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.

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