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Posts from the ‘Stefan’s music’ Category

We wait until the break of dawn – the birth of our baby

We have been blessed with one of the most wonderful presents that life can hold for you. Beginning of May our baby boy Filip Henryk arrived to this world. My fiancée Iwona and I are all over the moon. He is such a beautiful boy and his eyes are very peaceful.

Filip was born early morning in Queen Elizabeth hospital near Woolwich. I am still taken by the serenity that was filling our hearts when he was there. There are no words that can describe these moments. The beginning of new life is simply a wonder. Our little boy is a little wonder.

I remember vividly how I felt in the following hours after Filip’s birth. I stepped out of the hospital. The life around the entrance area started buzzing. Everyone I saw had sparkle in his eyes. The sky opened up into a deep and bright blue, hinting at eternity. I felt warm light from the morning sun falling onto my face. While my mind was trying to think about what happened and what will happen next, my inner heart became quiet and peaceful. Everything was in one place. Everywhere was peace.

I sometimes like to sing Filip made-up songs. Sometimes I sing to him: ‘Sonne, Mond und Sterne haben Dich so gerne’ (freely translated: the sun, the moon, the stars, send you all their love’). When I felt  happiness of these early morning hours, it was a sentiment of knowing. Happiness does not just appear out of nothing. It has been there with you all the time. Now in this moment of clarity I was able see it, again.

I once wrote a song about these moments of clarity called ‘Early Morning Sun’. I wrote a first version of the song when I was 17 years old, based on a simple guitar harmony. Though it is a love song, the sentiment is the same: Peace arriving in the early morning hours.

 

[soundcloud url="http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/97950297" params="" width=" 100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

 


I wait
until break of dawn
to see
your smile
in the reflection of
the early sun

 

Filip

 

PS: my music took a break in the light of these events. I was also changing how I earn money outside of music. However, I have my next single, a wonderful video and a big album near completion. I am so excited about all this to come out very soon. I will keep you posted.

Time flies by surprise – writing the song The Blue Yonder

Promises. There are so many promises all around. Whenever you turn money into something you get a promise in return. Refresh yourself, do something real, find stillness, get in connection, touch the magic. The sheer amount of promises appears to be a reflection on how deep the longing seems to be for these things. I believe you cannot long for something that you don’t know.

When writing the song The Blue Yonder I had not any meaning in mind – more expressing something deeply emotional. Often I cannot grasp these things but in my songs they find a form and everything feels right. Then, after years I find out other things the song is telling me. Though even that may change in the future. That is the case with The Blue Yonder. Now it seems the song is about all these promises around us and in us.

The first verse of my song The Blue Yonder is like an early childhood memory of a morning dawn. Children have the magic at their disposal naturally. They live in the moment and easily express what they feel. However, when growing up, this kind of immediate experience seems to become less clear.  Instead there appear promises, telling you about the magic, telling you what to do. And first doubts whether these promises can become true.

“The first thing I remember
morning dew came closer
the sun fell into my shaded room
like a promise to loom”

When I was growing out of my childhood I felt more distanced to the world. I could relate to what other people said about loosing the magic. Instead of magic I saw a strange new world. A strange face staring back in the mirror. It did not happen immediately, so I cannot say when this change happened. Soon dark feelings surfaced. I did not reflect on these though – these were just some strange distant sounds.

“The next thing I remember
darkness my eyes seem to enter
in the distance a car is roaring
a sound that turns into a slow soaring”

The chorus comes with a change of energy. I have images in front of my eyes like these old surreal movies from the 20ies where clocks are turning in high speed. Time flies by surprise. All the images appear and fade in fast motion. Time can be like a promise that never becomes real. Sometimes, people want to be in a different time. Be somewhere else. Be somebody else.

“They say time flies by surprise
“I know time slips through my hands
I wonder why when living beyond The Blue Yonder?”

The third verse is about a moment of open eyes. Like a child running with tailwind. The unknown fire is ever present and never vanishes.

“Living with the unknown fire,
that makes me warm and entire
like a child running with tailwind
feel the air as you breathe in”

The last verse, an emergency room scene. Staring at the blind spot, not seeing the real blind spot.

“The last thing I remember
my eyes open in a white chamber
the nurses connecting dots
their eyes seemed fixed on a blind spot”

I had an earlier version of The Blue Yonder that I called Oblivion. I had this version for seven years and it became a companion throughout times, especially when I faced many changes in my life; like a good friend who is always there. However, there was a gap in the song that I could not grasp. I played the song many times to look for what the song is telling me. One day I was taken by the striking energy in this song. It seemed to embrace the world, it made me feel light and upbeat like a child. I knew I had to follow this trace. I rewrote the lyrics and changed some chords. In one day The Blue Yonder was finished – for now.

 

The Blue Yonder video

 

The Blue Yonder is the first single from my up-coming album ‘Here and Now‘. Purchase the single here on Amazon and on iTunes. Watch the official video for The Blue Yonder here.

The Secret

This is another song from my up-coming debut album Here and Now. I call it the Secret.

I started improvising with my guitar and soon vivid images carried me away. I saw myself at a scene on a lost beach with strong winds thrashing grains of sand and catching my face. I was chasing sea gulls and saw how the birds lifted away into the blue. The sun was drying wide banks of sands. There I found myself at a peaceful spot listening to all these sounds. I saw flowers pointing towards the open sky and moving with the wind, painting the sky with colours. I started writing the song.

Here is a sample of The Secret on Soundcloud:

[soundcloud url="http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/97905066" params="" width=" 100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

 

The Secret

Everything that I know
Chains of words and a jigsaw
Were blown away by the fiercely breeze
From the distant crashing seas

And leave behind a little boy
Playing quietly and with joy

How did I know
There’s a secret that unfold?
break light into three colours
Paint the sky with soaring flowers

The sea gulls soar into the sky
Salty waves spit water into my eyes
As I crawl into the wild
With nowhere to hide

She whispers into the boys ears
Then blows away his tears

How did I know
There’s a secret that unfold?
break light into three colours
Paint the sky with soaring flowers

A preview video of my debut album Here and Now

This is like a dream come true. I am completing the final steps for my debut album Here and Now and my songs have become even more beautiful than I dared to imagine. I will have the album finished soon but it’s going to take some time until I can actually release the album. This will be in December. I thought I give you something already now. So here is a preview video where you can hear and see six songs from Here and Now.

I directed, shot and edited all the videos in this preview. I like to use simple ideas to visualise my music. You will see such things like a running fountain in close-up, a slowly floating ice shield, a reflection of the sun bouncing on water, or a leaf held against the dazzling sun.

The Blue Yonder is the first single from my album. I like this song to be a blueprint for my album as it represents all shades of music you will find on Here and Now. For me the song is about staying in touch with an inner sense of peace. Though “time flies by surprise” there are moments of bliss where you feel something deep within, “the unknown fire that makes you whole and entire”.

 

 

St James Park is a declaration of love for life. St James Park in London is indeed where the song started. I often passed by the Park whilst I was humming the song. You are here now I thought. The lines were taking shape: “the leaves on the trees that rustle in the air create a space, that makes me aware of the warmth and the beauty of her face”.

I am optimistic. I believe this weaves through every song on the album, even those exploring the darker aspects of life. I want my music to be accessible and real, but nothing stays dark forever. Even from the most murky places light and hope will always exist.

Fools of Love – a duet with Honduran/British singer Cecilia Delgado – is one such song where I want to express both the longing and uplifting side of love. I am very fond of this song and I am so glad that Cecilia was singing the female part. She is a truly special person and you can feel this in every moment she sings. This will be my second single from my album and the release date will be end of September.

You may notice that there is no percussion on the tracks. I always wanted to record music with only the essentials, a few instruments and the voice. I feel that my songs don’t need more instrumentation. The music takes shape in between the notes, in the space in between, and so does the rhythm evolve naturally.

September, one of two songs I sing in German, is such song with an inner rhythm. The song is about facing death and separation: “Die üblichen Gedanken gehen mir schweigend aus dem Sinn. Nichts ist was ich schon mal sah. Nichts ist ganz sonderbar. Nichts ist ganz sonderbar” (“The usual thoughts leave my mind in silent. Nothing is like it used to be. Nothing is strange. Nothing is strange”)

Early Morning Sun. Long time ago I found a guitar riff that I associated with the sentiment of unconditional love. The riff turned into a song, and the song changed over years. However the changes, the images I associated with the song always remained. Now I feel I have separated shadows from earlier versions of the song. The song is now complete.

The journey on my preview video concludes with Peace. The song is about the freedom found when stop running hard to be fast enough: “I don’t mind that I don’t know, and I don’t know that I don’t mind, this is when things are at peace”.

I plan to publish a video for every song of my album over the next year. I have a lot of video material in preparation already, and I have friends and video artist who will contribute as well.

My dear friends, I am excited about this album and about the future!

The Tailwind on acoustic guitar

The Tailwind. The Tailwind carries you and it carries you further and beyond. It gives you a sense of lightness. I always enjoy improvising on my acoustic guitar. I like to follow on the spur of the moment and I never know where the journey is going to get me. The Tailwind is one of the bonus tracks on my single “The Blue Yonder“, the first release from my up-coming debut album Here and Now. I added it to the single as it fits to the third verse of the song where I sing: “living with the unknown fire that makes you whole and entire, like a child running with tailwind”.

A feeling of lightness and a sense of magic is something that children seem to have naturally at their disposal. When I got older I felt for some time that I had lost the connection to this sense of lightness. As if something got in between me and the magic. As if the tailwind had turned into a stiff wind blowing against me.

Living in London you just can’t ignore how many people are rushing with their eyes blinkered as if not aware what is going on around them. I too find myself in situations where I stop and ask myself  “Where was I the last five minutes?” and I look back and I realise that I did not notice the people passing by, a twinkle in their eyes, the amazing twisting clouds mounting up in front of a glowing late evening sky.

The tailwind is always there when you turn and take the wind with you. This is what I feel about making music or shooting photos or videos. I follow my intuition and my music evolves. I film somewhere spontaneously and something happens. This is how I came about playing the guitar for The Tailwind and making the video.

The slow-motion flashing blue lights in the first scene are embedded into the pavement under a bridge nearby London Bridge. The turning robot face was in a shopping window near Liverpool Street. In the closing scene I followed the light projections thrown onto the Heron Tower in London. These moments appear to be signposts to a world beyond the rationale. They seem to be traces to something magical. We seem to be familiar with what they express. The robot’s eyes were flashing and sparkling as if in excitement. Like the eyes of people you meet everyday.

Fools of Love with Cecilia Delgado

Fools of Love. The song features the amazing singer Cecilia Delgado. I feel so privileged that she is singing on this song for my album Here and Now.

I wrote the song Fools of Love two years ago. I remember listening to a first recording on my mp3 player whilst being on a bus journey back from work. Sitting on top of a double-decker my eyes were gazing from Bayswater Road over Hyde Park. The clouds were heavy with water and the air was light yet somewhat hazy and grey. I thought Fools of Love was a sad song.

A Saturday in May. I am with Cecilia in her house in South London where she lives with her family. We set up the equipment in the lobby. There was the entry door, an old upright piano, some stairs to the upper floor, old woodwork along the walls and white painting. She painted the whole house herself. This is her home, she said, this is the place where I had been living for most of my life. The atmosphere was light and inspiring. We practiced the song a couple of times and tried various ways of singing the lines.

Cecilia was born in Honduras and has been living in England for almost all of her life. You can hear some Latin American roots in her voice blending with her English personality. When she sang with headphones on, I could listen to her voice without any music around. I simply felt taken by her charming and warm voice. I also came to realise something else. I felt that the inspiration was also coming from the song. Two years back I did not see how optimistic and uplifting the song is. Thanks to Cecilia I do know now.

[soundcloud url="http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/97913678" params="auto_play=false&show_artwork=true&color=ff7700" width="100%" height="82" iframe="true" /]

 

Cecilia Delgado

 

St James Park played in a park

This is my song St James Park that I played spontaneously in a park. It was a wonderful moment on a glorious sunny day with an up-lifting atmosphere all around. So I just felt like playing this song.

This was filmed at West Square, a beautiful spot close to Elephant & Castle in London.

St James Park it’s a declaration of love for life.

Listen to a preview of St James Park on soundlcoud.

The Blue Yonder Notes

Many times my friends asked me about the meaning of the song The Blue Yonder. There is so much in this song for me. I find it not easy to articulate these emotions in a rational way. Deep down the song connects with something very important in my heart. The sheer pleasure to live. The sadness when staring at the blind spots in life. I find that the video is revealing something deeper, and maybe also these notes. They are like an imagination what I see in front of my eyes when singing this song.

the blue yonder notes

early morning. i wake up with rays of sun falling through the wooden blinds. some birds are chanting, the leaves on nearby shrubs rustle and a fresh breeze carries smell of morning dew into my room. somewhere a car is rolling slowly around  the corners of the streets. i hear some laughter and moments later the voices carry away. i breathe in and listen to the silence. outside is the blue sky, the deep blue sky.

an ambulance car is running over the bridge with the blue lights flashing in haste. the facades of the nearby houses throw back the blue lightning whilst the dark holes of the window frames seem to swallow the sudden noise cutting the street. time is moving backwards. faded memories flicker in front of my eyes whilst my mind is turning upside down. there are blue lights everywhere. blue lines on top of buildings, blue light balls decorating trees, blue floodlights embracing the London skyline. i stare at these blue traces. i see the sun approaching in peace.

me and my brother and sister are running towards a small hill in the nearby city park. we catch tailwind and run up the hill and feel lighter than the birds soaring in the sky upon us. on top of the hill there is a little hut from where our eyes wander over the ranging trees, the growing coppice and the stretching ponds. i turn and roll down the hill, sideways, fast, with my eyes open. i watch the green of the dense grass interchange with the blue of the vast sky in rapid sequence. at the bottom of the slope i halt and gaze into the open sky. there is the yonder, the wide blue yonder.

The Blue Yonder lyrics

There isn’t a better way of starting a blog than publishing the lyrics of one of my most important songs – The Blue Yonder

The Blue Yonder

the first thing i remember
the smell of morning dew came closer
the sun fell into my shaded room
like a promise to loom
soon

the next thing I remember
darkness my eyes seemed to enter
in the distance a car is roaring
a sound that turned into a slow
soaring

they say time
flies by surprise
i know time slips
through my hands
i want to know why
when living beyond the blue yonder

living with the unknown fire
that makes you warm and entire
like a child running with tailwind
feel the air as you breathe in

the last thing I remember
my eyes open in a white chamber
the nurses connecting dots
their eyes seemed fixed
on a blind spot

they say time
flies by surprise
i know time slips
through my hands
i want to know why
when living beyond the blue yonder

 

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