Eyolf Dale Interview

Eyolf Dale Interview

So, I’m Eyolf, and I make music and play the piano. I live in Oslo, Norway, a town that is very special to me. It has a very vibrant vibe, and its pulsating music scene is great source of inspiration. As a teenager I started to get my first gigs, doing everything from weddings and cocktail parties to gigs with jazz- and rock bands. I really got the taste for performing, and after experiencing the joy of playing my own music to a live audience there was no turning back! Nearly twenty years and thousands of concerts later, the urge to make music and perform it’s still the same, either as a soloist or in ensembles. I´ve skipped the cocktail parties, though.

How would you normally create music and connect with your audience?

Since I started exploring notes and chords on the piano at the age of six, playing and improvising in solitude has been a home and a natural starting point for creativity. It’s demanding, yet immensely rewarding when all the pieces come together. At home, we had a small statue of Edvard Grieg standing on the piano looking at whoever tried to play the instrument. Looking back, this started shape the image of the romantic composer - that the magic comes from the mind of one person, an untouchable creative effort. Beeing a jazz musician and an improvisor, I now know that this idea is not entirely true. We’re a collaborative and perceptive species, and nothing is created in a vacuum. The people we meet, spend time with and are creative with affects us. This awareness feels crucial for artists, as we’re all a part of a society that is sharing, picking up where someone else left, and putting things together that is not supposed to fit. To me, this is art in its core.

Technology and social media allow us to reach and interact with a wide audience. How have you found the experience of working with the #YamahaLiveFromHome initiative?

I found it intriguing. Playing solo piano has for me always been about a connection to the audience, to feel the room and to create a drama on the spot in some sort of collaboration with the instrument, the room and the listeners. Surely, I missed the audience and the excitement around a concert, but it was still a nice experience.

What role does music play in your life?

To me, it’s impossible to separate life and music. Life needs music, and the music needs a lived life. At its best, improvising and playing should be like breathing – the most natural thing, and work as an extension of your body. I’m in search for what’s real, something true and honest. In general, I’m trying to find that truth in everything I do, and all my own projects is based on this. Obviously, this is a high standard, and we’re all humans, so along the way I’ve also fell in love with the process. The search. The choices and paths an improviser take to find gold, the moment where it all just feels perfect, has a high value in its own right. The note that feels odd or maybe wrong in the moment, but is just the right one a moment later!

Thanks to the internet today, we have an endless choice of videos, music and educational material. We sometimes face a so-called "paradox of choice", with difficulty focusing on and selecting what we want to play and listen to. What would you recommend to music lovers who want to improve their knowledge?

The communicative side of technology has most certainly changed how listeners perceive music, being able to interact more closely both with the content itself and sometimes the performer him- or herself. This is an exciting change, and it’s inspiring to see new artists embrace new formats. However, most artists in jazz/contemporary music still put a great deal of work into the album format. Even though most streaming services push playlisting and singles, the artists created the music in a 40-60 minute cycle. So, I would encourage all to listen to albums as a whole! There’s gold to be found. I notice that many instructional videos provide quick solutions to specific topics and challenges. Being a teacher myself, I totally see the logic and understand the mechanisms behind that. It’s a natural thing wanting to provide help and to fix things. But, art is not just about solutions and improving skills. While your craft is an essential part of playing, it’s just that - a part of it. The other half, how the player connects an inner vision and an inner voice to the instrument, is somewhat tricky to address. Search for moments where time stops and the sounds feels real!

If you have any future projects or record releases you want to share with us, please add the links below. Spotify link or other links

At the moment, I’m finalizing a new trio record with drummer Audun Kleive and bass player Per Zanussi featuring my compositions. We’re all very excited about it, and watch out for release in February 2021! In addition, my newly written Piano Concerto for piano soloist and Telemark Chamber Orchestra is premiering this fall. A highly demanding task, both in writing and performing, and I’m really looking forward to see it come to life!

Please give us your quote for #YamahaLiveFromHome

Thanks for hosting this great initiative, Yamaha, and thanks for making a solid platform for sharing music in these troubled times!