On this webpage, I’d like to share my favorite artists with you. To illustrate this, I have set up conceptual playlist on Spotify:

MUSICAL ROOTS

This playlist contains tracks that have been selected by some of my favorite artists to explain their musical roots. You can read artists' statement about their choice by clicking on TRACK NAME that is placed under their corresponding image down below on this webpage. By clicking on ARTISTS' NAME, you open their website. Playlist MUSICAL ROOTS is listed in alphabetical order, and then updated whenever any other of my favorite artists like to share her/his musical roots with us. If you like the concept, submit your MUSICAL ROOTS track to elson@speedchill.com including a short statement about your choice.

MUSICAL ROOTS - Statements & Tracks

SUNBURST

I wrote this piece about 30 years ago, and John Williams and Christopher Parkening recorded it as well. SUNBURST was originally composed for steel string guitar, but it is now mostly played on nylon string guitar, which works perfectly there too.

Listen to SUNBURST in MUSICAL ROOTS playlist.

SUMMER

It was written as a nostalgic memory of summertime in Sweden (where I grew up). Whenever I introduce this song at gigs, I tell people that "summer" in Sweden can be the most beautiful season, but it usually only lasts a short time... a bit like most good things in life.

Listen to SUMMER in MUSICAL ROOTS playlist.

QUIXOTE

The original acoustic guitar composition captures the authentic, melancholy yearning of my craft.

Listen to QUIXOTE in MUSICAL ROOTS playlist.

TOMMY'S TUNE

It is an original song inspired by guitar legend Tommy Emmanuel. I still remember the first time hearing him play. Ever since then I've consistently been inspired to create this style of music.

Listen to TOMMY'S TUNE in MUSICAL ROOTS playlist.

SAMUEL

It was all new beginnings back around 2008. At 40, after years of playing all sorts of covers, I finally came up with a few arrangements that I called my own. I took a chance and booked a little session in a local studio. This tune was the best thing I'd written, in my mind, so far. This tune is one of the ones that really started me on my journey.

Listen to SAMUEL in MUSICAL ROOTS playlist.

VESTIGES

A key track of my music, of my understanding of it: minimal rhythm and harmonic shifts in combination with a forward-driving groove.

Listen to VESTIGES in MUSICAL ROOTS playlist.

KOMOREBI

I'd just written this piece and the phrase "Komorebi" fitted it perfectly. "Komorebi", a Japanese word to describe “the scattered light that filters through when sunlight shines through trees”.

Listen to KOMOREBI in MUSICAL ROOTS playlist.

HEARTHSIDE

It is quite meaningful to me since it evokes the longing of home and friends, and a melancholic feeling you can feel in Winter.

Listen to HEARTHSIDE in MUSICAL ROOTS playlist.

SUMMER GARDEN

It is music inspired by my home city Saint Petersburg, namely the big park in the center of the city adjacent to the Neva River overlooking the Saint Peter and Paul Fortress. This is where I come from and this is where I go back to again and again. And when I can’t be there physically, I get transported there by music and I take the listener along.

Listen to SUMMER GARDEN in MUSICAL ROOTS playlist.

IRIE TUNE

I wrote IRIE SUN on the beach in Jamaica - preparing to play acoustic guitar for my best friends wedding! It came so naturally on the beach there in Jamaica - I ended up playing it when they walked the aisle!! This song always reminds me of that incredible time and their life long commitment to each other!! I have played it at every wedding since (around 12!!)

Listen to IRIE SUN in MUSICAL ROOTS playlist.

QUEDARSE

I wrote this song after my father passed away. It's dedicated to my mother, the one who stayed. It's a solo guitar composition and I used in it a special capo called Spider Capo.

Listen to QUEDARSE in MUSICAL ROOTS playlist.

WINTER'S BONE

It is a stark, dark atmospheric meditation on the depths of a year’s final cycle. I began writing it in my small NYC apartment, where I lived for almost 20 yrs. and where I feel my roots are. The cold, bitter chill of the city inspired the piece and was the catalyst for the concept of my album ’Around The Sun'.

Listen to WINTER'S BONE in MUSICAL ROOTS playlist.

ADAGIO IN C MAJOR

This is the first composition I've written for piano. I was 17 and I printed two copies of the sheet music for two fellow pianists: they liked it, and started playing it. I think it was the first moment I had an audience as a composer, and it was the first significative milestone in my career.

Listen to ADAGIO IN C MAJOR in MUSICAL ROOTS playlist.

VIDEO RECORDING

This short recording shows the basic columns on which my playing is resting. There is a Spanish influence, but it's a pretty vague one. I'm not following one school but instead are trying to get to the source... which seems to be some old way of playing. Probably by the "Roma", that have stranded in the early days of Spain.

A JOURNEY TO THE SEA

The simplest answer why I choose this track is because it is where my heart is. I love orchestra music. I only listened to, and wrote classical music before I was twenty years old. This is the music I know best, and what I really love to write. The textures, the drama, the orchestration, the big themes (and small themes).

Listen to A JOURNEY TO THE SEA in MUSICAL ROOTS playlist.

RUNNING FOX TRAIL

I spent my teenage years in Austin, TX, where I had some incredible people around me including my friend's dad who taught me some valuable lessons about life. One of the wise words he gave me was "Practice does not make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect.". Those words still stay with me until the present day in that everything I approach in life is with this mentality including my fundamental years with the guitar. I dedicated this song to him as Running Fox Trail was the street name where I learned this wisdom from him.

Listen to A RUNNING FOX TRAIL in MUSICAL ROOTS playlist.

WATERCOLORS

At the heart of my sound is guitar and although I offer a variety of music in genres such as New Age, ambient, and neoclassical, it can be distilled down to the colors I find on the guitar.

Listen to WATERCOLORS in MUSICAL ROOTS playlist.

WHEN THE SNOW COMES

It's one of the first guitar tracks I ever wrote straight out without thinking, just feeling inspired by magic and sadness. I think it is stilll one of the best compositions I've ever done.

Listen to WHEN THE SNOW COMES in MUSICAL ROOTS playlist.

TANGLEWOOD RHYME

It is the first guitar tune I ever wrote (back when I was 14). Simple and almost stark, with a treble arpeggio flow, it has proven to be one of my most streamed tracks! Just goes to show that it's sometimes the simple tunes that can turn out to be favourites.

Listen to TANGLEWOOD RHYME in MUSICAL ROOTS playlist.

FOLLOWING OUR DREAMS

It was written just after I started to receive some success/recognition on Spotify for my music. It attempted to capture in music the emotional roller-coaster that every artist goes through as they put their art out into the ether and hope for a kind reception.

Listen to FOLLOWING OUR DREAMS in MUSICAL ROOTS playlist.

ENTRE DOS AGUAS

It was the first time that flamenco guitar was used as a solo instrument, playing a melody in combination with another guitar which was accompanying with chords, an electric bass and percussions. Before that, flamenco guitar played melody, chords and rhythm altogether, usually accompanying voice or dance. Paco de Lucía opened with his work on this track the way for so many other soloist spanish and flamenco guitarists.

Listen to ENTRE DOS AGUAS in MUSICAL ROOTS playlist.

RENDEZVOUS

It is a song written about the first time I met my wife. It was the right time and place for both of us, a memory I will always cherish. This song is chill, and will make you smile everytime you hear it.

Listen to RENDEZVOUS in MUSICAL ROOTS playlist.

TERRASSA

It evokes the spirit of some of the Spanish pieces I learned as a kid when I played exclusively classical guitar before expanding to other styles. I play anything with strings nowadays but nylon string guitar was my first love.

Listen to TERRASSA in MUSICAL ROOTS playlist.