CD certain to gain acclaim among fans of instrumental New Age music
as well meditation / ambient / soundtrack albums is the 2014 Real
Music CD release of Flow by the Danish artist known as Haiku.
Essentially the creation of Danish electronic music synthesist Henrik
Hytteballe, Flow is a masterpiece of transcendental synthesized
sounds. Although Henrik has a background in both ambient instrumental
and pop music, on Flow the sound is focused on sublime electronics
and is more in the spirit of acclaimed Real Music artists such as
Gandalf and Bernward Koch, but with a Danish twist. Although Haiku's
Flow album was released in Denmark in 2009, its emergence
as a Real Music worldwide release is a most welcome development for
fans of ambient electronic instrumental music. With several releases
in the Haiku catalog, Henriks specialty is in composing music
for soundtracks and music for meditation and yoga, and theres
a definite sense of relaxing timelessness on the Flow CD. Henrik
is also promising Haiku's much anticipated follow up to Flow,
set for release in 2015. One of the most calming and reflective sonic
experiences you could have, Haikus Flow is 21st century
mood music at its finest. www.RealMusic.com
mwe3.com presents an interview
of THE HAIKU PROJECT
Can you tell us where youre from originally and where you live
now and what you like best about it?
Henrik Hytteballe: I am Danish, living in Copenhagen, the capital
of Denmark. I was born in the countryside, but have lived most of
my life in cities, which gives me the possibility to find people to
work with and I enjoy the cultural life a big city offers.
mwe3: How long have you been playing music and when did you
start the band Haiku? Is it The Haiku Project?
Henrik Hytteballe: I began playing piano as a kid. In the school
orchestra I played trombone and when I moved to a big city to study,
I started playing piano with my first band. During the 1980s
I played with four bands, toured a lot and made albums and composed
music for theater. In 1987 I started a duo with guitar player Sokomo,
called Haiku, and we played live on the radio and gave small intimate
concerts with our ambient, instrumental music.
I moved to Copenhagen and was involved in other projects for a long
time. In 2004 I started Haiku, releasing the first album Haiku in
2006. Sokomo joined me for the second album Mondo, writing
the lyrics and performing vocals as he also did on the recent Vagabond,
which was released in March this year.
The Flow album is entirely my own creation. I wanted to create
an ambient album perfect for yoga and meditation and as it is pure
instrumental, I could do it all by myself. So yes, The Haiku Project
is I being solo.
Haiku records both instrumental / ambient New Age and electro pop
vocal music. How do you balance all the variety of music that you
write and record and then determine what kind of album to make?
Henrik Hytteballe: As human beings we have complex and varied
feelings and reactions to what life gives us. Every album I make has
a different concept from the other, which defines the atmosphere and
style of the music. I have in mind what kind of album, I want to make,
and keep my compositions apart. Right now, I am composing for a follow-up
to Flow and an electronic album with a German singer from Berlin.
The two albums are like night and day, but I like being able to switch
mwe3: What instruments do you play on the Haiku Flow album
and how many instruments do you play?
Henrik Hytteballe: Flow is played on piano and keyboard,
this is what I play. In my next life I want to be a guitar player
(lol) but in this life I only play keyboard. I am educated a piano
player from DARK, the alternative Rhythmic Conservatory in Copenhagen
and love the sound of a piano. Playing the synthesizer is a complete
different thing. I am painting with my instrument, giving the music
colors, I make sounds that squeak, rattle, complain, long and love.
Combining the 2 instruments is the Haiku Project.
Would you describe the Flow album as being New Age, ambient
or healing music (or all three) and what is your opinion on musical
therapy? It seems to be a worldwide phenomenon still.
Henrik Hytteballe: Flow is all three, I guess. New Age
has a tendency to emphasize beauty and pleasure, where I think my
album Flow contains aspects of lifes darker side, too.
Theres loss, despair and longing in my tracks. By communicating
these various feelings, I think Flow becomes healing. It is
not by neglecting our feelings, that we improve our lives, but by
facing life and dealing with it. I felt that during the making of
Flow, I was kind of healing myself.
I believe that music therapy is very effective. I had a severe traffic
accident 13 years ago. For almost one year I was absent and could
do almost nothing. I was in a bad state both physically and mentally.
All my cognitive functions had to be rehabilitated as well as my physique.
I think that music helped my brain in building new connections and
helped me retain my ability to coordinate and create visual images
in my brain, a skill that had been completely gone for more than four
I have experienced myself what music can do.
I have a younger brother, who is autistic and almost every night before
he goes to sleep, he listens to Flow. This is something he
has chosen himself, but being as sensitive as he is, I take this as
a huge compliment.
mwe3: What artists do you follow or listen to from both the
pop world and the instrumental electronic / New Age worlds of music
and who were some of your favorite artists over the years?
Henrik Hytteballe: I think it was Pink Floyd who started my
interest in making music. They, among others, taught me that music
is much more than an ordinary pop song.
Brian Eno, who actually invented ambient music, is a pioneer I still
follow. I also appreciate his works as a producer for various rock
bands. My absolute favorite piano player is the Norwegian jazz pianist
Tord Gustavsen. He has the most delicate touch of all, and I love
the Nordic melancholy in his tunes.
the new artists, I find James Blake very interesting. Both his voice
and his musical arrangements are excellent.
Of modern classical composers, I like very much Arvo Pärt.
I have always been very fond of French music. Both classical music
like Debussy, Satie, and Fauré but also French pop music. In
France they put chords together different from their Anglo-Saxon colleagues.
I like when you cannot always foresee what the next step will be.
I like being surprised in music and finding the small gifts that this
can give you.
mwe3: I was watching the video you have for the latest Haiku
pop song, Tingle Tangle Town which was quite well done.
Can you tell us about the making of that video and how the song contrasts
with your life in Copenhagen? Is Copenhagen Tingle Tangle Town?
Tell us about the musical life in Copenhagen in the year 2014. Its
such a beautiful city.
Hytteballe: On behalf of Copenhagen, thanks for the compliment!
Yes I agree it is a beautiful city. Tingle Tangle Town
is not a greeting as such. It describes the hectic pulse people feel
urged to follow when living in a big city. Since my accident I must
look after myself and cannot take part in the rush, but still I can
enjoy the variety of life in Copenhagen.
mwe3: Tell us about how you began working with Real Music and
about the upcoming instrumental release by Haiku you have planned
as a follow up to the Flow CD. Is it also planned for Real
Music and what other plans do you have as far as writing new music,
recording and performing in 2014 and beyond?
Henrik Hytteballe: Flow has done well in Denmark and
is by some considered the best music for meditation. I thought people
in other countries should have the chance to listen to it and contacted
three labels in the US. The one I was hoping for, Real Music proposed
a release on their label. And I must say that I am happy about this
cooperation. The new cover they have made illustrates the music exactly
and theyve hit it with the beautiful video for Eternity.
So I am so pleased by their professionalism.
the last year I have been composing for a follow-up to Flow
to be released on Real Music, and hope to finish it in 2015. As I
mentioned I am working on a project of electronic pop songs with a
German singer Barbara, and Sokomo and I will meet later to discuss
possible future work.
In combination with the next instrumental album, I am planning to
do some solo live performances next year.
Thank you very much, Robert, for taking time to listen to my music
and for this interview. It is a pleasure being treated with such respect
and interest. All the best to you.
Thanks to Henrik Hytteballe @ Haiku
Music and Real