"So... what style do you play?"
Ever since I was a little Pedone, I was fascinated by music (First time you heard that one, huh?)
My mother used to play the piano (She quit before I was born though), so we had a piano at home.
One thing I enjoyed doing (other than playing on it) was to stomp on the sustain pedal (the one on the right that makes the hammers come off the strings).
The reason I liked to do this was not because I had aggression issues as a kid, but because of the reverb it created within the piano. I just loved that sound (and still do!).
It was like the piano was breathing or like there was a storm raging inside of it.
I've always been drawn to heavy music.
I loved those records my parents had of Deep Purple, Black Sabbath,
Led Zeppelin, Steppenwolf, Jimi Hendrix (you never heard that one either, right?).
I could totally air-guitar the solo of Child in Time.
That solo together with Santana made me decide to pick up the guitar.
Later on I got introduced to Metallica. I was about 11-12 years old.
I was hooked. This was it. This was the sh*t!
All out balls to the wall; sheer power, melodic interludes, scourging solos, ...
"Is there anything better than this?"
A few years later: enter Dream Theater.
This was totally it!
I couldn't understand what the hell was going on!
"I love it! I have to learn how to do this!"
There was, however, another guy I came across.
It was one of the records my father used to listen when he was young.
The album cover had a guy hanging from a noose attached to a bell
(not a pleasant sight actually now I think about it),
another guy in front of him,
in the middle of the dessert or something.
It said: Once upon a time in the West.
"It's film music", my father said.
"How the hell does film music sound?", I remember thinking
The guy's name was written at the bottom of the cover:
Absolutely beautiful... The melodies.. So much emotion.. What an atmosphere..
Later on, I went to study Jazz. I couldn't play classical guitar and I wasn't interested in pop. I wanted the heavy stuff (a different kind of heavy I guess).
I wanted to know everything there was to know about music.
So I decided to go down that road.
So I struggled my way through (and a struggle it was).
But somehow I got better, gained more skills and insight, developed a deeper understanding of blablabla
I even managed to graduate!
When I finished my jazz studies, I finally went on to study something else that had fascinated me for years.
The missing piece.
That topped it of.
I have always loved the orchestra. And now, learning how to write for one; this huge instrument; this massive beast at my disposal..
So when people ask me: "What style do you play?", my brain goes into a certain mode.
And it looks pretty much like this:
..... ..... .....
(I call it crap-mode)
(I just made that up)
(I don't actually call it crap-mode)
Can you understand how hard that question is for me?
Everything (and more!) of what I just listed here has a place in my writing.
I also don't like thinking and writing in a genre.
Genres are for aisles in a record store (may they rest in peace).
Genres are but a color. A certain sound that evokes a certain image, feeling, ...
I write according to principles and values that I had to uncover for myself.
I managed to break it down to 3 things:
Sophistication, beauty and intensity
Brain, heart and balls
Those are my values in music (and possibly in life)
I refined those values into a little phrase I like to keep in mind; a little reminder to keep me on the "right path" (or something like that):
Insanely beautiful - Beautifully insane
So that's my story so far.
It's still a work in progress
But you're more than welcome to join me.