Ephemera II
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The Global Screamo Symphony Continues: Unveiling “生き甲斐 Rendez-vous” from Ephemera II

17 mins read

As promised, we continue our journey through the extraordinary emotional paths of Ephemera II, a compilation that interlaces the fervor of screamo with the introspection of post-hardcore, crafting a mosaic of global voices and unparalleled creativity. Today marks the unveiling of the second opus from this dynamic collection, entitled “生き甲斐 Rendez-vous”, a track that stands as perhaps the rarest gem within this already stellar compilation.

This piece showcases the talents extracted from so many amazing projects: Chivala (Andrea Annese) and Kidcrash (Buster Ross) on drums, creating a dual rhythmic heartbeat that propels the track forward, Fall of Messiah (Martin Moulin) and Heart On My Sleeve/Okänt (Gabriel) on guitars, weaving complex melodies that intertwine gracefully, Respire (Ben Oliver) on bass, underpinning the harmony with depth and resonance, Shizune (Enrico Maule) and Vægtløs (Troels Højgaard Sørensen) lend their unique vocal styles, painting the track with broad emotional strokes, Suffocate For Fuck Sake (Tommy Norin and Daniel Loefgren) infuse an ambiance that envelops the listener in a cocoon of sound, Respire’s Eslin McKay on violin and Emmett O’Reilly on trumpet add layers of classical elegance, punctuating the track with bursts of brilliance.

Accompanying the premiere, we delve into the hearts and minds behind the second track through a special interview with the artists involved. Dive into it below.

The interview delves deeply into the creative alchemy that defines this unique track. Each artist speaks to the nuances of blending unconventional musical elements—like the melancholic sweep of a violin and the bright pierce of a trumpet—with the raw energy of screamo.

Ephemera II

The lyrics of ““生き甲斐 Rendez-vous” are a poignant reflection on the passage of time and the transient nature of human desires. Sung in multiple languages, the words contemplate the vastness of human ambition against the backdrop of an ever-moving cosmos. They speak to the pursuit of meaning in an ephemeral world, urging the listener to seize their narrative courageously.

This multilingual approach not only enriches the textural depth of the song but also mirrors the global collaboration of the artists involved, highlighting a shared human experience across cultural divides.

The integration of spoken word elements heightens this effect, adding a dramatic, almost theatrical quality that makes the song feel like a direct conversation with the soul. Through this bold artistic endeavor, “Echoes Across the Void” emerges as a profound exploration of life’s perennial questions, encapsulated in a symphony of screams and whispers, resonating across the void of our collective journey.

The “生き甲斐 Rendez-vous” interview:

Ephemera II
Ephemera II

Your arrangement in “生き甲斐 Rendez-vous” comes with a remarkable blend of emotion and sound that defies the typical screamo blueprint. Could you share the genesis of this intricate composition and how you weaved the unconventional elements of violin and trumpet into the hardcore fabric?

Daniel: For me, it’s kinda difficult to comment the proccess and the big picture when I laid the first stone. It was a challenge in itself, trying to put what usually comes last in the process, first. But it was fun! Somewhere, I felt I had to create a soundscape with a lot of space, a pulse that could work in everything from different time signatures to different tempos. Since the final song has a broad spectrum of both tempo and liveliness, it feels like I didn’t mess up in that aspect at least!

The idea with the “zimmerhorn” sweepy, slow movements, the cassette tape-distorted melody, and the ditinct synth pulse was to create an illusion of phase shifts, like when water turns into ice or the feeling of a august storm approaching. When I then passed it on to Tommy, who added scapes, atmospheric sounds with the flagpole and his spoken word-like narration, it married well. It’s been very exciting to see how it has developed since then!

Daniel Leofgren
Daniel Leofgren

Gabriel : I asked Daniel and Tommy from Suffocate For Fuck Sake to start by creating an atmospheric soundscape. This is the only song where I’m not the first one who wrote the first layer of the song, for all the other ones I usually always write first (and it’s always a guitar part).

I love SFFS’ atmosphere in their music so I thought it’d to do it this way. But the funny thing is that I had to write a guitar part over just the ambience. It was tricky but I thought of SFFS’ heavy guitars and that inspired me. Then I thought I’d love to have 2 drummers on this song.

I really love what Andrea has written from the beginning and how Buster ‘coloured’ it. They play similar parts at the same time (and I felt so bad for the mixer having to deal with all of those audio tracks hahahaha). I felt like the song sounded really special already but I thought, let’s bring even more feeling into it. So I asked the wonderful Eslin and Emmett from Respire to join. And wow their recordings give me massive goosebumps. Then to have Enricos Italian and Envy-Japanese feeling into the song and blending that with Troels wonderful Danish screaming was just amazing. This is the most special song of the release.

The only thing I asked Enrico and Troels was to try and escalate together at the same time before the songs really starts. It’s just an idea I had in my head.

Emmett O'Reilly
Emmett O’Reilly

Emmett: Eslin and I have been playing together & experimenting in screamo & other aggressive music for a while now in our band Respire, so it was a lot of fun to rethink our approach & try to find parts that fit in properly with this project.

I’m really glad that Gabriel reached out to us! He is a wonderful writer & arranger & knew what instruments he needed for each song, but gave us a lot of freedom to write our own parts.

From there, Eslin & I take a bit of a different tact: I like to focus on simple, repetitive hooks on the trumpet, while I find Eslin likes to be more free & soar overtop on violin.

It’s a cool challenge because I think the riffs and thematic lines in heavy music are really striking & powerful when played on orchestral instruments, but you don’t want to overdo it and lose the impact of the moment. These instruments also sound nice blended into the din of the rhythm section, and can sometimes even add to the clarity or complexity of the chords, so there’s lots of room to play around.

Eslin: Well, Emmett and I are good friends from music school and have worked on a bunch of things together, so I went to his house to record. We listened to the song a bunch and then just added in violin and trumpet to parts that felt right!

Eslin McKay
Eslin McKay

The fusion of genres within your project is both daring and captivating. What has been your collective experience in blending such distinct instruments typically not found in heavy music, and how do you feel they contribute to the narrative you’re crafting through such an offering?

Daniel: Borders are overrated, and this applies within music as well. It’s through encounters between contrasts and extremes that new things develop. The song has taken on a life of its own and has acquired its own nature. I guess it’s one of those songs where the listener will discover new things every time they listen to it! At least, I hope so.

Buster: In terms of playing drums on a track with another drummer – the process was really interesting to do remote. We weren’t able to write in the room together so our pieces had to come together after the fact. We both tried our best and Gabriel definitely helped us in figuring out what worked together and what didn’t.

I was pretty nervous that it might devolve into a sloppy trainwreck and needed to take a break few times when recording and psych myself out of it. I think it came out great, just to had to push through the anxiety of not being able to know while it was forming.

Buster Ross
Buster Ross

Benn: Initially Gabriel asked me to play on a different song with 2 bassists (intriguing idea) but while we were figuring that out, this song needed a replacement and so we split that up and I hopped over to give this song a shot. I’m glad I did because the style/foundation laid down by the SFFS folks felt much more “at home” for me, and I connected right away to what I wanted to play. Then I found out this is the song my Respire bandmates Eslin and Emmett (violin, trumpet) were playing on as well, and so it all kind of fit together in a familiar way for us in that genre mix.

Emmett: I think there’s a nice sense of “opening the door” when you include unusual instruments. Lots of people already have a very defined idea of what screamo sounds like, and it’s fun to challenge those expectations & hopefully give screamo-averse people an avenue through which they can appreciate the music.

It’s more inviting in that sense, I guess! The music sounds bigger & more cinematic, and there are many more threads for a listener to follow.

Eslin: I think any instruments can belong in heavy music if it’s mixed well and you can hear it! To me, strings always make things better, in any genre of music.

Can you delve into the themes, lyrics and stories behind the creation of “生き甲斐 Rendez-vous,” and how do they reflect the ethos of the collective artists involved?

Daniel: Difficult to say something here, I’ll blame it on laying the first stone again. But I really feel like everyone has added their personal expression and essence. Something that strikes me about the song when taking a few steps back is that it somehow feels very contemporary. By that, I don’t mean it reflects the streaming top charts but rather that it feels very impression-heavy and quick-witted, agile in its turns. I see a lot of parallels to the world we live in!

Enrico: We decided to write a message to the future, to our children: having two kids it was easy, I want them to be free, to be able to shape their life without restrictrions. Children can almost achieve anything, but you need to learn from the past to build the future, to gain a deeper understanding of the consequences of actions and decisions.

Regarding the title of the song, I thought it was funny to mix japanese and french together: ikigai is a concept, it’s the reason to live for, the meaning of your life; rendez-vous is a widely used word to indicate a meeting with someone at a particular place and time.

Troels Højgaard Sørensen
Troels Højgaard Sørensen

Troels: It is a letter to/for the future. We often hear bad news stories, tragedies, and idiotic behavior when doom scrolling, but all the lovely news of the world, of our families, friends and so on often gets lots in the overload of inputs we get in everyday life. So I thought it would be a heroic act to write something lovely for the future. In my case the words are for my two children. I want to inspire hope, love, peace, understanding, and friendship in them. Never to become like my generation. To stay positive, to stay curious, generous, and courageous. Be better. Help people when they are down! The world is such a lovely place if you give it room to make it grow inside you.

The fact that we are people all over the world that, for most of us, never met each other, lifts the theme of this message even higher. You will be able to find likeminded people. That can be hard to see when you are younger, and are confined in your small school.

The people on this record inspire me a lot. Gabriel inspired me a lot during this process. I did a lot of extreme projects in my time, but this one sits among them. Massive kudos to Gabriel for bringing us all together and making this wonderful project come to life.

Eslin: Respire has a new album on the way so we are extremely excited to get that out into the world.

Martin Moulin
Martin Moulin

The inclusion of spoken word elements is a bold stroke that adds a cinematic quality to your sound. Whose idea was it to incorporate this aspect, and can you speak to how it amplifies the overall experience of the track?

Daniel: It probably started with Tommy when he added his spoken word. Then, the fact that it grew into a thing was fun! Spoken word or just pure speech adds other dimensions to the song.

Enrico: Gabriel gave us carte blanche on the way to sing this song. Since lenght was more than 7 minutes, that’s almost 5 Shizune songs, I firstly elaborate screamed parts for the main verses, then I opted for spoken words for the rest, expecially for the beginning of the song where pace was slow with a sort of crescendo, to make it sound like an intro, kind of cinematic effect as you said. It was funny because this time I found myself following orchestral instruments in order to create the metric of the sung part.

Troels: I am doing a spoken word part, which is put together by two Danish poets, that I stole – got permission. One of them is a local poet called Kasper Dons, that can elevate the Danish language into some very unique.

I tried to have some spoken words on the new record of our band Vægtløs, where one part is my girlfriend making a short spoken part to my diseased father, that she never meet. That shit is brutal, but it was so beautiful. I wanted similar feeling in this song.

Enrico Maule
Enrico Maule

With such a diverse and talented group coming together for this project, could you share how the collaboration came to be? Was there a unifying vision that drew you all together, or did the synergy develop organically as you began to create?

Daniel: As I see it, the process is akin to the old classic folded paper figure game “vikgubbe”, where someone draws the head, folds the paper, and passes it on to someone else who then draws the body and so on. I hope the others have a deeper, more poetic insight in the process to convey here 😊

Gabriel: With Ephemera, the idea is I pick out some people one by one, they individually record their part and build the song instrument by instrument. There never is a second pass, it’s all just all one shot opportunity to make it really special. Each person basically gets as it is with however many instruments recorded there are, and add their own part on top of it, without knowing whatever other instrument that will come after will play. Here, the drummers had to talk to each other in a group chat make sure they were in sync before they started recording.

Enrico: I guess singer part was the easiest, we had everything already done! Everybody did a great job, expecially Gabriel that had to coordinate with so many people!

Andrea: It was the first time I played and shared the drum tracks, and honestly I very much enjoyed the final result. When Gabriel told me that the other drummer was Buster from Kidcrash I was stoked, he’s one of my all time favourites, I’ve been listening to Kidcrash since they had the “the” in the name. This has been a real challenge for me because some parts of the track are different from what I usually play, but it’s been a lot of fun!

I want to warmly thank Gabriel for involving me in the project and giving me the chance to play with Enrico from Shizune, a friend I’ve known for a long time!! A little spoiler: last week I recorded the drum tracks for the upcoming chivala LP that hopefully will be released in autumn.

Andrea Annese
Andrea Annese

Buster: I had played drums in a band called kidcrash that had not played together for some years now with a nearly complete final album fans helped fund more than a decade ago. A little over a year ago our friend Mike Rae died tragically. He had done the artwork for all of our albums and merch (including the last album we’ve been trying to finish).

I went back for his memorial and lots of friends shared art and music at the memorial, but having been away from performing anything for a long time I didn’t share anything at the gathering. He was such a special friend. That year I lost 6 different friends…drugs, suicides, a car accident, a fire, a shooting… But of all them, Mike most represented my own lost inner kid. I had been his counselor at music camp when we were young.

He had been an artist to the end, whereas I had found myself having tapped out of making art in recent years, focusing on my mental health and stability through a job that didn’t involve touring or playing the drums (a cycle in my life). So when I got a message asking if I would write and record drums on this international screamo project, it felt like the universe reaching out to me and offering me what I desperately needed in that moment.

The death of Mike made me feel the grief of the loss of music in my life and feel the greater finality of the end of a band that never had a clear end, just a sad slow fade – largely the result of my instability and drug abuse during our active years together. This project gave me a beautiful opportunity to begin to grieve more fully and to find hope of new beginnings, that maybe some day I could play drums again without it coming with the price of my own self destruction.

Benn Oliver
Benn Oliver

Benn: I didn’t actually know who my other collaborators were at first, just the parts that were started and then sent to me to add bass to them. It was all based on vibes and the music itself. Of course, once I found out, it was no surprise how much I enjoyed the track because I’m a fan of their bands! Getting to contribute my small part to the song with these other rad people is such a cool and special thing about this project, I am grateful for the experience.

Emmett: These days, it’s as simple as a Facebook message! Gabriel reached out and sent the song in its demo version, and we were off to the races from there.

Gabriel was very patient with all of us disorganized musicians, and made sure to always stay focused and push for deadlines, which was super helpful.

I felt lucky that I had a writing partner here in Eslin. Writing my part was fun and all, but the ball really got rolling when Eslin came over and we showed each other what we had in mind by jamming over the song & recording takes of our ideas. It was a very fun day, and I honestly think we finished 80% of our recording that day too. Once we got going, it was very natural!

Tommy Norin
Tommy Norin

Looking forward, as you each return to your respective projects, are there any insights or new approaches gleaned from this collaboration that you plan to integrate into your work in 2024? Additionally, is there anything you’d like to tease about upcoming endeavors within your primary bands?

Daniel: I’ll probably take with me that collaborations are exciting, that works can take on a life of their own when you set them free. It’s almost as if it’s inherent in the nature of the work. I’ll also take with me that “silence” has a resonance, even amongst other sounds. Almost something exotic. SFFS keeps grinding, things are happening, we’re trying out new angles and perspectives.

Gabriel: My dream would be to take all the members of Ephemera and have a huge Ephemera festival with everyone included to play all 6 songs from this release (and maybe even the 3 songs from the previous one). I don’t have the strength or time to organise it, but in my dreams the festival is happening ;)

Extra note: For me to read everyone’s thoughts, ideas and especially busters story, makes this songs even more meaningful for me then the songs itself. It makes it more human and alive.

Enrico: We Shizune should be able to release an album, mini LP later this year, that will be our last record for sure.

Benn: Inviting others to contribute and elevate ideas has always been really rewarding and worthwhile, but this project brought that to the next level! Imagine crossbreeding some of your favourite bands and seeing what comes out of that remix? I think it would be exciting and musically fruitful to see this kind of thing more often.
Respire will be releasing our 4th album later this year, follow @respirefamily / respirefamily.bandcamp.com to keep up to date!

Troels: You can check out the new record by our band Vægtløs called Aftryk. It is out on 46 records labels around the world – I think that is a world record.

Emmett: Absolutely! My favourite part about working with different people is the chance to learn something to bring to the next project. 

This time around, I learned a lot about working on long-distance recording projects, which I had never done  before beyond demoing with my bands. It’s a great way to work, but not without difficulties! I found out a lot about my time management skills (both good and bad), and the importance of having another person around to bounce ideas off of (if no one in your band is around, show your parts to someone else you trust!). Also, I learned a little bit about recording. It was fun to try and do a “good enough” job in my home studio for it to blend properly with the track. Lots of lessons from this one!

As far as things to tease from other bands, it’s gonna be a big year. New Respire music, new solo music, possibly even a new Stuck Out Here record if we can get into the studio! I’m excited to keep playing music.

“生き甲斐 Rendez-vous” lyrics:

Tiden rinner iväg.
Alla möjligheter. Alla drömmar. Allt vi vill.
Ser stjärnorna i himlen.
Alltid påväg. Framåt. Vidare.
Men tillslut kommer verkligheten ikapp.


L’eco del tuo sguardo
può raggiungere ogni cosa
Il colore del tuo volto
ne dipinge la memoria
Vorrei avvolgerti
in un abbraccio senza limiti
dove i giorni rimangono
liberi da ogni dubbio


Her er mit brev
Læs det når du er klar
Når du er færdig med at jagte natten
Jagte drømmene

Når solen har drejet tilpas mange gange
så tror jeg, du vil forstå
Og se
At stjernerne altid er på vej videre

Her er en spoiler alert:
Når du åbner brevet
vil der ikke stå noget
Siden vil være blank

Det er dig, der skal skrive brevet
Med alt det der er dig
Træd ud og tag din plads
Med dit uforfalskede hjerte

Sospesi in un bagliore
che risalta il tuo candore
e guidami
dove non andrò mai

Lad aldrig de døde øjne diktere hvem du er

GO HERE to listen to the first single and learn more about this project.

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