Reveries 4

Hello again! I took a much needed break from the rigorous upkeep of this website for the last month. To be honest, I ran out of ideas and I most definitely ran out of motivation. But I’m back and I have come bearing gifts! Below are the next installments of my Reveries compositions. This time around I have gone the whole nine yards to construct a collection of pieces, rather than one big one (although there is a lengthy piece at the end).

Fueled by my love for the incredible Dimitri Shostakovich, of which I have cultivated over the last six months through the systematic consumption of every symphony, brooding string quartet, and whimsical piano solo, I decided to sit down with my piano and have a conversation about what we wanted out of music. That conversation ended with the subsequent decision to write music that simply SOUNDED good. I purposely forced myself to stray away from any of the hard-wired academic prejudices that I had the tendency to fall back on.

These pieces took me far away from any notion of form, harmony, or time that I had so desperately wanted to control. Likewise, what came out of this experiment is something I feel is wholly different from anything I have written before! I would also like to mention that I took a large amount of time to properly record and perform these pieces (to the best of my ability considering the only microphone I own is on my phone). Which makes these compositions the first pieces of music I have devoted myself to interpreting since mid May.

With all of that being said I hope that you all enjoy!

P.s. The last piece is a piano solo that I wrote for my sister a while back on her birthday. It never saw the light of day because she is (was? still is?) too young to appreciate it in any capacity. Regardless, it is now available for public scrutiny! So I guess there really are only three pieces in this ‘collection’, but hey its still just as schizophrenic as all of the other pieces so why not include it? Am I right?

Reveries 1

I was 16 years old when I first set foot on a scoring stage. At the podium was my brief mentor and wonderful composer Joseph Trapanese and he was recording his score for the blockbuster Oblivion with Tom Cruise and Morgan Freeman. I couldn’t remember how the whole thing went down even if I tried to, however I do remember the way that it made me feel.

I fell in love…I truly and unabashedly fell in love and have ever since that day I have yearned for that very moment in my own musical career.  In fact, the experience was so inspiring that it became my personal definition of success. (That beautiful moment where I step up to the scoring stage with the director at my side and the sound of the orchestra tuning up in my ears). After that moment who knows, I may never take another musical job in my life. All that I know is that that moment will be good enough for me.

[Now, let us not kid ourselves, given my family history it is highly likely that I will continue to write music until I die, and until that moment comes this image is sacred to me. I don’t know how I will get there, or when I will get there, but it will happen. IT WILL.]

With that in mind, I want to preface what I am about to present to you with one more personal insight. I love the sound of the orchestra. There is something about the raw atmosphere created by 50-100 people playing music in tandem that is satisfying on the most fundamental of levels. And though I have not had the chance to ever have my music played live, it has not stopped me from pursuing the art of the orchestra in my spare time. In the past year I have gone to extreme lengths to explore the depths of the orchestra in order to, hopefully, one day pay an adequate tribute to those that inspired me to learn and create. Likewise, this search has forced me to rethink what it is that I consider GOOD MUSIC and BAD MUSIC. Seeing as though my search for interesting symphonies and concertos has led me to the brink and back, it is fair to say that my perception of music has changed drastically over the last few months.

I rediscovered my love for the music that I so desperately wanted to create in the humorous yet dramatic works of Dmitri Shostakovich and the sprawling and whimsical works of Claude Debussy. I found the determination and resolve I needed to continue writing music, despite my many recent setbacks, in the thundering, timeless music of Pyotr Tchaikovsky and discovered the simple-complexity in the harmonies and melodies of Alexander Scriabin. Despite the use of these artists as my guides, my intended presentation will have absolutely nothing to do with technique or theory. Instead I want to focus on the one thing that makes music worth making in the first place. I want to focus on the feeling, I want to focus on the grit, and I want to focus on the purpose (or lack thereof) of music and its intended use in our daily lives.

So, welcome to the first of five pieces that I will be writing over the next few months as a part of a collection I have decided to call, Reveries. This journey will be a formative one and it will absolutely challenge my perspective in the world of music. I am counting on the fact that I will be tried and tested throughout this process and I am confident that I will come out of this a better musician and a better storyteller all around.

P.S.

I will not be posting excerpts or talking about the theory of the piece this time around.

I will tell you though the reason that I chose Reveries as the title of this collection. I want these pieces to be elusive, slippery creatures that the listener has a hard time remembering fully. Just like a dream, I hope that these pieces inform you about the subtle nature of music and its purpose in your life. I do not want you to be able distinguish any of these pieces from another, just as you could not distinguish all of the dreams that you have in one night. And perhaps the most important part about this set of pieces, I hope that you remember how they made you feel.

I hope you enjoy it. If you have any comments or questions about the piece, please feel free to comment. Tell me what is the purpose of music in your life. Tell me what music you like and why. I respond to everyone who comments!