Julian Layn

piano, composer
Julian Layn, classical composer and pianist

Zürich, Switzerland

Biography: Born and raised in Zürich, Julian exhibited signs of musical talent at a very young age, with his first composition and performance at the age of eight. He was surrounded by, and trained in, classical music, which provides a major influence to his work today.

Realizing that through piano solo he could best express his statement as a musician, Julian coined – and developed the music behind – the term "Heavysonicsource". This is an audio library of fragments, themes, phrases, passages and emotions - walks in a landscape of sound, condensed into piano solo. The Heavysonicsource is the basis and the creative source of Julian's compositions. His unique style of music can best be described as new classical for piano solo with a romantic-era harmonic structure underpinned by a heavy basso-continuo-concept.

Albums: His first main composition, the 2002 piano concerto Nr. 1 "heavy clouds over vast wide open" in g flat / d flat minor was sound engineered by Martin Pearson who has also engineered Keith Jarrett's recent releases. Julian's most recent album, fragments vol. I: "moments from within," is published by Martin Pearson Music. It is the first volume of an upcoming series called "fragments" – which are a collection of selected tracks from Heavysonicsource.

Concerts: Julian regularly performs concerts to crowds of new and dedicated fans across Europe. He performed at Piano City Milano (a festival under the patronage of Ludovico Einaudi), at Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Brighton Festival Fringe as well as Tonhalle Zürich.

Composition: Julian's composition technique draws on his study of physics, in which he holds a Ph.D. He describes this as comparable with the mathematical structure of physical law. Subsequently, the corresponding elements, phrases and themes are knitted together to form a dialogue and dramaturgy. His technique is interwoven and he uses the principles of 19th century harmonic structure as a guiding principle.

Current Project: Julian's latest project is "The Ecocalypse", a three-movement piano concert composition that reflects Julian's urge of amalgamating the romantic-era harmonic structure with a heavy basso-continuo-concept. The "Ecocalypse" theme is both a statement on the collective nervousness in society and a reply to "Endspiele" (loosely translated as "apocalypse"), a collection of works by Swiss author and playwright, Friedrich Dürrenmatt. A novel aspect of this project is Julian's approach to composition, which he calls "composition through performance". This approach views the realization of art through process – not as an end in itself, a style heavily touted by Dürrenmatt as evidenced through his approach to playwriting.

register as a fan for free
Register as a fan of "Julian Layn" and get the latest news via E-Mail.
register as a fan
After sending your data you will get an E-Mail where you can accept your subscription.

Short Profile

NameLayn, Julian
Born inSwitzerland, Europe
Home LocationZürich, Switzerland
Main languageEnglish
attended UniversitiesETH Zürich, Kings College London, University Zürich
Julian Layn performs at Circolo Filologico Milanese during Piano City Milano 2013
2013-05-12 News Blog Piano City Milano, Milano
""Ah, he's formidable. Formidable," whispers the audience at Julian Layn's concert. "Quite an experience. A genius." The composer shows up in the room unexpectedly. He's wearing an untied tuxedo, no jacket, his shirt sleeves rolled up to the elbows. He bows, sits at piano, and starts playing. The music played by Julian Layn – a Swiss man born in 1968 – is the kind one would imagine in the background of a dramatic movie, when the main character is making a life-changing decision, or bidding an adieu. There's no progression in its intensity: the audience is taken over right from the beginning, and as long as the performance lasts. Mr. Layn calls his unique style "heavysonic". Translated by Gabriele Parussini
(Lucia Maffei)
view original article
share on facebook
The talent this man has is mind-blowing.
2013-11-09 St Pauls Lifestyle Magazine, London
"The talent this man has is mindblowing - it sends me into a trance everytime. Julian arrived in our studio like a whirlwind of classical brilliance. We had hoped that his piano might fit into our studio but it did not as this film shows. This did not deter Julian who instantly sat himself down at our upright Steinway to play music of breath taking and humbling beauty. Julian tours the world playing his own Grand Piano; it was incredible that he was able to play our piano as if it were his own, despite the obvious differences in size and sound. Julian is the only musician we have had in our studio who has outplayed out Steinway. By this we mean that he played beyond the limits of the piano. We could hear this in the bass in particular. Not only is Julian a gifted Pianist and a joy to work with he is also an incredibly nice guy. You may have seen mention of his other qualifications, a PhD in theoretical physics - you can hear his intellect in his dynamic and complex compositions which he delivers with a natural ease. Genius." Rose Paul
(Rose Paul)
view original article
share on facebook