Monday, November 21, 2011

Norman Legies: The Profound Artist

Work / Working Titles by Norman Werte L.

Norman Legies is a strategic composer that put an large amount of thought into his music. Before he writes a song, he asks himself questions such as, "Is this something my fans would like?" and "Could this idea sell?" Songs such as his Elevator Battle Theme and and Jazo's Village are just a taste of this preparation Norman does to create fantastic tracks. He is always making new tunes, and I personally look forward to hearing them each time he posts a new one on the facebook composer's page!

1) Tell us about yourself:

My name is Norman Legies. I live and was born in Germany. Currently, I study English and French at the 
Ludwigs-Maximilian-University in Munich.

2) Where do you get your inspiration from as a composer?

That quite depends. If I attacked that question objectively, I’d say I do have no clue. Inspiration is something that comes as quickly as thunder, and vanishes just as rapidly as it came. As soon as the sound of thunder manifests, you need to record it as soon as possible. All the other things, such as orchestration, harmonys etc. will eventually come back to you as you remember. But if that isn’t the case, you’ll get into your own stream of consciousness, and “improvise”. One thing that is very underrated as you compose, is simple whistling. Just hum or whistle a certain melody you like, and from a certain point onwards, you’ll automatically start to invent a new phrase to that core melody. The weirdest and most unique ideas will stay in your head. All you need is to separate high quality stuff from low quality stuff. But theoretical quality is once again very subjective. As I listen to music nowadays, many people tend to make “simple” music. I do too, don’t judge me, but I think I’m approaching this particular issue quite differently than my colleagues. Mainstream film music e.g. evolved from interesting arrangements, and melodic compositions to mind-breaking, drum heavy, tribal and melodramatic, mushy wishy-washy. If you listen closely, plagiarized melodies and “uniquely mainstream sound-carpets” (e.g. right now the INCEPTION drums) accompany each bombast film nowadays. The same is for video game music, though being not as mainstream as films, they tend to produce better music. The paradigm nevertheless is the attention that music receives. There is bad music that’s good, and good music that’s perceived as bad. One can argue that music that stays in your head MUST be good. Because of that premise, it is utterly important for us composers to adapt to be well perceived. Exceptions included. One cannot sell a product without baiting the customers. The same is for music. Simple melodys sell faster than complex ones, as the hearer does, primarily, not want to be overwhelmed with impressive virtuously played melodies. He/She will be thoroughly impressed, but will not spend his/her time to analyse the chunk of music he/she just listened to. Therefore it will be forgotten more easily than music that “infects” your brain. That in mind, I am constantly trying to breach that pattern of thought. Perhaps this is my source of inspiration.

3) What equipment do you use?

Simple: An E-Piano, Cubase and Reason, and several instrument patches. There are many good and free 
instruments on the internet. 

4) What goals do you hope to accomplish with your music?

I’d like to work for several companies, making video game music. Perhaps even make a game by myself. Film music is okay, but I don’t think my style would be suited for every type of film. I wouldn’t reject an offer though. The result is what matters.

5) If you could go anywhere in the world to write a song, where would it be?

I’d probably go to a very well equipped studio with competent musicians.

6) Any random thoughts:

Nope, not really right now :)

My thoughts on the interview:

Well said, my friend. You need to get at least a little piece of your ideas recorded in order to remember its original form. Otherwise, you may forget it completely. However, three simple notes can bring back memory of an entire symphony. I also find that after writing a small section, it is fun to improvise the rest of the composition. See what happens. As long as you have good transitions, it can go many places.

Catchy melodies, unfortunately sometimes, are necessary to make a living in music. I love to write a catchy tune because those songs have always stuck in the minds of others, even when only had low-quality samples. However, when you want to write a complex piece, you have to be ready for people to dislike it or not get it. The appreciation doesn't come until  after your success does, unless it's within the much smaller music composing community.

Are there many good free instruments for Reason? I have found some. Others I have paid for. I still could use some better sounds though.

I don't think there is anyone who can write really good music for all types of movies. Some writers even focus on one specific type or style of music for the duration of their careers. Don't worry, just focus on writing the music you enjoy :)

For more of Norman's music, visit his SoundCloud page here.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Genesis Burroughs: Free-spirited Musician

Genesis Burroughs is a North Florida musician that is quite active in the musical world. Whether it is composing, singing, listening, learning, encouraging or chatting, she is always very engaged in what is going on with other composers and musicians around the world. In fact, I would bet that Genesis has listened to more music by artists I have interviewed and still have yet to interview than any other composer out there. Not only that, but she always leaves very positive feedback to further inspire them, and she even helps to keep all of us connected on the Facebook YouTube Composers Group.

1) Tell us about yourself:

Hi, everyone! My name is Genesis Burroughs, and it is nice to meet you all! I am 23 years old. I live in Florida in the United States and am currently working on my master's degree in Instructional Tech at University of West Florida. I consider my voice as my main instrument (a.k.a. I sing haha), but I am learning how to improve my piano playing skills and composition skills right now :)

2) What equipment and software do you use to compose?

Equipment? My good ole Yamaha keyboard, audio interface (Alesis iO2), laptop (which I have Cubase and Reason on), a monitor, and a mixer (when I need to do some extra external stuff).

3) Who inspires you as a musician?

Oh goodness, I have so many inspirations, it is not even funny! As a singer, my mom inspires me. I also get a lot of singing inspiration from Yolanda Adams. As a composer, especially in the video game field, I love Jun Senoue's work in the Sonic games. I also love Tomoya Ohtani, Shoji Meguro, Masashi H., and Daisuke I. (especially his work in BlazBlue)! There are more, but I don't want to write an essay here xD

4) You're pretty active in the YouTube Composer's group on Facebook. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

Youtube Composers (YTC) is a Facebook group where musicians, singers, composers, remixers, etc. can come together and give each other advice and feedback and just learn! I can't even tell you how much I have learned within the year (if that long) that I have been there. Everyone is supportive of each other, and it's fun! :D I encourage other composers to join for sure.

5) What are your musical goals?

I want to share my music across the world! Haha, no seriously, I would love to release my own singing album, where I am able to contribute a lot of the songwriting and production to the album. This is why I am working extra hard to improve my musical skills since I still lack a lot~

6) Where would you travel to if you could go anywhere to compose a song?

Japan Japan Japan! :D I would love to go there if I got the opportunity!

7) Random thoughts:

I am very appreciative of the people who have put up with me on my musical journey. From the people who helped me start to sing when I was five to the people who taught me about sonic depth when I was 23...thank you :) Please continue to look out for me!

My thoughts on the interview:

Mmm, a master's degree. That is something I kind of want to start working on... in music this time haha.

I love that you include a monitor as one of your pieces of equipment. Since there is only one, does that mean you record mono? If so, you should definitely get another. It will change your world !^_^!

If you are inspired by and sing similarly to Yolanda Adams, you must be fantastic! Also, that would definitely get your singing heard around the world.

Japan is one of the wonderful places at the top of my list to visit!!! I wish I was good at Japanese though. I didn't really pursue it much, and I'm more of a Latin-based language learner.

For more music by Genesis, visit her YouTube channel here.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Sabrielle: Fantastic Fantasy Music

Sabrielle was one of the first composers I met in my search for other people that shared the same interests as myself. She instantly became one of my favorite musicians even though I didn't know too many others when we met. Her compositions and scores are always well-planned and have beautiful melodies that are perfect for her favorite series, Final Fantasy. Now I know many more composers of all types of styles today than I did back then, but Sabrielle's music is still some of the best of the video game genre! I interviewed her a few months ago, and here is what she had to say:

1) Tell us about yourself:

My name is Sabrielle, I am 19 years old and im from Florida. Right now, I am currently enrolled at a music college. I'm a major in film scoring and will be graduating in the spring of 2013. Really excited!! :]

2) I heard a lot of video game-like music on your Youtube channel. Is this your main focus, or do you do other music as well?

 Video game music is my main focus. I'm influenced by all final fantasy composers but I still have a long way to go. My other interest is film music! Mostly animated ones, fantasy, romance, action, thriller. Mainly influenced by Hayao Miyazaki's films. Joe Hisaishi is also one of my biggest influences for film music. I really love his work!

3) What software and equipment do you use?

I started to use Logic express, and upgraded to logic studio. They are all the same just not as limited on sound instruments for logic studio.

4) How long have you been making music?

Not sure how long I should say, but you can decide. My primary instrument is violin, and it's been 13 years now. I went to all Art schools ever since I was little to this day still. Played in my schools strings, symphony, philharmonic orchestras. But I was also interested in playing the piano. I thought it was a beautiful instrument though my parents didn't think much of it.
I started to teach myself how to play the piano during my freshmen year of high school during our one hour lunch time. I started to play little pieces and had my friends listen to them. They all said it reminded them of "film music" but I never took them seriously (haha) until my senior year of high school (class of 2009). I started to make music officially summer 2010. "Grass field" was my first accomplishment.

5) What are your musical goals?

My Musical Goals? I just want to be successful doing what I love to do, which is making music for games and films. I'm working to my fullest to make some good music for my listeners. I can only hope that they'll enjoy listening to them!!

6) Random thoughts:

Stick around, many new compositions are on their way ^_^

My thoughts on the interview:

Florida = awesome place for musicians. It has the largest number of people I've interviewed, followed by England. Just a coincidence, I also live in Florida right now, but have only interviewed one person from my same city.

I wish I could have gone to a music college. I didn't even know film scoring was a major until recently :( my school offered no production-focused music classes.

Video games and movies :) Much better place to find detailed, intelligent, passionate music than the radio... not that radio sucks or you can do it without any talent. Creating a truly great score is just harder.

Glad you started learning the piano. It's one of the greatest instruments ever invented, and one of the most helpful to know if you want to learn a wide variety of other instruments.

Excited for more! If you want to hear what else Sabrielle has to offer, check out her YouTube channel here.

Oh, and your victory theme reminds me of a tactics game! Especially one in the Final Fantasy series !^_^!