For two decades, the piano has been Martin Vogt’s forte. He’s been tickling the ivories for the majority of his 26 years and has been releasing under the name Haywyre for a decade this year, incorporating elements of jazz, funk, electronica, dubstep, and more across a wide catalog of music.
In recent years, the classically trained pianist has been particularly fond of creating concept series, first exploring comprehensive themes over the course of a body of work through his Twofold LP series on Monstercat in 2014 and 2016. With a slew of releases on the Canadian label spanning four years under his belt, Vogt has now opted to strike out on his own for the time being.
“[Monstercat] helped me in my career big time, but I wanted to put myself in a position where I’m thinking more independently, and that meant working more independently,” Vogt said.
He began working on a new set of music: a concept series called Panorama that he planned to self-release, but it was “tough to get the ball rolling” at first.
“Seeing the difference between, for example, Panorama: Discover and Panorama: Form has been substantial in terms of reception,” he said, speaking to the first and second parts of the ongoing concept series. “People are more organically engaging with the content. I feel like I’m getting a better understanding of who listens to my music, and that really appeals to me.”
Vogt revealed near the end of last year that the initial Panorama release, Panorama: Discover, was only the first in a set of six EPs that would comprehensively make up the Panorama series.
“I’d been writing a bunch of different music for about two years, so between my album Twofold Pt. 2 and the first chapter of Panorama, I’d been coming up with all sorts of different ideas… everything from six-second loops to full-fledged pieces,” Vogt said. “They were just so different and so all over the place, and I started wondering how to piece it together. After putting some thought into it, I came up with this six-EP series.”
Vogt started sorting the songs into different categories based on how they complement each other, noting the importance of their order and how they guide the listener through the Panorama experience.
“There’s a definite ebb and flow that’s intentional,” he said. “[Panorama] is supposed to be listened to from beginning to end, more or less.”
Vogt kicked off the Panorama series with the release of Discover’s “Tell Me” in mid-November and was met with wild enthusiasm from fans who’d been waiting two years for new material.
The remainder of Discover followed a few days later, spanning from the effortlessly groovy “Stepping Stones” introduction all the way through to a full-fledged jazz number, “Blind Faith.”
Giving fans a few months to digest the new material, Vogt returned in early February to reveal the funk-laden “Let Me Hear That,” which he released with an accompanying one-take music video.
The four-track Form EP saw its official release a few weeks later, at which time he struck out on the Discover/Form Tour. In the weeks since, the tour has taken him across the United States, joined by friends like StayLoose, Balkan Bump, JNTHN STEIN, Jenaux, and K+Lab for select dates.
“Tour’s been very cool,” Vogt said. “It’s been surprising because I haven’t done a headlining tour in a long time. I hadn’t really had a chance to engage with Haywyre fans in this way for at least two years, and it’s been a really refreshing reminder that there are these real-life people that enjoy watching me perform my music.”
Unlike most of today’s electronic and dance music artists, Vogt doesn’t DJ—and doesn’t know how. His performances are purely live and dynamic, giving fans the chance to see how quick he is on the keys up close. On his Discover/Form Tour, Vogt delivers his performance on the keyboard (tilted toward the audience so they can watch him play), keytar, and vocoder-filtered vocals, making for a captivating set from start to finish. His passion for his music and for performing is unmistakable during his live performances as he switches seemingly effortlessly between instruments, showing just how far he’s come over the past decade.
“I’m more in touch with priorities creatively and what it means to me to be a musician… what it is beyond a potential lifelong career, but also what impact I want to have and how I want to be engaging with the people that are listening to my music,” Vogt said.
When he finishes his current tour, Vogt will be getting back into the studio to work the next two parts of Panorama, which he says we can expect later this year. Before that, though, he’s going to focus on some remixes and collaborations that’ve been on the back burner.
“I’ve been working on so much original content that I think it’d be cool to just switch things up for a little bit and work with [artists] I’ve talked with for years,” Vogt said. “It’s going to be exciting to see some of those come to life.”
All of that comes to fruition via the piano for Vogt, which has been the tool he’s been channeling his creativity into long before “Haywyre” was born.
“The piano is the closest thing I have to translating ideas in my head directly into something concrete,” he said. “I don’t have that kind of relationship with anything else.”
This story was originally published at dancingastronaut.com. Read it in full on DA’s website here.