Nordischer Klang / Nordic Sound

Greifswald is a small city in the north of Germany, directly at the coast of the Baltic Sea and near the boarder of Poland. It has only 56,000 inhabitants, but on May the biggest festival for Northern European culture outside of Scandinavia takes place there. This festival is called Nordischer Klang (Eng. Nordic Sound) and I want to write a little bit about it below.
Since 1991 the festival takes place annually during a week in May. Especially in the evenings there are interesting concerts, but during the daytime you can join stage crafts, exhibitions, readings, movies and lectures too. The program is always very mixed, so everybody can find some interesting activities. Even the kids can participate special events.
Most important is the artistic quality of different acts, therefore every year there are a lot of different artists from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, but also from other countries from north and east Europe, traveling to Greifswald.
Thanks to the variety of events, the festival has already hosted different highlights.
Last year there was the ‘Weird Girl Project’, an experiment from Kitty Von-Sometime, who lives in Iceland. The project contains different music videos and series of photos, in which you can see groups of 12 women in very flashy costumes.
The ambition of these shoots is to strengthen the women’s self-confidence by demonstrating against the stereotype of ideal of the beauty among women. The models aren’t perfectly thin, but normal women.
Of course there have been musical highlights too. The trombonist Nils Landgren from Sweden performed together with the ARD big band with a diversified jazz program. The concert was very successful, so he will be a part of the program this year again.
The music program is always variegated and offers different concerts from pop to rock and jazz. However there are also performances, which break ranks completely. People who are searching for new experiences should join the concert ‘Iceland’s powerful voices’, where you can hear pop in contrast to seto.
Of course there are events with more mass appeal as well. The acts are full of capability and it isn’t surprising, that some artists are very popular and internationally known now. For example Apocalyptica were part of the festivals some years ago and now they can fill up big concert halls.
Nevertheless performances at Nordic Sound are often debuts in Germany, even if the artists are still better known in their home countries. As a result of that it is a good chance to meet former stars at the beginning of their career.
But why can such a festival take place in a small German town?
Greifswald enjoys a special closeness to the Nordic countries, which support the festival each year. This is based on the faculty of Nordic languages, one of the biggest outside of Scandinavia. In Germany, Greifswald is one of the very few cities where you can study Finnish Philology and Scandinavian Philology, so the exchange with Nordic universities is very brisk.
Of course there will be a lot of interesting performances this year too. The main theme is music that invites you to dream.
Maybe Suvi Teräsniska Band or Lisa Nybrott Quartet could guide you into a world full of joy at pop night.
Or do you prefer vocal improvisation from IKI, an international group of young vocalists?
Are you interested in more information now?
You can find the whole program at the website www.nordischerklang.de
Or you can visit the Facebook page www.facebook.com/nokl.hgw

Festival's poster

Festival’s poster

German answer for Rock – an interview with Florian Grey.

FLORIAN GREY – is an acoustic project by musician Florian Grey from Germany. Florians virtuosic voice that reaches over 3.5 octaves is brought out in a perfect way by Steffen on guitar, Dave on bass and Felix on Cajon. The result is a great combination of rock music and soft sounds. Sometimes powerful and impulsive – sometimes soulful and quiet. Florian Grey started singing in his early childhood. At the age of 16 he formed his first band. The successful singer, songwriter and music producer Frank Bülow from Darmstadt was Florian’s music mentor. He was Florian’s vocal trainer for 2 years. In 2002 he completed his vocal studies. Even after the vocal training he continued taking singing lessons to form and improve his voice. He worked as studio /background singer for several well known German artist. In 2006 he co-founded the rock band Eves End. 2008, the band released their first EP “Dead End Hope”. The debut album “Frozen Heart Philosophy” was published in 2010. Florian was decisively involved in songwriting and composition. The band achieved considerable success in Germany. They played gigs / tours in Germany and Finland, and had the honor of supporting well known bands / artists like Doro Pesch, Lacrimas Profundere, Matthau Mikojan, The Jade, Saltatio Mortis etc. In 2011 Florian made the decision to leave the band. He then worked on different projects, e.g. with the band Royal Decadence, as a studio singer and guest vocalist with various bands. In 2013 he now is back on stage as solo artist.

(C) Music Lights Berlin

(C) Music Lights Berlin

First of all, we want to know how would you describe your style of music?

I would say it’s self-therapy mixed with stories that happens in life wrapped in melancholic poetic words.

You´ve been playing in different bands before you started your solo career. For example you had a band called “Eves end”. What was the reason for your decision to play solo now? And do you prefer playing with a band or alone?

I think you have to try different things with different people on your way to find your own style. When you ever find it cause music is so different nowadays. Sometimes you make compromises in a band that you wouldn´t do for yourself just to keep the wheel turning. But its dangerous cause you lose yourself more and more in these compromises. It rocks the most being in a band, but when you´re on your own you can lead the direction. When you find musicians who believes in your visions like you do or combine the visions of all members thats the best thing about it, but very rare nowadays. Everybody is different and, not in general but in my case, it’s the best way to express myself at the moment.

We heard that you are working on a new album now, is this true? What can we expect?

It’s too early to talk serious but there will be music.

What are your influences? How do you get inspired?

Over all its life, love and loss, it can be a verse or a few words. I write them down and keep everything in my little book, make a note in my mobile or it flows and I just finish a whole skeleton to be ready to work on. One of the biggest influences are definitely movie scores, I mean the instrumentals, sometimes of movies I´ve never seen. They create a whole world of emotions and feelings while listening. I adore the Music from Thomas Newman for example or Alexandre Desplat and Tuomas Holopainen from Nightwish to name a few.

Which one is your favorite own song so far, and what is the story behind of it? Please tell some words about it.

Hm that’s really hard to say, I don´t know. I wrote something last year I’m very excited to release somehow cause it took so much from me to write it down. I hope I can realize it

What make you decide to make music and what job would you like to do, if you were not a musician?

Good question cause most of the musicians work in dayjobs nowadays. I’m blessed to have one of the coolest jobs besides the music, working as a soundman and booker. Means I’m working with a lot of bands and that’s what I would do even when I wasn´t a musician by myself. Its quite inspiring as well and it keeps you grounded from the beginning, where I’m at the moment.

What are your plans for the future? Is there a special goal?

Have to rule the world XD…No no, the only goal I have is to make music. I think I’m on a good way now, ’cause after my last band I lost myself. The people I’m now working with believed more in what I do than I did, they believe in my ideas and I trust in their knowledge and experience. And I’m so thankful for this. Lets see.

What was the weirdest or funniest job you ever had?

As a printer in a print company… weird and very very stressy to take 500 printed wedding invitations in 2hours… and the payment was horrible, as so was the owner but I needed the money.

Could you describe one day in studio, recording stuff?

Nothing really thrilling, when you´re in the studio you try to have the best result and work on things that could be different or better. Studios are always very expensive so you have to be prepared and carefully arranged when you enter it. You can do much on one day if everybody are in a good mood and the atmosphere is well.

Do you prefer to play in front of a big or a small venue, and why?

I prefer playing in small venues, it’s more raw and familiar. You can see the peoples reactions and emotions in their eyes and faces and that’s important for me. To see how they interpret the song you sing for them. On the other side when I would get an offer for a festival I have to say it’s fun and you can present your stuff to a bigger audience and maybe get some more people to like what you do.

What’s the biggest challenge for you at the moment?

Hm, there are some challenges I work on but the most important one is at this time to realize some plans in music cause 2014 is not far.

What would you do if you would be invisible for a day?

I would steal the hand-painted picture of Bela Lugosi in that bar in my hometown and hang it above my bed… Nothing spectacular, some people would say going to the ladies restroom and listen what they talk or watch them do whatever but I think its boring that’s the reason they are there, that we don`t hear what they say.

What is the question you can answer every time, even when you are roused in the middle of the night?

First: are you listening? Yes! I just let my eyes rest a bit *SNORRR* Second: Adam is He-man XD

What was your worst chat-up line?

Ha, I’m very bad at this. When I’m really interested in a girl I don´t need a bad chat-up line. I blame myself just with easy lines. I start to lose my grammar and the result is I’m the nervousness in person… I’m not really into starting a flirt ’cause I don´t think you find your special one in a bar or a club. If you are searching for a short adventure maybe yes, but I’m not interested in it. Sorry, can´t give you one right now.

Florian Grey’s tour dates:
GREY TEARS – XMAS ACOUSTIC TOUR 2013
04.12.13 | Hamburg | Grüner Jäger
05.12.13 | tba
06.12.13 | Bochum | Kult
07.12.13 | Berlin | Galiläakirche
12.12.13 | Göttingen | Exil
13.12.13 | Darmstadt | An Sibin
14.12.13 | Stuttgart | Four42
15.12.13 | Leipzig | 4Rooms

https://www.facebook.com/GREY.F