It’s weird. I stopped loving classical music when I was young. I hated my piano lessons. I wanted to play rock music. I wanted to learn ‘Nightswimming’ by REM not anything by Chopin, Mozart, Beethoven or any other famous classical composer. After years of piano lessons I rebelled and quit. I think after I quit I didn’t touch the piano again for about 2 or 3 years. Then one day I sat back down and remembered what it was I loved about the piano. We started adding little bits of piano into the songs we were writing and soon I was no longer the bass player but the piano player in the band.
The weird thing is that in the last 4 years the music that I love most has taken another dramatic shift. I feel like I’ve gone full circle and I’m back to where I started when I was 6 years old. Olafur Arnalds, Johann Johannsson, Ludovico Einaudi, Library Tapes, Le Lendemain, Danny Norbury, Rafael Anton Irisarri. All modern classical composers. Some of my favourite music in the world. Reignited my passion and love of classical music. Nothing I’ve heard this year is as beautiful as Ljosio by Olafur Arnalds. Simplistic beauty.
Well Beneath Us The Waves falls into the category of music I really love. Many of you might know Neil Milton as one half of We Sink Ships. Some might know him from his record label Too Many Fireworks. Well after reading this, hopefully you will know him primarily for his wonderful, wonderful music under the name Beneath Us The Waves.
Neil is a modern classical musician in my eyes. He’s not drone music. He’s not ambient music. He’s classical. Sure, he incorporates all the lovely subtleties of drone and ambience into his work, underpinning some stunning piano and string melodies with beeps and clicks and weird and wonderful noises and atmosphere. He’s heavily influenced by Icelandic musicians such as Olafur Arnalds, Johann Johannsson and probably others such as Mùm, For A Minor Reflection and without doubt Sigur Ros. I love his work. He takes such simple melodies and drenches them in noise and atmosphere to create lovely soundscapes that just cannot fail to sink into your soul.
He currently lives in Poland. However, he is coming back to Scotland at the end of March and is planning on some shows whilst he’s here. He will be playing the Wee Red Bar, Edinburgh College of Art on Tuesday 30th March and I highly recommend that you get yourself along to this show. If you are a fan of minimalist, modern classical music then you need to see this man in action. In the meantime check out his lovely sounds here. Enjoy.