Dutch pianist-composer Matteo Myderwyk makes his Warner Classics debut with the innovative album Notes Of Longing
Matteo Myderwyk, a classically trained pianist from the Netherlands, will make his label debut as an international Warner Classics artist with the album Notes Of Longing. For this project, he plays thirteen of his own compositions on piano and analogue synthesizers, free of any musical restrictions, and offers the audience a battery to recharge. Matteo Myderwyk's music aims to accompany the listener in personal moments of dreaming and longing.
Matteo Myderwyk comes from Oudewater in the green heart of the Netherlands. His first instrument was a small keyboard from a supermarket. It still hangs as a souvenir on the wall of his studio in Amsterdam, but it was soon replaced by a real piano. Matteo completed his classical piano studies at the Tilburg conservatory in 2013 and obtained his master’s degree two years later. It was during his master’s that he discovered his true creativity. "That's something no teacher can help you with," he explains. "The artist has the idea; you have to do it yourself."
During this time, Matteo Myderwyk came into contact with contemporary classical music. He worked with a Steve Reich ensemble and wrote a thesis on Olivier Messiaen, both composers who count among his musical heroes. He especially admires the latter – a French composer, organist and pianist – for his modes, his timbres, his “Catalogue d'Oiseaux”, and calls him an infinite source of inspiration.
Jazz, especially free jazz, opened the door to the freedom of improvisation. From then on, his starting point has been musical expression itself. As a pianist, he is no longer tied to chords, melodies, jazz or blues schemes. His classical background is not an obstacle, but rather valuable. Matteo Myderwyk can make the keys sing, in contrast to more mechanical jazz pianists. The interesting things, he says, happen in the transition between these two worlds.
He is convinced that music is made in the moment itself. He uses various pianos, including a Fender Rhodes, and synthesizers, Moog and Roland Juno-60, solid analogue beasts with their own drama and timbres. Rejecting electronic presets, he prefers instead to shape his own sound. Each performance, each recording, becomes a new voyage of discovery. This has led via the indie-pop scene to festivals such as Into The Great Wide Open, and his live shows have laid the foundation for his albums. Now he wants more, namely to compose serious pieces. His partnership with Warner Classics is the next natural step, and Notes Of Longing is the first fruit of that union. The thirteen compositions were recorded by Matteo in his own studio and in the chapel next to his home in Amsterdam, with what was available there: his own harmonium, his own synthesizers, his own pianos and grand piano. He did it all himself, alone, without any other musicians.
The title says it all: what is at play is longing, for the future or for what has been, lost. Even though Notes Of Longing was recorded during the greater part of last year, it is not a lockdown album. For nature lover Matteo Myderwyk, the ultimate longing since his childhood has been represented by large flocks of starlings in the sky. The title of “Waltz For Waving Starlings”, one of his compositions, is derived from the dancing patterns of starlings during their migration. The birds and their ballets, their flights in groups diving up and down, where do they come from, where do they go? They do not dance evenly; it is arhythmic – just like the music of Matteo Myderwyk. Thus was born the framework for Notes Of Longing, an elusive musical structure and yet a unity, like starlings in the sky. Notes of Longing starts with three songs in E flat minor, a sad longing key, "dark green in colour" as Matteo calls it. He then stretches this to a musical environment where things, in his words, "start to bubble up and lighten up a bit, so that, if all goes well, after forty minutes and the last song ‘Continuum’ you will leave the house a bit more charged".
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