I’ve been composing music ever since I was 12 years old. Thats 22 years of composing and never getting tired of it. Art is a very pure way of expressing your inner feelings and music is considered one of the major artforms. I’m truly blessed to be able to express myself in this way and have never repressed this ability. When you are young it’s easier to let out what your feeling, rules don’t apply and this means you can just do anything you want. My teenage years, like most people, were full of emotional moments and overrated experiences. From romance to family issues, everything was over expressed. This translated very well to my composing as it let me create my most honest songs ever. They might not’ve been my best, technically speaking. but they were surely full of emotion. As I grew older and found out there were certain rules in music, I started to encapsulate myself and found it more difficult to create what I was intending to. Finally as the years went by, I decide to let myself go and break all the rules. It was at that moment that I combined experience and sentiment that ultimately led me to compose my favorite songs to date.
Today I’ll talk about one of my most complex pieces of music I have ever created: To The East.
Let me start by saying that this particular piece of music would be played by at least 50 musicians at once, 76 if nobody would double, so that alone makes it tad difficult to perform live, thankfully, technologie is so advanced these days that you can compose music this complex from the comfort of your home replicating the sound of an actual orchestra. It takes a little bit of programing in order to get realistic results and sometimes it doesn’t sound as one would like, but its as close as it gets. Now, composition wise, it all started as a short piece demo for some clients of mine. It was ment to work as musical background to a touristic comercial that would air on national tv. As it turns out it became much more. The song is in 7/8 time signature and stays like that throughout, something weird for me as my progressive backgrounds lead me to constant signature changes. The intro starts out with snare and timpani drums giving out the rhythmic pattern that we will hear for the rest of the song (it varies of course). Our main melody is played out by 6 French Horns with Strings coming out answering with 18 violins. When we get to the main verse, 11 violins and clarinets play out our melody before going to a brief appearance by the piano. Over the course of the song we get to hear various ethnic instruments that range from Asian to European.
The main objective here was to give out a sense of travel, mostly flying through different cultures and getting to see them from afar. Using the many instruments in an orchestra I get to make a dialog between them that greatly satisfies my need to tell a story. As we advance through the song I introduce some male chorus and a female voice that mainly works as an additional instrument to the already rich music. After a brief passage through different cultures we get an orchestral interlude that leads to a small piano solo. This is the beginning of the and as we get back to the initial intro backed out by some ethnic flutes.
As I said before, my main focus was to tell a story that relates to different cultures. The story is about a man traveling from west to east getting to see the different cultures that these places represent up from the sky, sort of like if he was flying over them. The dynamics of the song were conceptualized this way in order to give you the feeling of travel, something I love to do, and make you feel as if you had the air blowing in to your face while you are watching all these marvelous cultures unfold below you. I leave you with my song, hope you enjoy it!
By Juan Manuel Valverde