Ende Juli besuchte mich ein Kamerateam des SWR mit der Journalistin Lisa Kaniß. Wir hatten einen ausgesprochen fröhlichen Tag, und der Beitrag ist richtig schön geworden:
I wanted to surprise my mother with a very special gift for this year’s Mother’s Day (which we celebrate on the 2nd Sunday of June in Luxembourg). So I wrote my piece “Mama” on Friday, 10.06.2016 and showed it to my friend Vitùc who came up with the idea to record a music video in Luxembourg city, where over a dozen pianos are installed all over the city during the month of June for “My Urban Piano”, a fantastic initiative to inspire people’s creativity.
On Saturday, 11.06.2016 we recorded the piece on eight different pianos at different locations, and Vitùc edited the clip until midnight. I could’t be more excited about the finished project and I am so happy to share it with you today.
If you like this video, please share it with your mother to tell her that you love her. I wish all you mothers out there a happy Mother’s Day (even if you don’t celebrate today)!
Starting today, I will post my twelve Songs of Hope op. 116 1 on my Facebook page, one song a day, each one with a short written introduction. I composed these pieces in March and April 2015 and wrote a blog post about them back then. My hope is that you will enjoy each of those 12 pieces as much as I enjoyed writing them. They are near and dear to my heart because they mark the beginning of an important new chapter in my life as a composer.
For your listening convenience, I will embed each new song as they appear on my Facebook page, so that you will find the complete cycle here.
D minor. Hope starts with gratitude. However cruel life can be at times, there are always reasons to be grateful. A grateful heart will be lighter and happier, whatever the circumstances. This piece was written for the Fondation Cancer to celebrate their annual “Relais pour la vie”.
E flat minor. Look deep into your heart and remember your forgotten dreams. They are a path to happiness. Pursue them and fight for them. Our dreams give hope, first to ourselves, and then, hopefully, to others too. Everything is possible!
E minor. Sometimes we need to go back to the past and walk down memory lane. Memories can reignite our hope. This piece is a 4-part chorale and could also be sung or played by a string quartet. The middle part consists of a dialogue between the upper and the middle voice who imitate each other in canon.
F minor. Brutal strokes of fate can radically change our lives in the blink of an eye. I remember several situations in my life where words and good advice failed because the circumstances were just too dramatic. In order to regain hope, we sometimes need to go through valleys of pain. There is no way around them. This piece was written in loving memory of Claude Rousseau (1982-2015), my cousin’s husband and father of two beautiful little girls. May the light of hope always shine in their hearts, even in times of desolation and sorrow.
F sharp minor. This is another song about reflecting on the past. At first you hear the melody in the right hand. Then melody and accompaniment (left hand) are exchanged, like we were looking back from two different perspectives. The music slows down and the theme appears in octaves, with short echoes at the end of each phrase. After a very soft interlude the melody appears once more in the left hand. Finally we hear the theme one last time in its original form. Hopefully, the memories that the music evokes will induce feelings of gratitude in the listener.
G minor. As a Christian I can find no stronger sign of hope than the cross which symbolizes God’s eternal love for his children. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
G sharp minor. When I wrote this piece, I saw flying doves in my mind, the birds that are inseparably associated with peace. The peaceful melody floats over a soft sparkling movement in the left hand, and it quietly fades away into higher spheres towards the end.
A minor. The theme of this piece is composed of an ascending scale followed by a falling motif of three notes that is repeated three times. After a transition to D minor the theme is inverted, so that the scale goes down and the falling three-note motif moves upwards. This leads to a solemn “refrain” with dark chords in the left hand. The atmosphere of this song evokes a sense of wisdom that we can apprehend with a quiet and listening heart.
B flat minor. Whenever we are struggling with life, we can always find relief and hope by bringing to mind God’s grace. There is no failure if we keep opening our hearts for the grace that exists in the present moment. Grace is a light that is always shining, even if we have lost sight of it. The light of grace is here, right now, always.
B minor. I love trees and birds. “Tree Song” is a meditation on the wind, the woods and bird songs. Nature is such a wonderful source of inspiration, strength and hope. Spend plenty of time in nature and your hope will be strong.
C minor. When Luxembourgish poet Lambert Schlechter lost most of his 10.000 books in a devastating fire, the theme of “Fire” immediately entered my mind. It is a dramatic piece which depicts the destructive power of the flames. But nothing can destroy the fire of hope, and with an amazing energy, 73-year-old Lambert immediately began to write a new chapter of his life.
C sharp minor. I wanted to finish my cycle “Songs of Hope” with light, beautiful sounds that lift the soul of the listener into regions of peace and hope. Even though the most beautiful and spheric music can only be a hint of paradise, I couldn’t think of a better title for this final “Song of Hope”. The composition of those twelve pieces was a moving journey that led me from valleys of tears to mountains of light and hope. I hope that you, dear listener, have enjoyed the music and that it gave you new hope, courage and positive ideas. The “Songs of Hope” will remain on my page, so feel free to come back and listen to your favorite pieces as often as you like. God bless you.
“op.” stands for the Latin word “opus” and means “work”. So it’s my work number 116. ↩
As I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve published new pieces on my Facebook page. I repost them below, and I will keep adding new videos (newest on top). Make sure to add this page to your bookmarks if you would like to listen to my music more often.
Update 01.06.2016: For more infos about the Songs-of-Hope project on Facebook, and to see all 12 videos, please visit Songs of Hope.
Please scroll down if you would like to read the English version of this blog post.
Seit einiger Zeit habe ich nichts mehr auf meinem Blog gepostet, außer ein paar kleinen Links und Ankündigungen. Nach dieser Zeit der Stille empfinde ich nun den starken Wunsch, manches von dem, was mich in den vergangenen Monaten bewegt hat, mit euch zu teilen, vor allem in Form von Musik. Du, liebe( r) Leser(in), Hörer(in), Fan, Freund(in) – du machst einen Unterschied im Leben von Künstlern. Du beeinflusst mein Leben als Künstler.
Ich sehe mich in der glücklichen Lage, eine sehr aktive Gemeinschaft von Freunden auf meinen Social-Media-Kanälen zu erleben, besonders auf Facebook, aber auch auf Instagram, Twitter, SoundCloud und YouTube. Aus diesem Grund habe ich mich entschlossen, mich auf eine neue Art und Weise zu öffnen und Videos mit neuen Stücken zu veröffentlichen, darunter manche, die ich erst Minuten zuvor vollendet habe (die Videosammlung mit den bisher veröffentlichten Stücken erreichst du übrigens hier). Ich werde solche Videos im Laufe des Jahres in regelmäßigen Abständen veröffentlichen (und vielleicht auch danach, wir werden sehen), weil es viel Musik gibt, die ich bisher noch nicht mit euch teilen konnte.
Außerdem sind ein paar neue Alben in der Entwicklung, und ich hoffe, diese zum Ende des Jahres hin veröffentlichen zu können. Bis dahin werde ich viel neue Musik komponieren, und es gibt noch wesentlich mehr Stücke (oder Klaviersongs, wie ich sie gerne nenne), die ich noch nicht im Studio aufgenommen habe, und die ich euch nach und nach zeigen möchte. So könnten wir vielleicht gemeinsam eine Auswahl für ein neues Album treffen, da du die neuen Kompositionen Stück für Stück kennenlernen wirst. Du könntest für deine Lieblingssongs abstimmen, die deiner Meinung nach aufs Album kommen sollen. Oder du könntest mir Vorschläge für Stücke schicken, die ich komponieren soll. Die Möglichkeiten sind unendlich, und ich bin neugierig und gespannt zu sehen, wie sich diese Ideen weiter entwickeln werden.
Wenn du ein Teil dieses Abenteuers sein möchtest, verbinde dich über dein bevorzugtes Medium, sei es Facebook, Twitter, Instagram oder die gute alte Email. Ich werde jede einzelne Nachricht beantworten. Danke für deine treue Unterstützung, sie bedeutet mir viel.
It’s been a while since I posted something on my blog, except for a few little links and announcements. After this time of silence I strongly feel the desire to share some of the things that have been moving me in the past months, especially in form of music. You, dear reader, listener, fan, friend – you make a difference in the life of artists. You influence my life as an artist.
I consider myself very fortunate to have a very active community of friends on my social media channels, especially on Facebook, but also on Instagram, Twitter, SoundCloud and YouTube. That’s why I decided to open up in new ways and to publish videos with new pieces that I just finished, sometimes just minutes before recording them (you can get to the video collection with the published pieces here). I commit to making these videos on a regular basis over the course of this year (and maybe after that, we’ll see), because there is a lot of music that I haven’t had the opportunity to share with you.
Some new albums are in the works too, and I hope to have them published by the end of 2016. Until then I will compose a lot of new music, and there are many, many more pieces (or piano songs, as I like to call them) that I haven’t yet recorded in the studio and that I would like to show you. So, maybe, over time, as you get to know these songs, we can make the selection for a new album together. You could vote for your favorite songs that should be included on the album. Or you could send me your suggestions for music that you would like me to compose. The possibilities are endless, and I am curious and excited to see how these ideas will evolve.
If you would like to be a part of this adventure, connect with me via your favorite medium, be it Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or good old email. I’ll answer each of your messages. Thanks for your ongoing support. It means a lot.