Mainly known for his chill out project "Tigerforest", Gunnar Spardel is an award winning electronic and neo-classical composer. Originally from Hamburg, Germany, but now based in New England, USA, Spardel is a creator of dreamy, minimalist soundscapes.
Introduced to Jazz and Classical Music by his parents at an early age, followed by his own discovery of electronic music as a teenager, Spardel developed a keen sense for music's ability to open the mind and eyes to the world as well as providing a channel for his own emotions.
As a composer Spardel is able to tap into these resources of knowledge and experience while retaining a strong personal vision and aesthetic. From the changing rhythms and chord progressions of modern Jazz melding of classical music and free jazz, to the otherworldly electronic sounds of the Berlin school, he is able to weave a variety of influences through his compositions while continually engaging the listener to be part of his musical universe.
Spardel's most recognized works are the escapist and uplifting sounds of his "Tigerforest" project, for which he won the 2016 Schallwelle Award for Best New Artist (Schallwelle are the German electronic music awards). More recently, however, he has begun to move towards something more explicitly personal and intimate. Stepping somewhat away from synthesized sounds while combining modern composition elements with a melancholic, intricate chamber orchestra and ambient soundscapes, Gunnar Spardel's Simplicity in a Complex World, is his first release under his own name.
Inspired by modern day minimalism and baroque like orchestrations, Simplicity in a Complex World is a meditation on the complexities of the modern way of life. It is, for Spardel, both a reflection and recreation of the inner space we must all find for ourselves in a world that is constantly shifting beneath our feet. Triggered by artists who go against the grain and find new ways to express themselves through sound, the compositions are both Spardel's internal mirror and means of communication.
From the countless teenage hours spent listening to jazz and classical music in his bedroom, or wondering around the harbor of his hometown with electronic music taped from the radio coming through his Walkman, music has become the playground for Spardel's emotions. It is the perfect company and the perfect soundtrack.
Simplicity in a Complex World is the first release by neo-classical and electronic composer Gunnar Spardel. Mainly known for his chill out project Tigerforest, for which he won the 2016 Schallwelle Award for Best New Artist (Schallwelle are the German awards for electronic music), Simplicity in a Complex World represents a conscious break from traditional expectations.
Recorded at Spardel's home studio in New England, with finishing touches applied by Birgir Jón "Biggi" Birgissonat Sigur Ros' Sundlaugin studio in Iceland, the music for Simplicity in a Complex World took four years to compete. Combining prepared pianos, synthesizers and a very small chamber orchestra, Spardel - abetted by the talents of Anat Nevo & Justin Lepard (Cellos), Maria Grigoryeva (Violin), Matt Giella (Trumpet) and Obadias Guerra (Harp) - has created an effortless amalgam of neo-classical, ambient and electronic music.
Unlike the subtle escapism of much of Spardel's work, Simplicity in a Complex World draws its breath from the contemporary human way of life. Musically it is inspired by modern day minimalism and combines the more classical, composition elements of baroque music with the free flowing ideas of contemporary music. Thematically, Spardel investigates the space we must all find for ourselves in a constantly evolving world. Faced with times that confound our expectations on an almost daily basis, Spardel offers a rich inner world where the perpetual balancing of the simple and the complex construct a refuge from our ever-changing reality.
The track "Watching Stars Collide", the first completed for the album, sets both these paths together towards their mutual destination. Representing the first time Spardel has used the piano as the base for one of his compositions, he uses the instrument to investigate the isolation and loneliness of modern life while providing a Utopian counterpart to this sinister and unkind reality.
Simplicity in a Complex World also represents a willingness by Spardel to write from a far more intimate and personal space. "A Walk Among the Jack Pines" is a case in point, taking its inspiration both from a medical condition that almost resulted in the composer losing an eye, as well as the natural beauty of Nova Scotia in which he concluded and celebrated his recovery.
Throughout Simplicity in a Complex World Spardel realizes his stated goal of expressing beauty in simplicity. Modern compositional elements, a melancholic, intricate chamber orchestra and ambient soundscapes are the vehicles by which he explores areas outside of the musical laws and restrictions under which he has previously operated. Using no beats, and stepping away somewhat from synthesized sounds, the outcome is pure emotion.