Myles O’Mainian from California and Johan Lager from Stockholm found each other on a musical, personal and spiritual level. The result is Perspective, a beautiful pensive but also wilful album. The tracks are mainly instrumental; piano, strings, horns and wordless vocals. A trans-Atlantic interview with two promising musicians:

How did you two find each other?

MM: I found Johan’s music online and really resonated with it. I felt like he was Swedish, based on that Nordic sound I love and therefore wanted to reach out.

Hidden Land
Hidden Land

Did you have a vision, an idea or a musical dream before you made this album?

JL: Having recorded very intense during two days in Los Angeles we started to see a bigger picture with the music. We created a mutual vision of what the songs really could be. It was a process where things grew over time. MM: We created music together with no agenda. It activated our imagination to dream bigger for what was possible with our new recordings.

Why did you choose to use vocals but not many lyrics?

MM: We never really wrote any of our music before recording it. Most of the songs, as in the guitars and vocals, were recorded on the spot. The vocals were just what they were in the moment. Mostly just used as a vocal melody. JL: previous to Hidden Land I had released a couple of instrumental albums and found a specific sound that I wanted to contribute with in this new recording. Now my instrumental ideas and Myles vocal melodies could meet, with or without lyrics.

Album cover Perspectives
Album cover Perspectives

What is the meaning of the album title: Perspective?

MM: A perspective defines someone’s reality. A perspective has the power to change your day and ultimately your life. Johan and I talked so much about perspective during the recording process that we decided to name our album Perspectives.

Is this an American or a European album?

MM: This album is a Stockholm, California fusion. I definitely bring the California soul, sort of speak, into our compositions and Johan brings the Nordic soul. Johan has a relation and heart to California and I do, Scandinavia.

Johan Lager & Myles O’Mainian
Johan Lager & Myles O’Mainian

Who are your musical influences?

MM: Damien Rice is one of my top musical influences along with Sigur Ros. I’m an Irish American and my family is very proud of their Irish heritage and so am I. It’s the natural sound of who they are. Music isn’t their business. It’s a way of life. They create the sound of their life. Johan and I create the sound of our life. JL: I’d also like to add Ólafur Arnalds (Iceland) and Nils Frahm (Germany) to that list. They are both experimental artists who do beautiful instrumental piano pieces.

What is the meaning of the title ‘Trinity’?

MM: I named this song ‘Trinity’ because it’s three piano tracks playing together as one and in one accord. It was my idea to name it trinity as it’s an audible representation of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit living as one. That notion is reflected in the song ‘Kom Morgon’.

How did you end up on a Dutch record label?

JL: We have a few friends signed by this label and therefore have heard quite a bit of good news about them. What we heard we really liked. They’ve been incredible during this journey and we are very happy to be working with these wonderful artists.

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