Eric Eckhart


August 25, 2016

Live mix for "Fado"

“Fado” came from somewhere else. I was just a vehicle for it. The chords and melody came out of me in one instance as I toyed on a keyboard that had laid mostly untouched in the recording studio for the last year. I quickly hit record so I wouldn’t forget the chord structure I had stumbled upon and sang a wordless melody letting my voice float around without any restraints.

Then the lyrics came pouring out in a very intense next instant. I sat in a deeply emotional state in the chair in the control room a metre away from a haphazard microphone that happened to be hung there and sang the words I had just written as I listened to the piano on the headphones.

The voice and vocal style sounded like I was listening to a singer I had never known.

Within minutes it was all over. The song was complete and recorded, the experience immensely moving.

Over the next couple of weeks I listened to this “demo” over and over trying to get my head around this song I didn’t mean to write.

I played it for a few friends and sent it to a few family members including my mother who I had never sent an unfinished version of my songs to. People had strong reactions. They either loved it or they didn’t at all. I knew I was on to something then :)

I loved this piano and vocal demo but I knew I wanted more in there and felt a pull towards electronica and noise that I have never properly explored in my recordings.

I approach Fabien Leseure, a French composer and producer who I had worked with years before. I nervously bit my nails as I sat in his sitting room while he listened to the song for the first time immersed in his headphone. I had prepared myself that he would hate it but I would keep my love for it in tact no matter what, I had told myself.

Fabien is a real straight shooter and when the song finished he smiled and said he loved it and wanted to produce it. He suggested taking the song in the direction I had secretly hoped for.

One week later we were in an abandoned building in Friedrichshain that miraculously housed a small studio fully kitted out with row after row of vintage analogue synthesizers and drum machines.

Fabien had spent the previous day mapping, recording and programming additional tracks on top of my demo vocal, piano, a bass part he had asked me to add and only the ride cymbal of an unused full live drum track I had attempted.

It was time to do the mix. These days mixing is all done on computer but Fabien wanted to do a “live” mix where we bring instruments and effects in and out manually as the mix is being printed. The last time I had done this was 30 years ago. I really missed this type of mixing. It’s like playing a gig and really pumps up the excitement of the track. It also means no two mixes are the same. We did a number of passes to make sure we had what we wanted in the end.

The final step was sending the track to Abbey Road Studios to be mastered by Geoff Pesche who has worked with amazing artists like MIA, Gorillaz, Basement Jaxx, Coldplay and Dizzee Rascal.

I thought I had finished writing my new album when “Fado” arrived. I had even begun to do the first of the final edits to the tracks for the album.

Now everything has changed.

War is coming

April 1, 2016

I’ve had a deep feeling for the last year or so that we are living on the cusp of unprecedented upheaval. So many parts of our world seem to be converging. Climate change, wars, massive financial instability and inequality, failure of politics, mass migrations for many different reasons and from so many different places. And all of it amplified, distorted and manipulated through the social media/web filter. Revolutions are beginning right before our eyes.

Sadly, I believe things will get terribly bad before they get better. It seems to be the nature of things. I hope I am wrong. But I do believe whatever happens, eventually things will get better and hopefully far better than things are today.

This was the state of mind I was in when I wrote this song while riding my bike to the recording studio where I have been recording my new album. I pulled my bike over, got out my iPhone and sang the melody and the words playing on an incessant loop in my head all morning – “war, war is coming soon”. Once in the studio the full song came together very quickly lyrically and the music channeled itself out of the universe and into my lap in one fell swoop.

I was honoured to be asked by The Wild Word magazine to perform the song live for their Altbau Sessions. it was fitting that I am performed “War is coming” live in that same studio it was written in and with a full band who have never played together before and had only briefly heard my demo of the song. What we created in that room is an emotional one time only version of this song with each person putting their unique stamp on a message of stark warning and aching hope.

Big thanks to Keller Studios Berlin and musicians Ken Burke, Tom Fanore, Friederike Abitz, Arne Bergner and to Julian Baasch for his help and support on the night and Richie Heffernan who filmed the video.

Please watch and share the video of "War Is Coming" below.

2016: Ready for the highs

December 30, 2015

2015 was a year of experimentation, crash courses, accidental wonderments and emotional wrenching. All of this done alone in a charming bunker recording studio in Berlin where I set up a bi-weekly residency - writing, recording and engineering new songs. At the edge of 2015 I finally have the rough shape of my new album. Most of the songs were recorded in single takes and most with acoustic guitar and vocal done live on one Neumanm U87 microphone. Everything has been all about the feel, the moment, the emotion. The lyrics explore birth, death, war, hope, lust, love, devotion and despair.

Now is the crunch - finishing off the songs, making production choices and summoning the courage to put these songs out into the world.

2016 will be like no other. I set a goal for myself to make a truly great album. An album like the ones I have experienced in my life that have left their mark forever. An album that captures a mood, a time, a full expression. Now is the time to make that final big push to raise up these songs to their highest potential. Then, it will be time to let them go.

I am ready for the highs!

“People’s Orchestra” open recording session. Any instrument, any skill level, everyone welcome!

April 6, 2015

I am leaving the solitude of the bunker studio I have been recording my new album alone in to do a public, open and unscripted recording session in a lovely, funky café/bar down the street from me.

I am inviting the public to come and bring any instrument they wish, with any skill level they have, and part of our "People's Orchestra".

We will be recording an unscripted and improvised piece that is meant to sound like everything you have ever heard or seen your entire life since the moment you were born until this very moment now. All compressed into 2 minutes - getting faster and louder as we reach the exact moment in time that the song ends. Easy right?

Even if you don’t want to play an instrument please come along and join in the night!

If you can't join us on the night and want to chip in to help offset the recording costs, any donation is most welcome by clicking the link below.

The event is Monday April 20th at the very civilized time of 8pm-11pm at the beautiful and chilled-out GM26 Café/Bar - Gutsmuthstr. 26, 12163 Berlin, Steglitz - with the wizards from PopSchutz Studios bringing in their mobile gear to record the event.

Creative Commons Mashup

February 11, 2015

A handy tip for making a music video with no budget, connect your music with Creative Commons videos. I found this gem, "Stary Cmentarz w Rzeszowie" by Dawid Wrona, on Vimeo and felt it fit perfectly with my song, "The End" from our DIT:Do-It-Together Creative Commons album project. Start to finish it took 45 minutes for this music video including outputting and uploading to YouTube.

"Let it out! Let it out!"

December 15, 2014

2014 has been a hard year. There were many amazing moments to treasure forever for sure, but it was a bear of a year. So, I am taking control of things and sending 2014 off with a swift kick in the ass by releasing a new album, my first compilation album, called "Let it out! Let it out!".

Culled from eight years and three albums, this record reflects my favorite memories of writing, recording and performing in Ireland and Germany. Each came from a special place and each tells a story that is close to my heart.

More than anything else, these songs are defined by my new cities, my new homes.

Dublin is at the heart of this collection with Katie's Waiting, Running and Bliss from "Lost and Found". Those first two songs are possibly the best things I have ever done, so far. I came to Dublin with nothing but a rucksack and a desire to start a new life. That time, that city and the people I met there will be forever embedded in my heart.

My current home of Berlin takes center stage here with five songs from the summer of 2009's recording sessions for "This is where it starts". Everything about these songs and these recording are drenched in Berlin's sense of possibilty. This city that is still becoming. Helmed by the masterful Frenchman, Fabien Leseure, TIWIS song's were all about new approaches, new sounds, new attitudes.

But, nothing personifies my Berlin quite like 2012's DIT-Do-It-Together project which boasts three songs here. With the help from the artist collective, A Headful of Bees, I had this mad idea to get 100 people together in a public space, record, film, mix, master, promote and release an album all in one week and all without spending any money. It's hard to get more Berlin than that. And guess what? We did it! I love that these songs are done mostly live, that you can hear the flaws and struggles in them. Fall in Love and The One in particular are very dear to me.

So, so long 2014! I am closing you out singing! "I'm shaking off this life I've left behind!" Bring on 2015!

Secret Agent Man

December 4, 2014

St James Place movieI took an unexpected break from recording my new album to stand for 12-14 hours at night for three nights on the Glienicker Brücke (Bridge of Spies) in below freezing temperatures with a wicked Berlin wind bearing down wearing a business suit, dress shoes, overcoat, dress hat and scarf all from the early 1960’s.

Never in my life have I felt this type of cold. My feet became stones that seemed to be merging with my bones and preparing to conquered the rest of my body. I literally could barely walk for lack of feeling.

Why the hell was I doing this?

To be an Extra on the set of the new Steven Spielberg cold war thriller called St James Place. The film stars Tom Hanks and the script is by the Coen Brothers. Not a bad combination for my first ever acting gig :)

I found out about about the part from my wife who saw a post on her Facebook ExPat Babies group. Someone posted looking for a 40-something American man for a Hollywood film. Even though I have never officially acted, my wife knew I would jump at this chance. And I did!

CIA agent St James PlaceI played a CIA agent helping to initiate the very first prisoner exchange between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. in 1962. Based on the true story of CIA pilot Gary Powers who’s U2 spy plane was shot down over the Soviet Union. He was eventual exchanged for a KGB Colonel who was posing as a bohemian artist in Brooklyn before we was caught and almost executed.

I stood next to Spielberg for those three days and two other days early last month as he simultaneously took full control over every aspect of each scene and yet let his team have a strong hand in molding those very scenes. I still don’t know how he managed to do these two seemingly conflicting things.

Watching and studying how he worked I was immediately struck by his mastery of filmmaking. It shines out from him at every move. The whole process was like watching a magnificent ballet of sights, sounds and emotions.

Add in watching two time Academy Award winning Cinematographer Janusz Kaminski work through each shot and Tom Hanks being every bit as nice, funny, upbeat and easy going as you would hope he would be and I was in movie heaven.

Glienicker BrückeIf only the weather had been kinder and the pay better. Extras are always at the bottom of the ladder in movie making. Understandable, but the rate paid in Germany is near criminal. I was told this is why so many people come here to make movies. I hope they are wrong! But, I must say, whoever negotiates the rates for Extra’s needs a swift kick if you ask me.

Now it is back to the real world. Back to recording my new album. But all the richer in creative energy thanks to this once in a lifetime experience.

So Alive

November 18, 2014

Eric Eckhart in studioEntering into the world of writing and recording an album always has the feeling of wading into dark uncharted waters for me. Even though I have been doing this for 30, yes, 30 years now, the creative process has always felt like an unexplainable mystery.

Case in point - one of the things that I am enjoying the most this time around is that I have access to studio space without a formal contract. That means I can use the space whenever it is not being used. Unhindered by the usual financial pressure to perform on demand, I have occasionally taken to just going in to have a mess around with no plan whatsoever.

A couple of weeks ago, during one of these mess around sessions, I hit upon a few chords that I liked on my acoustic guitar. Within 10 minutes I had something that felt like a complete song. It just fell out of the air and I quickly caught it.

Since I am using Logic Pro as my digital audio workstation, I found a nice Drummer pattern that I quite liked and used that as a guide for tracking my acoustic.

Next up was the bass guitar. I am not a bass player but I love playing it. That means I play it uniquely like me which allows me to be unorthodox in my approach. Since I had no melody yet for the song, I played the bass as if it was the lead singer.

Next was electric guitar. I wanted to find a heavily effected sound and did so using a setting called “From here to there” in Logic Pro. Basically a Vox amp sound with a mental amount of delay. For ease, I just plugged the Gibson hollow body electric directly into the Apollo audio interface. No amp.

30 minutes exactly since I first struck the initial chord on the guitar, the backing tracks for the song were finished. Let me tell you that this never happens to me. I am usually laboring for ages.

I loved it so much as an instrumental I was determined to leave it as such. But, the next week I found myself recording a vocal of whatever came out of my mouth on the first take. Listening back, there were words and word fragments that intrigued me. Within another 30 minutes I had the lyrics in full and recorded a few takes, adjusting the melody as I went along.

Now a couple of weeks later, I am basically finished with my first new song for my new album called “So Alive”. I love that it is 1 minute and 55 seconds long. I love that it is a very different song for me musically, mainly due to the way it was composed and put to “tape”. It feels like the album opener to me as both musically and lyrically it is a propelling, reaching for the stars, aspirational pean to a desire to live life to the fullest. There will be plenty of time for darkness and hurt in the other songs, but “So Alive” boldly leaves its mark from the start.

Back and forth

November 6, 2014

Music is calling again! After a year-long break following the birth of my second child Maeve, I am immersing myself once again in the creative waters of writing and recording songs for a new album.

I never really stopped writing as I don’t know how to turn that part of my brain off. But for the first time, since I literally had my hands full with two kids, the process happened by writing words instead of the music first.

And when the music came, I hummed melodies, beats and oddball sounds into my iPhone instead of picking up the guitar. This all gave me more freedom to move in different directions than I normally do.

The time off also gave me space to reassess things. Who am I as an artist? I don't know if I ever truly thought about that properly?

What I do know is that I want to write, record and produce great songs. Songs that stand on their own without the need for marketing, clever promo or a machine behind them to get people to like them. Songs that cannot be denied their place in the world. Songs that are mined from the deepest reaches and are channeled through a willing participant. I am ready to be that participant. I am ready for great songs to find their way through me and to you. For it is through the sharing of songs where the real magic begins.

Film now streaming!

July 23, 2013

Our DIT: Do-It-Together documentary short film is now streaming and available for free download below.

100 independent artists came together for one week to record, design, film, promote, mix, master and release Eric Eckhart's new album, all in front of an audience and all without spending ANY money at a former grocery store in Berlin.

DIT: Do-It-Together is a short documentary film about this unique, open source and powerful project that shows how independent artists can work together to build their own alternative music industry.

You can also listen and free download the DIT album here

Find out how you can host a screening of the film at

DIT was produced by 'A Headful of Bees' international artist collective based in Berlin - and Orange 'Ear Video Productions -

DIT is an open source project and release under a Creative Commons license.

Produced at Supermarkt, Berlin -

Connect with Eric on:

Listen to "Fado" on SoundCloud

Stream or download "Fado" anywhere you get your online music such as: Spotify, iTunes, CDBaby

"Fado" - Lyrics

Days go, fire low, forgetting the way home
Waiting on the moon glow
Stars show, love leaves, all alone
Everybody knows

When all you want and all I want
It’s all dividing me
The tangled voices tearing free

Deep space beyond me, inside me, beside me
Learning how to let go
Fado, love screams, scared ghost
Waiting on the moon

When all you want and all I want
It’s all dividing me

I’m shaking out, I’m finding how, I’m breaking now. I’m near the void.

Fado, Fado, Fado

Death knows, lost hope
Rescue, take hold
Sing it in the last note, safe home
The wild beast, laid low

The light