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PREMIERE: Sven Wunder - 'Natura Morta'

The illusive Swedish composer deeply studied 70s Italian library compositions and crafted an orchestral masterpiece for his third solo album.

Sven Wunder is a Stockholm-based multi-instrumentalist & producer who has been brought up with music since early childhood. His dad was a jazz musician and Sven followed right in his footsteps by picking up the double bass early on. It didn't take too long before he added piano playing to his skill set. Sven has already been writing music for film and TV before releasing his critically acclaimed solo albums in 2019 and 2020. The first album Eastern Flowers explored Turkish influences and the second album called Wabi Sabi Japanese. Both pieces are a beautiful blend of his numerous inspirations combining traditional instruments with modern studio techniques and synthesizers. Sven knows how to find that right balance.

One of the key elements in all of Sven's music is the notorious 60's/70's library music scene. But unless you're an avid record collector, sample-based producer, DJ or music journalist, chances are big you've never heard that term and the beautiful music that came with it. Library music are sounds created with the purpose for application in TV shows, movies, radio or commercials. Originally, all those records were often sent to production companies instead of being sold in stores, but throughout the years they did land in the record store crates after all. At first, most people weren't aware of their incredible content and simply didn't pick them up due to the often generic sleeves and titles. Since then, producers started sampling them and music lovers all around the globe became enchanted with this beautiful, cinematic music. In my opinion, some of the most incredible music came from those composers. I highly recommend you to look up The Library Music Film documentary that came out just a few years ago. You'll see so many of the original composers from the UK, France and Italy that have co-defined the sound.

A few days ago, Sven shared a vinyl mix on Aquarium Drunkard filled with incredible gems that all influenced him on his forthcoming album Natura Morta. Most of the tracks in there came from Italian soundtracks and library albums by composers such as Ennio Morricone (who is one of Sven's favourite composers of all time), Piero Piccioni, Stefano Torossi, Piero Umiliani & others. The mix is a great journey into those aesthetics and will immediately help you understand Sven's music better.

The first track I heard of his forthcoming album was 'Impasto' and it really made me double-check the release date! It's evident that Mr. Wunder understands all the intricacies that make up this deep and intensely heartfelt sound. It's not often that I hear people do it this well. The mystic feel, subtle melodic phrases, solid drum grooves and of course the rich strings! Strings are such an underrated feature in general these days. They might cost a lot, but they enhance your sound so much more. If your music calls for it, find a way to include them. Sven's albums were partially funded by the Swedish Arts Council. Maybe your government has similar programs you can apply for. It can really be the cherry on top and in Sven's case, a delicious piece of the pie itself.

Natura Morta, which is Italian for 'still life', led Sven to explore the balance of nature and the human capability to judge and observe. There are eleven compositions on there and it's a really cohesive release with new details to discover with each listen. On this project Sven chose to emphasize vibrant melodies, most of which could work as a theme for your favourite movie scene. Something you won't mind hearing repeated throughout a song. For example, I've been humming the guitar melody from the title track for the past few days and I can't get enough of it. Sven delivered another fantastic album and, in my humble opinion, it's his best yet.

The Natura Morta album will be out this Friday, June 11th, via Piano Piano Records and you can get your first listen of the beautiful title track below!


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James Brown
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