Scandinavian country of Norway is renowned for their gifted musicians
and you can add the name Tron Syversen to the list. On his
2015 CD, entitled Piano Meditations, Tron
has recorded an exquisite instrumental album of music for relaxation,
meditation and well being. The CD runs 63 minutes with four tracks,
including two expansive tracks running 20 minutes each. Throughout
Piano Meditations, Trons piano work is very stately and
hes joined by the atmospheric, wordless vocals of singer Helene
Edler Lorentzen, the vocalist hes recorded with since 2009.
As far as sonic signposts go, Trons music is kind of reminiscent
of fellow Scandinavian New Age / jazz musicians such as Stefan Nilsson
and Bjorn J:son Lindh, and like those legends, theres plenty
of of original ideas in play in Tron's original music as well. Several
other artists join the festivities, adding in a range of strings and
horns. The Piano Meditations CD is tastefully packaged and
is filled with a lot of information regarding the creation of this
album. From his liner notes for the CD, Tron explains, With
the music we have released, our greatest hope is that we can create
peace in both the bodies and minds of the listeners. We know that
a lot of people need help to release stress, so this music is especially
intended for that. With Piano Meditations, Norwegian
keyboardist / composer Tron Syversen breathes new life into the
artistic, piano-based New Age instrumental music genre. www.TronMusic.com
mwe3.com presents an
Where are you from and where do you live now and what do you like
best about it?
Tron: I am from Norway. I have lived
all my life right outside Oslo. I consider Norway a good country to
live in even though I would like to go to warmer places quite often.
The nature is nice, especially close to the sea and in western and
mwe3: Your most recent album, Piano Meditations is receiving
some favorable press here in the US. Is this the first album youve
actively sought to promote here in the US and how are you approaching
the global market for your music? Seems like weve all had to
reinvent the music business over the past ten years, especially in
the US where music sold these days is mainly internet based.
Tron: This is the 4th album I have released
to radio stations and reviewers. I have a distribution network for
my 11 CDs throughout the world minus South America, Australia and
some parts of Europe. In the USA, New Leaf and Allegro distribute
the music. As for most artists, physical sales are decreasing. But
we sell a lot to therapists, spas, yoga people, hospitals, waiting
rooms and so on. Many of these still use CDs. I also sell through
Amazon, iTunes, my own web sites (tronmusic.com)
and other download sites all over the world.
How would you compare it to your other CDs? Its interesting
to note that Piano Meditations is a double CD set and one CD
features various edits for radio airplay, as the tracks are very long.
Tron: The double CD set is especially
made for promotion so we can send the same package to reviewers and
radio-stations. The radio programs also can choose whether to play
the long tracks or shorter versions. The normal commercial CDs just
have the long tracks.
Most of my CDs have long tracks made especially for therapy, yoga,
meditation, visualization, sleep relief and many more situations.
There is a lot of stress in the world, so to help people reduce their
stress levels, they need more time than standard CD tracks of 4 minutes
mwe3: Tell us about your singers Helene and Siri. Do they mainly
sing in wordless vocals to compliment your keyboard-based melodies?
How long have you been working with both singers and who else do you
work with on your albums, such as co-producers, engineers, mastering
engineers and artwork collaborators?
I have always thought that a wordless female voice has a lot of healing
energy in it and will fit perfectly with my music. The first song
I tried to use wordless vocals on was The Beginning which
also was the start of the collaboration with my first singer, Elin
Løkken. She was my singer and also co-producer and mixed seven
albums together with me. She has a low alto voice. She worked full-time,
but after four years she quit and found another job.
I was then looking for another singer or singers and I wanted to find
I found Siri singing in a band with two other singers
and horns. I called her and she has worked with me on several tracks.
She just stepped into the vocal booth and sang along with anything
I had recorded without listening to it first. I also tried 2 more
singers when I was working with the Piano Poems album until
I found my new singer Helene Edler Lorentzen in a most strange way
A friend of hers came into my studio to edit music for a dance act
for her daughter. Suddenly she said, My friend should have been
here, she is such a marvelous singer. I gave her some of my
albums and my mobile number. A week later Helene called me and we
worked on a studio session. I just sent her into the vocal booth and
she started to sing, also without having heard anything of the material
earlier. After that she has been my main female singer with both alto
and soprano range all in one!
Regarding producing, since 2009 I have done it all myself with help
from the singer on vocal parts. When I need other instruments, I write
the parts and hire the musicians, record them and mix. I have an engineer
who used to work here to help me with some settings on the mixes and
another to master the CDs I make. I also have some designers who do
the artwork for me.
Tell us about Norway. Its a very beautiful, unspoiled country.
And what about your recording overlooking the Oslo Fjord? Sounds amazing!
What is a fjord, whats the best way to describe it? I remember
landing in Oslo airport in 1981 and it was spring in New York but
in Oslo it was freezing and snow everywhere! I miss the snow here
in South Florida.
have a cabin close to the Oslo-fjord where I also have a studio. From
my piano I just look right down to the fjord. All ships going to Oslo
have to pass it. I love being out in my boat and also coming to my
cabin and just look out on the fjord. Well I guess the best way to
describe a fjord is that the ocean goes a long way into the country.
The western part of Norway is spectacular with these high mountains
and many long fjords in between.
There are large parts of Norway that still are unspoiled. And yes,
it is often cold. Some summers are not really hot, but the last years
that part of Norway I live in has not had that much snow as it used
to have. But farther north there are really cold winters. Also with
spectacular northern lights!
mwe3: You were recently in New Orleans for the 2015 ZMR awards.
What was the awards show like and tell us some of your experiences
at the awards and overall your impressions visiting the US.
I met a lot of nice people at the ZMR Awards show, many of which I
had never seen live - just on charts and Facebook, web sites and mails.
Many wonderful musicians and radio hosts
My Facebook friends
list has expanded a lot since the awards! I also was invited to a
radio station for a early Sunday morning program, and I saw a lot
of New Orleans, I had never been there before. Nice and warm place
with a lot of music!
We, my singer and I, have been to the USA several times over the last
years, both for trade shows and to do concerts. We are planning a
tour in early October and Runar Halonen is coming. He did the album
we were nominated for, best electronic album of 2014, together with
me. The three of us do many concerts in Norway with healing sessions
and music so we are looking for places in USA for our concerts. Anyone
with suggestions for places for concerts let me know. I love to be
in USA but after some 2-3 weeks I am longing for Norway again
I also have had some holidays in USA and my singer and I have done
some video shooting in California.
mwe3: You work in the New Age music world and specifically,
you mainly record your music to go along with healing and meditation
art forms. Where do you draw inspiration from and how do you decide
on a new direction of ideas for each album or is it an ongoing process?
I have two types of CDs. My second and third CDs were made form themes
I collected and made in the period - 2003 to 2005. These were arranged
and we brought in musicians to do the parts I had improvised while
making the arrangements. I hear the different parts and play them
on the piano triggering the sound I arrange for flute, cello, violin,
English horn etc... The other CDs are made in the now
while listening to a meditations being read, some made live together
with the person making the meditation, some prerecorded.
When we decided to make a spa album, such as Gentle
Moments, I made 2-3 hours of improvisations and my singer picked
the best themes and we put together the arrangements from themes.
The rest of the albums are improvised.
I have also made music to pictures, sometimes in the same room as
the artist painting the picture, and to prerecorded poems. To this
date, I have never done anything twice, all in a first attempt, also
the arrangements. On the album Your Healing Hour, I improvised
for one hour non-stop, on the first attempt
I probably have a special gift of being able to produce when I am
expected to. I am sure I get a lot of help from some source out there.
I could not have made the tracks I have done if I should have made
up one and one theme and put together the music on music sheets. It
would have been impossible. I do it the other way around. I play the
music on piano and make sheet music afterwards to be able to play
it at concerts.
also happens in concert. Much of the stuff we do for meditations and
with voice healing is not planned, it just happens in the moment and
I never remember what I played if I do not record it. We have done
some stunning improvisations with keyboards and two singers at the
same time. I seem to know where the singer will go next, or sometimes
they follow me.
One album was improvised in a monastery in Italy close to Assisi,
Whispers of Assisi. I was there for a week and recorded hours
of meditations on my computer. Some live with a meditative painter
reading meditations at the same time, some to prerecorded meditations
made in my studio before we left. I have a lot of stuff I recorded
there that I have not listened to yet, so maybe there will be a volume
2 some time? It was amazingly inspiring to be in that old monastery
where there is a lot of history back to St. Frances of Assisi
mwe3: What pianos and keyboards do you feature on the Piano
Mediations CD? Do you play other instruments as well?
use ProTools and Mac and a lot happens inside the Mac with a huge
library of sounds. But I also use a Yamaha S90 and a Kurzweil PC3x
together with several rack units with MIDI connected instruments.
I use a Yamaha MU1000 for live piano sounds and the Kurzweil piano
to play on and for nice pads on concerts. Then I also use a Novation
Supernova and Korg Triton and TR racks and a Korg M3 when I do voice
healing concerts. I also play the trumpet in several big bands. On
the last track there are some trumpet tones played by me.
You have worked with a number of artists, painters, and poetry readers.
What is that like and who are some of your favorite painters, poets,
have only done music for paintings and poems made by people I know
who I can relate to. I have not tried to make something to anything
I read in books or that sort of thing. I dream about doing music for
films. I have actually done that once with a film about John of God
in South America, but it has not been released yet. Pictures, nature,
listening to a concert, preferably classical or melodic music, can
set me in the mood to sit down at the piano for a long time and record
what I am playing. I probably have more than 100 hours of music I
have recorded on my computer. I remember late one night returning
from a fair we had been to for the weekend. I was at home around 4
in the morning, right before the sunrise on the horizon. I sat down
at my piano looking at the sunrise and played for at least one hour,
even though I should have been dead tired.
mwe3: How important were the early progressive rock bands like
YES and specifically, Rick Wakeman on your music? Interesting that
Jon Anderson of YES has worked with both Wakeman and Vangelis. What
are some of your favorite albums in the jazz, rock and classical and
New Age genres?
I remember the first time I came to London, I might have been 16 or
17. I got out from the subway and up into the street. And there was
this record shop. The first record I found was Heaven and Hell
by Vangelis. They put it on in the headphones and I was totally blown
away. I have bought everything I have found from Vangelis and Rick
Wakeman. I guess I admire the technique of Rick, but the music of
Vangelis is, most of the time, fantastic. I have several live concerts
at my cabin of Vangelis and they are absolutely superb. One was made
outside a monastery in Asia, that is my favorite. I like his live
concerts better than some of the records but my absolute favorite
CD from Vangelis is Voices. My favorite Vangelis song is called
Prelude. I made my own version of it many years ago and
gave it as a Christmas present to a girl I liked very much. I have
listened a lot to those keyboard players. I think Vangelis has influenced
me the most and my music in reviews has even
been compared to Vangelis and Yanni.
In jazz, I tend to listen to big bands like Buddy Rich, Count Basie,
Ted Heath... to mention a few. I also admire and listen to jazz piano
players like Oscar Peterson and Gil Evans. I love classical music
and how the big composers use woodwinds, brass and strings to form
their compositions. I dont know if I have favorites, Beethoven
and Haydn maybe, but also more modern composers who use the orchestra
to create masterpieces.
I am discovering more and more New Age Music. A lot of those artists
I met in New Orleans make wonderful recordings. When I am at my cabin
and listen to live concerts I choose Sarah Brightman, Eagles, Elton
John and Vangelis first.
You also have a background in jazz piano too. Tell us about your jazz
background and how you integrate your jazz piano technique with your
approach to therapeutic New Age instrumental music.
was so fortunate to take jazz trumpet lessons many years ago and I
learned a lot from it. It's like a new world of chords and progressions
opened something in me and opened a world of possibilities. I also
use what I learned on the piano in my compositions. I have used much
of it without knowing why it worked so well
now, voila! For
those familiar with harmony, one of the things I discovered was that
the use of the lowered and raised 9th note in a dominant chord works
very well in the melody line and 2-5-1 progressions for modulations.
I have also studied the music of ABBA, Beatles and Elton John among
others to find out how they make their music so exiting and how they
use modulations and chords. I love to do the old jazz tunes often
referred to as evergreens. We do sessions like this with my singer
together with drums, bass and guitar. I have recorded the background
with bass, guitar and drums played by professional musicians in the
studio so Helene and I do sessions at elderly homes and events and
It is not probably so much technique that is in my mind, more like
chord progressions, modulations and things like that that influence
Coming from Norway, how important was Norwegian music on your music?
Classicists like Edvard Grieg, and also many of the early ECM albums
were made in Norway. Is there a Norwegian influence in your music?
have played a lot of Grieg when I took piano lessons as a child/youth,
but I do not think I have been influenced by it. It was part of my
music education and reading music. When I discovered the world of
chords and started to play to chords rather than written notes, my
musical journey took a different direction. I think it is important
for all trying to master the piano to learn chords.
mwe3: How many albums have you made so far and how do you feel
your music has evolved over the past decade? What albums of yours
are you most proud of?
have made 11 albums with music and some 20 where my music is background
to meditations by others, most of these being in Norwegian. We are
working on 3 more albums and I have recorded a lot that is not yet
I think I learn something with every album I release. It has been
a long journey trying to make a pleasant and smooth piano sound. I
have also experimented a lot with synthesizers and keyboards to shape
new backgrounds. My music reached new heights when I found my new
singer, Helene. With both high notes and low notes that she can do
and also her (and Siri) improvising to make countermelodies, it adds
a new dimension to my piano playing.
was very pleased with Piano Poems when that came out. I could
not believe I had made those improvisations and that they were so
different from track to track. Especially Stars At Night,
which describes a mother holding her child to her breast to make it
But my absolutely number one is the track Inner Journey
on Piano Meditations. I sat down and played the piano part
on a Saturday morning in December 2008. I know I got a lot of help,
I could not have made those modulations and everything that happened
during the 13 minutes it lasts by myself. This is the only improvised
piece I have made where a theme repeats several times. I never remember
the themes I improvise and have never done this in other improvisations.
Half a year after that Helene turns up and her voice is perfect for
the piece with her reaching the highest soprano parts topping the
composition so perfectly! Later, I made parts for violin, cello, English
horn, French horn, oboe, flute, strings, trumpet and trombone to make
it a symphonic work.
mwe3: What plans do you have for 2015 and 2016? What other
musical goals do you have and what kind of directions would you like
to take your music in next?
hope to be able to do more concerts in USA and Europe. I will also
work on having worldwide distribution and finish the albums already
in process. I will also try to get into the film arena and hope to
make music for more films.
specialty at the moment is therapy music and to get my music into
as many hospitals, therapy, yoga, spa places etc. as possible. Its
a goal. I will also give out a series of music for spas, yoga, mediations,
massage etc. with one hour non-stop music, both released and unreleased
music put together. This will probably be released digitally first.
As a closer, I would like to thank my parents for making it possible
for me to have a studio and make music full time. Without them this
would not have been possible. My late father listened to my music
every day, especially Peaceful Journey. Every time we had done
a fair we had to call him on the way home and tell him how many CDs
we had sold. He also had a CD copy of demos for our next release A
New Spring, and often asked if it was finished. This album will
be dedicated to him.
to Tron Syversen at www.TronMusic.com