NICLAS FOGWALL - PIANO WORKS
SOME WORDS ABOUT ME & MY MUSIC
This webpage is the result of the works I have done in front of the piano. Playing and composing in front of the piano is like a meditation, a way to relax and to express feelings which cannot be expressed in words. And then when listening to the result one can only come to the conclusion that music is indeed something magic and one of the pleasant mysteries in life.
After the composing and performing there is the benefit of listening. Even me, composer to these piano works, can sometimes get carried away by this music and get that special sensation of being seduced and let the soul be gently carried away, flying in a room without time and space, simply by listening to the music and to give in, letting go of all resistance and tension that is built up during the ordinary daily life.
I live in one of the north European countries where the summers are warm and the winters are cold. We are quite calm and resonable people. We hate to quarrel and to raise our voices. We can seem a bit hard to make acquaintance with but when we do we are often very gentle and unreserved. Most of us love music, either to sing or to play. Our language has a singing voice, it's the natural characteristic. Perhaps that's why we love to sing that much here. Myself, I'm one of those players. Started playing the flute when being 7 years old. I hated the instrument though and was probably the lousiest pupil ever. The year after, I finally began playing the piano. Then I took my revenge. The piano is the instrument for me. I also tried the saxophone and the guitar for a while but... no.
So what makes the piano so special to me? Well, just the look of a black polished concert grand says quite a lot. It's simply a magnificent instrument. Just press a key and it delivers a remarkably rich and deep sound which no other instrument can compete with. Then press a chord and let the fingers wander throughout the complete range, from the deepest bass to the highest treble. Wonderful.
I started composing when I was about 17 years old. Several years passed and the numerous works I did at the time were interesting but not really good. Not good enough for me anyway. 10 years later I had reached a maturity both in terms of composing and performing. Most of my works you listen to here are from around that time. Now 10 years ago. I'm still composing today but not as frequently. Performing piano works based on sensitivity and pianissimos are the most difficult. Perhaps not in a technical way but more in a matter of interpretation. I have heard some piano virtuosos play some of those works but the result was awful. What is needed is a pianist who can supply that special state of the soul, to express the inner thoughts and feelings. Every single note is pressed in a careful and well thought out way. If one of those notes is inadequate, then the whole piece will fall apart.
To me, music must have a classical approach and never fall into the pop trap. After all, the best music out there is the really old music, made by our ancestors. What an amazing quality! Beethoven and Bach are important inspirers to me. Then this can be developed further. Satie and Debussy were two colleagues developing beautiful timeless music, inspiring each other. They utilized the magic of the piano sound. Also some of the current composers know how to do this. Björn J:son Lindh showed it in Europa. Enya showed it in Water Marks. Michael Nyman showed it in The Piano.
Serious masters of the piano sound: Bach, Beethoven, Satie and Debussy.
Titles. Ask Chopin about titles. He would say Nocturne or Waltz? Mazurka even? Ask Satie. He would say Pear piece or Automatic description? And put a number after it. Compose several pieces with the same title and then put a number after. I like numbers. I stick with them only. To quote a pianist and friend of mine, Cristina Ariagno: In this world we are ONLY a number. What number can we prefer? A good number, for a good life!
In what circumstances are my works made? I think that when being sad, there is a bigger need of expressing the feelings inside, to let them out because we don't want them inside. Then the feelings become music. Sometimes I'm not sad at all, it's just pure creativity, a lust of expressing myself, letting the fingers play on the keyboard and suddenly whoops! Must do something about that one. Sometimes I dream about music, when being half awake and half asleep, and then put these dreams into notes.
So, because I love the piano it would have been nice to have a Steinway D concert grand in my living room. But seriously, this is no option at all. A concert grand is far too large and heavy, it costs almost a fortune and has to be tuned regularly. In the modern piano composer's world everything is digital. I use a digital piano, store my performances digitally, edit my performances on my computer and listen to the result from a digitally sampled concert grand. Then I burn the CDs on my computer. Finally, I use my computer to make these webpages and to let you listen to my music.
Here you can listen to some of the works from my CD album and it's my hope that it will sell. I have no distributor for the moment so all sales are done through these webpages. If I sell enough copies I will have the possibility to spend more time with what I like best of all, composing, and this will later result in more piano works for you to listen to and, hopefully, enjoy.
Now if you have read all this, and listened to my music, I would appreciate any input regarding my music, the CD, this webpage, or whatever might be on your mind. Good and bad. Let me know.