Jasper’s Riddle is a new musical concept from Lukas Zeickner, a Manchester based medical student, who calls this project his ‘acoustic storybook’. After beginning his studies to become a brain surgeon, and switching to his current vocation, that of a heart surgeon, Jasper’s Riddle’sdebut release reflects an artist’s own chameleon-like ability to shift between a multitude of artistic talents – an acoustic singer-songwriter, a classical composer, an artist and a novelist, to produce ‘The River‘ – a collection of self contained stories that combine to make his storybook.
“I would say the most interesting aspect is the versatility. All of my songs are quite different and you never know what to expect next. This applies to my classical music as well.” – Jasper’s Riddle
Influenced by beacons of talent from across the world, from Aretha Franklin to Fela Kuti to Estas Tonne, and an overarching love of Schubert, his fascination for science as well as the Arts has led to Lukas performing and producing all his own music, not to mention creating the accompanying artwork.
“I see art as simply one thing in itself – free and ever changing. There’s no difference whether its music, or a drawing, or a poem.” – Jasper’s Riddle
One of his earliest recollections is learning lessons in the ‘freedom of expression’. Growing up, he mentions that he never really understood the notion of music genres and as a result he ended up listening to anything and everything.The most immediate comparison would be that of a Jeff Buckley inspired sound (watch his cover of ‘Grace‘ here). He describes his sound as acoustic rock, with influences from neo-soul and blues to progressive rock and flamenco. With his heritage stemming from Nigeria, he feels a strong connection with his Nigerian-British heritage and sings songs in Edo as well as English, and also Spanish as a third language.
As a 22 year old classical composer and multi-instrumentalist (pianist/ guitar and singer), Jasper’s Riddle offers something really interesting in the way that people can engage with the music. The concept originates from a love of Schubert’s Lieders, which he describes as ‘truly beautiful’, through the way in which he would incorporate aspects of the story/poem into the song itself. An example of this in ‘The River‘ there are multiple moments where the guitar finger-picking imitates the sound of waves and rushing water, and also his classical piece ‘Jack in the Box’ also features an intro piano passage which imitates the sound of a jack in the box toy.
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