Emil Svane Breum is a big quiet man. If you saw him at a distance you could easily mistake him for a lost lumberjack, or an extra from Game Of Thrones in civilian clothing. His gentle nature and thoughtful but focused manner could catch you off guard though.
Listening to his debut album under his solo alias The Swan And The Lake, a humorous pun on his last name (Svane meaning Swan in Danish), one finds this gentle side of him makes more sense. The lush, ambient leaning compositions on his album “Moments” released last year on Music For Dreams nods towards new age territory as well as the chill out scene and has found a natural place among the balearic mindset of many DJs.
To pinpoint Emils own musical aspirations proves much harder though, as he cultivates his music seemingly carefree and uncompromising, and yet easily ties together various musical scenes with his masterful chord progressions.
MFD: How would you describe your musical background, and what influenced and led you to the project we know as The Swan And The Lake?
ESB: I started playing classical piano when I was 6 years old. Since then I’ve learned other instruments like guitar and percussion. 10 years ago I started to produce music in my home studio. I use mostly acoustic piano sounds and guitar, etc., and blends it with synths and percussion. When I was younger I played Latin and salsa music, as keyboard player in various bands. I have worked in many genres, but my heart will always be in ambient and chill-out music.
MFD: What is your relation to the musical terms ‘balearic’ and ‘ambient’ and how do you see yourself fit into those contexts as an artist?
ESB: Balearic is new to me, and yet not.. The last few years I played a few jobs as live keyboardist for some DJ’s around Denmark in the summer (Jean Von Baden, Mads “Mashti” Nordheim and Karsten Loud). They introduced me to Balearic style.
Ambient has a great importance in my life. I’ve used it in my daily life, to chill down and meditate, so it is a great pleasure to do something like that music now, and to give other people a relaxing and enjoyable experience when they listen to my music.
Playing live at KAJ – Din Ven i Solen (Copenhagen)
MFD: Next year will see the release of a new album titled “Clouds” – can you tell us a little about these recordings?
ESB: My new recordings are a little different. I have found new inspiration in traditional classical music and old film music.. I use violins and string sections and there is a little darker atmosphere in some of the tracks ..
This time I am very inspired by artists like Jon Hopkins, Murcof and Tycho, mixed up with the traditional classical music ..
I will describe the new tracks as more melancholy and deep .. Combined with the beautiful ambient sound from my older tracks ..
I also have musical guests on the new tracks .. A new guitarist and a female singer / speaker.
Find out more about the album Moments here, and listen to a minimix of it here:
Words and interview by Simon Eliasson for Music For Dreams.