Ed recently scored Amazon Prime Video’s Ben Stokes: Phoenix From The Ashes, a brilliant, hard-hitting documentary about the England cricketer, Ben Stokes, which Ed produced a stunning original soundtrack for. The official OST is out now on XXIM Records.
Before becoming an acclaimed musician, Carlsen was a pilot, something he “really wanted to become.” Gradually though, he drifted away from flying – “I realised it wasn’t for me,” he says and drifted back to music, something he’d grown up with and loved, and something that came back into focus.
Playing both guitar and piano, his early influences were diverse and eclectic. Prog rock and metal were first loves, but also The Beatles and records by the likes of Steven Wilson. An interest in production led him to a degree in Music Technology at the London College of Music, where sound design, and composition for film and visual media further piqued his creativity. Combined with his unconventional approach to playing instruments, this gave his new work an intriguing edge; innovative, exciting, and daring.
The music he started creating was imbued with aspects from both of these two, disparate professions – the pilot and the musician. It was technical yet meditative, precise yet poignant. “Feet on the ground, head in the sky,” is how he sums up this duality, and his music carries a wonderful, creative dichotomy. Listening is like floating in a daydream, Carlsen’s curious textures – crisp beats, hazy synth washes, delicate electronica - contrast neatly with a reflective sense of intimacy and the blissful serenity he’s become so adept at.
Each of Carlsen’s previous releases was written and recorded in different cities, the product, he says, of “changing contexts and perceptions. I travel when I need to write.” Debut EP The Journey Tapes was conceived in London; after his studies, 2017’s Elusive Frames saw Carlsen living in Copenhagen, while Krakow served as inspiration for his most recent record, Morning Hour. In early 2020 Carlsen moved to Hamburg, his mood informed not just by the emotion of once again starting anew in an unfamiliar place, but the unease of lockdown and the sense of dread enveloping the world.