Tag: classical music

Herbert Meets: Ell Kendall

Herbert meets: Ell Kendall

Herbert and I have known for some time that Ell is an artist to watch out for. This November marks the release for Ell’s debut track  – ‘Marlen,’  which is the culmination of 5 years of testing, trying and making. The freshness and intricacy of his music is coupled with his ability to go one step further and engage his listener’s emotions through his play on spaces through sound.

Ell, congrats – it must feel great to have Marlen out –
It feels really good. I’ve been working to get to this point for … well if I think about it compositionally, technically, I got to a point about 5 years ago where I started to make material that actually captured how I felt. Once that happened, I started to putted the dots together on a page. 
When you talk about ‘that moment’ – what was it that clicked for you?
When you record classical music, you are typically documenting a performance. Even though we have wonderful recordings, it’s not concerned with creating a stand-alone sound experience.
So, it became important to me to create something fully acoustic, which is quite rare. I also wanted to enter the recording process open minded, so that I could let my imagination run wild and reach new sounds –
We went into the studio and recorded each of the musicians individually. Isolating the sound lets you discover that instrument’s innate nature. From there you can also manipulate the sound to zero into their quality.
How long did it take to record Marlen in this way?
We took a year to record Marlen and two other tracks.
Yeah, but bear in mind, experimentation was a large part of this. We spent the first month really just trying different things out.
I wanted to play with space with the sounds I was using. There’s something called ‘spatialising,’ which is very popular at the moment in performance – it describes when musicians perform from different places in a venue. I took this a step further to create a dream like experience where anything could happen sound-wise (you also need a nifty producer!)
Apart from creating different avenues for sound, what is the extra effect of this for a listener?
It’s about the sensation of sound – and the different experiences you can have of sound. For example – if it doesn’t exist right in front of you, it can evoke a very different emotional character and adds this extra layer to the music. 

Was there a specific set of emotions you wanted to evoke with Marlen?
Marlen is a portrait of a dancer that I met. We worked together for a week and I thought she was very beautiful. She had an energy and life about her which was …very special. It was also the first time that I realized how important it was to cherish that kind of beauty and life because it is so transient.  
…that experience inspired me to write the track, and those are the emotions behind the sound choices, but ultimately it’s up to the listener to decide how it makes them feel and what it means to them.
Is that Marlen on the cover? 
Yes, of course it is! It’s funny, a lot of people that have seen the image seem to think it sexualises her. It makes me laugh because Marlen actually sent me that picture of herself for this track. For me, it captures the same energy and life that I tried to capture when I wrote and recorded the track.
As an artist that is trying to do things differently, are you used to that kind of opposition yet? 
… I mean, my classical music education has been a story of pure persistence. I came from a pop music background, but I decided to switch to classical at the last minute with no formal training. To get in, I ended up teaching myself to transcribe music in a week and convinced the professor to take me on. That’s why it’s so important for me to try and stick to my vision. 
What was it that made you shift to classical?
I liked the ambiguity of classical. Pop music is tied in with words/poetry. I found that words grounded the music too much for me – I like to leave my music very open for interpretation.
Apart from Marlen, do you have any tracks in the works for release?
I have the next portrait Nuha coming in the next couple of months, which like Marlen is an expression of a person and a moment in time.
Very cool – thanks for your time today Ell. 
No, thank YOU. This has been fun.

Ell will be performing at Hundred years gallery on November 22nd – tickets available on the door.  

He will also be performing at Q3 Ambient Festival in Potsdam – April 2020.

To stay in touch with Ell click here or here 


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Matthew Jamal Scott

Herbert Meets: Matthew Jamal Scott

Herbert Meets: Matthew Jamal Scott 

Meet Matthew Jamal Scott or @sunday.applepie – double bassist, composer model and student at Manhattan School of Music.

MJS fuses classical, jazz + latin influences to make his sound – check out track Lazo to get a good sense. 

Herbert wanted me to find out more about Matthew, his journey, dreams and upcoming EP ‘Redefined.’

Photo by: Kel Burchett 

Would I be wrong in saying that it hasn’t been straightforward for you to pursue classical music? Can you tell me a little about your journey and what’s made you keep at it? read more

Yena Choi

Herbert Meets: Yena Choi

Herbert meets: Yena Choi

Words by Faye Fearon @Fayeisabella

Cello chic – those are the words that best describe Korean-European cellist Yena Choi @yenastic. With a harmonious relationship to her much-loved musical partner – the cello – she not only parades a large repertoire in classical music, but also crosses the boundaries of alternative genres. And fields too – one quick glance of her instagram account demonstrates an enthusiasm for art, photography and fashion. Having graduted from Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler in Berlin Germany, she now lives in California as a faculty member of the state’s International Music Festival and Azusa Pacific University. read more

Samuel Sykes

Herbert Meets: Samuel Sykes

Herbert Meets: Samuel Sykes 

Following Sykes’ ‘One To Watch’ feature last month @samuelsykescello, I wanted to find out more about the 16 year old cellist, what he’s working on, his inspirations and his plans.

All photographs by Vince Di Francesco

So Sam, are you working on anything at the moment? 

Yes! I am currently working on a duet album with one of my best friends, which will include both a range of baroque and modern works. 

Cool – what were your main inspirations for this?  read more

Blair Coron

Herbert Meets: Blair Coron 

Meet Blair Coron, Glasgow-based composer and pianist.

I saw a photo of Blair’s workspace on Instagram and   wanted to find out where it was, how Blair put it together and how important it was in Blair’s composition process and for him as an artist.  

For a podcast about blackboards, Nils Frahm, his hamster Pippin, the Scottish highlands and his EP DO/RE., listen here.


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vincent hardaker

Herbert Meets: Vincent Hardaker

Herbert Presents: In The Pit | Vincent Hardaker

Herbert has always been fascinated with conductors and wanted to find out more about what their lives were actually like.

So… Herbert reached out to Vincent Hardaker @vincehardaker – one of New Zealand’s most promising up-and-coming conductors to see if he’d give us a sense of his daily routine…

Welcome to the first installment of:  ‘In the Pit’* 

*Pit = Orchestra Pit 


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cy leo

Herbert Meets: Cy Leo

Herbert meets: Cy Leo 

I don’t know if you remember, but back in July, I saw a gig at Wilton’s Music hall presented by the Hong Kong Music Series.

One of the performers was harmonica player Cy Leo who truly opened my eyes to an instrument that quite honestly up to that point I had paid no attention to.

Intrigued, Herbert reached out to Cy Leo who kindly indulged and answered some of my most burning questions.

NB: There’s a real treat at the bottom of the article, so stay with me. read more


Herbert Meets: Okiem

Herbert Meets: Okiem

Meet OKIEM @okiemofficial – a pianist and composer who has also toured on keyboards with everyone from Leona Lewis to Tinie Tempah and Boy George.

As a soloist, he creates his signature cinematic classical sound by combining piano, orchestral instruments and synthesizers and has just released his debut solo album XIRO, which he is currently touring with his 12-piece orchestra.

 Herbert has been following Okiem for a while @okiemofficial and wanted to find out more… read more

Joseph Reuben

Herbert Meets: Joseph Reuben

Herbert Meets: Joseph Reuben

Meet Joseph Reuben – NYC based British composer, producer and artist (& not to mention incredibly stylish.) 

Herbert managed to catch Joseph at Somerset House during London Fashion Week for a shoot with the amazing Robert Spangle (the man behind ‘Thousand Yard Style’) @thousandyardstyle and a chat to discover more about Joseph, his inspirations and of course – his music.

All photographs by Robert Spangle 

So, Joseph, I don’t really know where to start – fashion, art, film, music?  Let’s just go with ‘classical’ music – read more

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