Piano & Coffee is an organization with an admirable goal – helping artists develop their creative projects through artistic collaboration. When you visit their site you are greeted by elegant minimalism and a number of nice features including interview, reviews, album premieres, and even specially created videos. The three featured here make ideal companions to a quiet Sunday morning and a freshly brewed cup.
‘Rueber’ by CEEYS (video by Jolien van der Beek)
CEEYS is a portmanteau for a project that encompasses the distinctive cello of Sebastian Selke and the piano and vintage keyboards & electronics of Daniel Selke. The brothers recently released their stunning full-length studio debut Concrete Fields on 1631 Recordings, a remembrance of a childhood growing up in Marzahn-Hellersdorf, Berlin, East Germany (Europe’s largest prefab estate). Here, Jolien van der Beek creates a moving collage of images to accompany “Reuber”, a track which features a revived Vermona organ built in the GDR in 1978 which pulsates a percussive, trance-like rhythm as backdrop for the expressive cello improvisations that add emotional weight to the piece.
‘Solitude’ by Daigo Hanada (video by Ana Monteiro)
Another striking modern classical debut album released recently is Ichiru by Daigo Hanada which came out in February on Moderna Records. It is an exceptionally lovely collection of intimate vignettes recorded by the artist with only an upright piano and a pair of microphones. To create a video which suits the melancholic reflections of “Solitude”, director Ana Monteiro filmed scenes in Portugal and Poland and weaves them together to create an immersive sense of being the solitary observer.
‘Ich bin Himmel, wenn ich den Himmel liebe’ by Sergio Díaz De Rojas and Seraphina Theresa
The Morning is a River is a new collaboration between Seraphina Theresa and Piano & Coffee community member Sergio Díaz De Rojas which consists of four tender and enchanting solo piano pieces presented in a poetic and visual context. The video they created for “Ich bin Himmel, wenn ich den Himmel liebe” is a lovely sepia-toned reverie that perfectly suits the wistful, dreamy nature of the piece.
“Sergio’s piano, inspired by the tentative improvisations of Seraphina on the same instrument, is full and wholly satisfying to the ear. While the chords and melodies wander back and forth with easygoing pace, one aspect stands out against many other piano pieces of this nature. The richness of low notes that move as their own line of melody is a rare treat, as all too often pianists seem to shy from the lower notes on the instrument for the purposes of melodies” – Blake Parker, Piano & Coffee