The Amsterdam Sessions is out now.
In a world of noise and fury, sometimes it is essential to cut out all the violence that is visited upon our ears and simply find some space and relaxation. Enter The Amsterdam Sessions. A collaboration between neo classical musicians Klangriket and Sjor Mans, the record is full of space and air. It let’s you breath when you listen. It’s one for late nights. After the bombardment of the day.
We spoke to Fabian Rosenberg (aka Klangirket) about how the album came to be.
The Amsterdam Sessions
In spring 2017 I went to Amsterdam for 5 days to meet up with Sjors Mans. I packed a large suitcase with as much as my studio gear as I could. And I had a small backpack with clothes. Basically, the whole album was written during the first two or three days. We would alternate who was on the piano and who was on synths and sound and improvise. We came up with concepts that we wanted to try, tried it out. Evaluate how things turned out and then do another take until we were happy.
We wrote somewhere between 10 and 15 songs over those three days. Then we spent one day walking around Amsterdam recording bits of sound, field recordings that we could use later in the productions. And the last day we sat down to listen to all the music e had and did the first selection. Eight tracks that we wanted to continue working on. We both had a crazy schedule for the entire spring so didn’t work on the tracks until mid-summer.
I had a couple of days of, so I loaded up all the projects added a few ideas and sent it over to Sjors. He did the same and over the course of a week, we finished the Album. The process was so quick which to me is unusual. We didn’t work on the music for more than 10 days top. I think it gives a human touch to it, with all the flaws. The feeling that we caught a moment.
I (Fabian) had an idea with the piano. Wanted it to sound like raindrops in a cave, recorded it with lots of reverb and delay and that what turned out to be the intro. When recording I sort of just fell into the pattern and Sjors added these really atmospheric synths on top binging it all together. We also drove the piano pretty hard to had some distortion. Gives it kind of a Rhodes sound it in a way.
At the time when we wrote this, we had been working on atmospheric things for a long time. Felt like we had to do something different. I was on the piano and started playing something in ¾. Came up with this really simple progression. Sjors added the piano melody. And that was it until summer. When I loaded up the project again I really felt like it was missing some direction so I quickly put a sketch together for a two viola one cello strings trio. Sent it over to Sjors who loved it. Asked a couple of very talented friends to join me in the studio to record the cello and viola. I didn’t have time to edit the draft so when they were in the studio we edited the arrangement on the fly added a few notes. Kind of in the line of how this album was created, capturing the moments, not overthinking things. This song is also named after where the album was recorded.
This was the first thing we worked on and to me, it was definitely the most difficult one. It was also the last thing we finished. Everything started with the arpeggio, we had a really difficult time to get it to feel organic and irregular without it being too out there. Once the arpeggio was in place we tried adding trumpet, piano and other synths. Worked on it for hours but nothing seemed to work. We had to take a break and we didn’t spend any more time on it until I loaded up the project during the summer. I added a few things, the wave-like synths over the intro, the bassline and some drones. It was very much a draft, sent it to Sjors and he worked on it and made sure everything worked together. He also added the really large overwhelming synth patch towards the end. Which was the last thing we did on the album.
This one was started with the piano. We had a couple of patches prepared, I was on the synth and Sjors on the piano. He played a few things and landed in this gorgeous pattern which became the pillar for the song. I just tried to match the feeling and add some progression and direction with the synth patch. The post-production for this track was minimal.
Sjors was on the piano for this one also. And I was on a Rhodes with tons of delays and reverb. We were talking about the feeling being in an intense soundscape for a long time. I remember that I said like let’s just mash 16th notes and just get into that mindset. And then Sjors said something like yea, let’s just mash the keys for like 15 minutes and add field recording to it after. We tried but ended up being six minutes and Sjors added the small melodies in the piano every now and then. The really big synth patch was added during the summer to bring it all together. For some reason, this track makes me think about the ocean and heavy weather with strong winds.
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