John Pallas

Γιατί ο ‘Norman’ κάτι ξέρει…

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Από το http://www.normanrecords.com:

8/10 from Clinton (Staff) on 03 January 2014

The sound of a man twinkling a doom-laden slightly detuned piano in a massive old hall. This album is one of those that appears on the surface to do very little but its atmospheres and discordant melodies are such that it transforms the space that you are in until you think that perhaps you are wearing a dinner jacket and drinking a glass of port in a ghostly country pile.

On playing it in the office yesterday several members of staff were mesmerised despite it being as quiet as a mouse and often consisting of just the faintest of piano twinkles.  Matti Bye is a Swedish born composer of film soundtracks and as such is a master of tension. The album is filled with ghostly twinkling, the feeling that something very wrong indeed is just around the corner. It has an ancient,  antique feel, as though its was recorded decades ago on a crackly phonograph and has just been unearthed.

Bye’s playing is subtle but distinctive and could be compared to a Basinski who had traded warmth for an off kilter spooky discordance. Otherwise think of the soundtrack to some eerie 1930’s silent film, shown in a creaking cinema with all the lights off. Limited to 300.

9/10 according to Gosh Snobo (customer) on 11th June 2014

A fantastic album of dreamy, Satie-like piano pieces with an artful touch of subtle processing, field recordings and additional production to make it sound elegantly deteriorated, as if it was found in the attic of an old, abandoned buidling. Which is actually not too far from the truth, as it was mostly recorded in the halls of Bethanien, XIX century German hospital compound located in Kreuzberg, Berlin, which these days is turned into art center and artist residence after serving as a squat for years. The spirits of impressionist composers meet ghosts of generations once inhabiting the space, creating an ideal spooky/romantic atmosphere to soundtrack your daydreams, reflections and, possibly, lamentations. RIYL: The Caretaker, Goldmund, Akira Kosemura, Sylvain Chauveau, Library Tapes, Roger Eno.

Το «Bethanien», ο Matti Bye & η Tona Serenad…

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Από τον Αντώνη Ν. Φράγκο, λίγα λόγια για το εξαιρετικό «Bethanien» του Matti Bye:

«Ηχογραφημένο, το περισσότερο, σε ένα παλιό, κακής φήμης, εγκαταλελειμμένο νοσοκομείο, το Bethanien του Σουηδού συνθέτη Matti Bye μοιάζει να ακολουθεί με τη μουσική του την ατμόσφαιρα του πρώην ιδρύματος υγείας: μελαγχολικά πιανίσματα καθώς βιμπράφωνο, ακορντεόν, μέλοτρον και glockenspiel σκηνοθετούν ένα σύμπαν λυρικής ομορφιάς αλλά και απόκοσμης αίσθησης. Λες και οι θλιβεροί απόηχοι του χώρου να εκφράζονται μέσα από την γκρίζα διάθεση μιας τόσο όμορφης μουσικής συχνότητας

Πηγή: www.musicpaper.gr

Tona Serenad…

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