My conducting teacher told me about a score: this composer thinks in blocks. And then it hit me, that I was seeing WALLS in the score. There were walls everywhere. My scores also have a lot of walls, mostly beneath a melodic line, sometimes as separate ‘bangs’. A WALL is absolute, a given, never giving… Continue reading Waves hitting WALLS
Due to the corona crisis, the world premiere of Ritratto by Willem Jeths was online. Lucky for me, because I wanted to go and listen, forgot about it and then saw it online. I was listening to this opera thinking: how come that I lock on to some passages easily and not onto others? Some… Continue reading Anchors: how to hold the hand of the listener
Last week I learned that the “story-telling-energy-space-curve” I wanted to obtain (black curve in the picture), is not the energy-space-curve this particular (34-matrix) FORM projects. I connected this particular FORM with ORCHESTRATION through key-changes following that particular FORM. There evolved an energy-space curve, following the FORM naturally, but it was not the one I was looking for.… Continue reading Energy-curves of FORM and STORY
Using the traditional harmonic system makes us feel comfortable. We remember these chords, the progressions, the cadences are familiar. We like what we know. Knowing and using historically proved good sounding chords will make your work understandable for your audience. It’s a language we all share, because we share the same musical history. The study… Continue reading WHY HARMONY IS SIMPLE
When you think of contrast in music, you often think about that one LOUD standing chord with a SILENCE before and after. This is the most extreme form of contrast: White – Black – White. I discussed this type of music earlier in a blog on SILENCE, because a lone standing chord by itself has… Continue reading COLOR THE CONTRASTS
Every year Mike Verta discusses music from starting composers for a day. This year you can listen to Mike Verta Unleashed 6 A common error composers make is writing: disruptive, not understandable music or drop dead boring music. The first mistake is common because composers get used to their own music or bored with their… Continue reading How to comfort the Western ear
This blog will discuss how SPACE influences climaxes and silences while playing and composing music. It’s a difficult metaphor, but it works best for me, explaining to myself how to improve my climaxes and silences by adding SPACE for sound to thrive. The first time I heard my music, I was surrounded by me, magnified… Continue reading How Space, Time and FORM interact.
When I took composing classes with Thomas Trachsel in 2018, he told me to ‘never write stories’. I thought at that time, what he meant was:” never write the sounds of a story in chronological order, because that is not music. You will end up with an emotionless list of events in sound. “ So,… Continue reading Form AND STORY: Why you cannot put a story into music.
Compositions of a particular composer are like family-members, they all have something in common. When you listen to a composition, there are little building-blocks that you start to recognize. It’s the soundbite that make the music that particular composition. It’s the DNA of that composition. This DNA consists of just a few notes (3 or… Continue reading Music: DNA pasted in the Art of the state
When I started to write music, I decided to first work horizontally: harmonics, overtone-series, instrumentation. That kind of stuff. But of course I did need something to put the music I was writing in a time based structure. So I took the one I knew best: Traditional story-telling form. I had been studying that because… Continue reading Form: Story-telling structures in Music