Interview with Gustav Davidsson: my aim is to play as honestly as I could and try not to think intellectually about the music.

The album by pianist and composer Gustav Davidsson entitled “Anin” was released a few weeks ago. Gustav Davidsson is a producer and musician from Sweden. His solo work is formed around the piano, minimalistic composition ideas, reverb, improvisation and a longing for peace within, through sound. He started out as a child spending time at the family grand piano, improvising, composing and being amazed by the big and spacious sound of the piano. Sense then he has strived to find and explore this big sound, in the piano and through other means. After studying improvisation at the most well renowned schools in Sweden and has been a part of the music scene in Sweden, mostly around improvised and neo-classial music. He also runs a studio (Studio Glasfågeln) where he records mostly acoustic music. He is now on the journey of letting go of intellectual aims and just making music close to his heart. We met the artist for an exclusive interview that we report below.

Welcome Gustav and thank you for this interview. What are currently your main compositional challenges?

At the moment I am in a part of the process where I don’t compose much music. But when I do I think my biggest challenges is to stick with compositions that feels right and not try to make them more interesting intellectually.

What do you usually start with when composing?

Either I have a clear idea of a song, not in notes but more an idea of the form or feeling to the song. Or I just start playing one note and wait until I hear a second note in my heart, and the go on like that.

“Anin” has recently been released with Blue Spiral Records, can you tell us something more?

Anin is a collection of nine pieces that are mostly improvised. They are recorded at home on a nice little grand piano from the 50s. I have had the idea for the album fore some time, a couple of years it has evolved, and in a couple of days in the spring of 2020 it was recorded. My aim was to play as honestly as I could and try not to think intellectually about the music, and let the feelings and sound get the biggest part of the album.

How do you see the relationship between timbre and composition?

To the most part I feel that it is the same, that the timbre is a part of the composition. On Anin I have put a lot of time to the timbre, both in the playing and in the post productions. And to me that is as much composing as playing notes.

Do you feel it important that an audience is able to deduct the processes and ideas behind a work purely on the basis of the music? If so, how do you make them transparent?

No. I have ideas and feelings when making music but I don’t see way an audience should feel the same. I hope that a listener feels something when listening to my music, but what they feel and think is there part of the art.

What’s a typical work week like?

I often work pretty ordinary working-hours, on the days from Monday to Friday. I work mostly by the computer mixing and producing my own and other peoples music. And of course I work with administration that is needed to make music. Sending mails and e.g. doing an interview like this. Actually playing the piano is something that mostly happens from time to time when I walk past it, or some days that I have scheduled for piano recording.

What is most challenging about what you do and what is most rewarding?

I think it is challenging to prioritize my working hours, to do what is most important at the same time as doing things that I want to do. The most rewarding is to be able the work with something that I really love, to be able to put time in make beautiful music. 

What are your goals/dreams for the future?

I hope to work more with other musicians, making collaborations and so on. I also hope I will get to work with moving pictures, making music to film or games.

What else would you like people to know about your job/career?

I would like them to know that I have a lot to thank from the people around me that support and believe in me. That is a true blessing.

We thank you for your time!

Listen to “Anin” on Spotify:


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