It is with pride and joy that I here like to offer to you my new album called Maison Melody, an instrumental music-project performed on piano and strings and indie-released on a non-profit basis.
For centuries now a music-composer prefers to work in solitude on his creations and often the only 'companion' in this process is the direct environment, his/her house. The composer develops a special relationship with the house through his creations and this way finds his desire for quietude, the peace of mind so essential to the mental work of composition. Historically music-composers always have distanced themselves from busy communal places in order to be able to better hear their own inner voice that can lead to a more thorough artistic self-expression. In this hyper-focus mode the relationship of yourself with your direct environment, your house, becomes your partner in crime. This way you create at home by travelling in your own mind and tapping in to your own imagination without external distractions.
And this is exactly how I, about a year ago, composed my most personal and introspective melodies so far in the confinements of my own house and therefore this album project is called Maison Melody.
After finishing composing and arranging in my own house, later in 2019 I re-recorded the piano and string-quartet outside of the house with some other musicians next to myself such as Marcel Worms, Dimitri Leivici and the West Side Trio in a professional studio and the album got mixed by Francesco Donadello who has previously worked a.o. with Hildur Guonadottir, Johann Johannson & Einaudi. Mastering took place in Berlin early 2020. It contains 10 compositions and they are lyrical and meditative piano - miniatures characterised by impressionist elegance with simple and direct melody with me trying to compose calm and soothing music for people who have an unspoken voice deep inside of them.
Stephen Emmer - May 2020
The Wilroy remix EP came about after Emmer was listening in to Mary Anne Hobbs radio show on 6 music, she played an abstract soul track by a talented Canadian born artist called Wilroy. The experimental music made such a wonderful and everlasting impression on Stephen, that he decided to reach out and ask Wilroy if he would be interested in re-working six tracks from his Home Ground album.
“The incredible remix has offered a radical change harmonically. I believe Wilroy is the best remixer of today!” (Stephen Emmer)
Wilroy was recently selected by Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood Music talent discovery initiative Future Bubblers, his track 4F3D63 Hex is featured on the latest compilation. Talking to Clash Magazine he said “Prince was a huge inspiration to the track and I incorporated many elements that are considered hallmarks of his mid-80s output”. Wilroy’s music has also been played on BBC Radio 6, 1Xtra, Worldwide FM & Bandcamp Weekly.
Stephen Emmer’s latest musical offering Home Ground combines the eloquence of spiritual, orchestral soul music with socially conscious lyrics. It addresses contemporary concerns within the timeless musical excellence of classic soul combined with the sonic impact of the 21st century. The Home Ground songs are vocally performed by a careful selection of musical icons from the last 5 decades.
Featured artists include Chaka Khan, Patti Austin, Leon Ware, Mary Griffin, Frank McComb, Kendra Foster, Dwight Trible, Andy Bey and last but certainly not least Ursula Rucker.
The main lyrical thrust of Home Ground is the world that is in constant conflict or war, whether over land, religion or race; this is about poor against rich, justice against injustice, and the myriad other ongoing conflicts that beset our world.
For Home Ground Stephen received both the Golden Global Music Award 2017 as well as the Humanitarian Award 2018. Home Ground was nominated in the category Best Album at the 16th annual Independent Music Awards. At the IMA event held at the Lincoln Centre in New York City, Stephen Emmer’s ‘Soil’ featuring Ursula Rucker won both the voxpop and professionally judged award in the category Best Spoken Word Song!
Once upon a time, there existed a breed of singers who didn’t need AutoTune: they could bend, shape and twist their voices any way they wanted to. Dutch Composer Stephen Emmer, a passionate aficionado of this great genre has brought together a collective of supreme voices, creating an album of days gone by Bond-esque proportions.
International Blue pays tribute to the lost art and elegance of pop-crooning, and thus to the people who Stephen considers the style's main architects, Scott Walker and David Bowie. Stephen has again had the pleasure and honor of working with Tony Visconti, David Bowie’s long time collaborator, who produced the album at Abbey Road Studios (London) and Avator Studios (NYC).
Featuring artists include Midge Ure (Ultravox), Neil Crossley (Furlined), Liam McKahey (Cousteau) and Glenn Gregory (Heaven 17), who was recently invited by both Tony Visconti and David Bowie to vocally perform the ‘The Man Who Sold The World’ live tour in the UK. The mighty Glenn Gregory plays a key roll in the IB project, since he collaborated on 4 out of 10 album songs.
Recitement is an exciting mix of music and spoken word.
The combination of pop music and spoken word is a phenomenon in the music history. Recitement contains 17 different compositions in 7 different languages and styles, arranged and composed by composer, arranger and musician Stephen Emmer. Recitement can be characterized as both retro avant garde and accessible.
On Recitement everything comes together: past and present, death and life, writers and singers, poems and music. Is it Spoken Word Pop? Is it a contemporary audiobook? Or is it music album? Recitement is all of the preceding.
The album is mixed and mastered in NYC by Tony Visconti and features several musical performers such as Blonde Redhead singer Kazu Makino, jazzmusician Benjamin Herman, legendary pianist Mike Garson (Bowie, Smashing Pumpkins), classical singer Maja Roodveldt, old school rapper Shyrock, Joost Kroon of New Cool Collective and popduo Bauer.
Vocal performers are Lou Reed, Allen Ginsberg, Sylvia Kristel (Emanuelle), Kurt Schwitters, Jorge Luis Borges, Carlos Drummond de Andrade, Michael Lonsdale, Sacha de Boer, Ken Nordine and Richard Burton.
Literary sourcetexts are from Charles Baudelaire, Yoko Ono, Samuel Beckett, Alessandro Baricco, Christopher Fry, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Paul Theroux, Victoria Ocampo, Remco Campert, Hugo Claus and Thomas Hardy.
The idea behind the mini album was to create a soundtrack for an imaginary film, featuring Dirk Bogarde. The late Billy Mackenzie (The Associates) appears on ‘Wish on’, where the legendary Michael Dempsey (The Cure) and Martha Ladly (Martha and The Muffins) also appear.
"If it was a film.... the opening would be in the mountains, the credits rolling over firm trees as pretty piano melodies float by. 'Wish on' is an altogether darker affair with rasping, hunted cello laid under discordant chords whilst Billy thunders away like an outtake from 'Sulk'. Conversation with him seems futile so we hide behind a tree until he vanishes in a burst of falsetto. But there is light amongst the trees in the shape of ‘Eleven And Then Left', following the pretty melody to the edge of the forest, where we discover a lonely, abandoned Martha singing her heart out. And there the film gets cut…"
Vogue Estate, as originally released on Idiot Records back in 1982, recently got re-mastered by Stephen Emmer at Zownd Studios (Leiden), resulting in a fresh and now sounding timeless masterpiece of new wave.
It features mostly instrumental music that made use of the latest electronic instruments of it’s time such as the synth-clavier, emulator, mirage, TR 808 and Linn Drum next to acoustical instruments such as the cello and the grand piano.
Two tracks are with vocals from the late Billy McKenzie and Martha Ladly, and the album was co-produced by Flood (Nick Cave, Depeche Mode, U2, Smashing Pumpkins, a.o.) and Michael Dempsey (The Cure) in the legendary Trident Studios in London.