Tell us a little about yourself and what you do for a living?
I come from a semi-classical piano background, also learning about theory and rules and composer’s intentions etc. But whichever genres, I prefer emotionally connecting music dynamic flow over focus on structure or commercial formulas, although that’s important as well for some situations.
By heart, I’ve also valued individualistic thinking and researching most of my life. Composing, improvisations & interpretations are ways I enjoy personal artistic freedom with, and are big reasons why my personal music so valuable for me.
Been working as a music teacher a lot, teaching instrumentals, bands, music history, but recently re-connected with my early big dream to compose for a living. On a personal level having the dream to express my personal thoughts and emotions and the hopes that it can hold significance to others too.
What is your niche or speciality, that makes you stand out from rest of the audio professionals?
I’d say working with complex concepts and strong music symbolism of many kinds, for metaphors and allegories, allowing the ability to provide subtle multi-facetted perspectives through music and sound.
Can you give us a brief summary of the equipment you use regularly?
Modern PC with a fast RME PCI-e (HDSP AIO) soundcard. AKAI MPK88 master MIDI controller, (not the most sensitive key mechanism, regretly), sE kondensator mic, ART tube Preamp, Ultrasone HFI 680 closed headphones (S-logic SRS and ULE) for precision in details and ear comfort at extensive hours daily.
What are your go-to plug-ins and software? (virtual instruments, audio processing etc.)
I use Studio One 2 Professional with instrument libraries mainly from East West and Native Instruments currently. So far, I’ve been focusing alot on high quality in instrument patches, more than synths and soundscapes, but I’m looking to expand accordingly too, being warming up for the tasks ahead…
When do you find you are most creative?
Whenever I focus on specific concepts, described above. Timewise, often during late hours and sometimes after being doing some contemplating or research over subjects that generates musical ideas. Less so after listening to music lately. It can be inspiring, but for personal creativeness that can also be a bit limiting, I think.
What is your usual process for creating audio content for games, films etc.?
Starting with either finding a mood in patches and motifs through keyboard improvising with such. Or starting with contemplating about what I can interpret from the visuals. One of these ways to start usually helps the the other. I put attention to post-editing and mixing. I’m looking to get involved with specific media projects as soon as possible, since I feel my music and ways to relate to concept music fits such media on a high level in a natural way. But there are additional processes to take into consideration too. For specified moving image, it would require
Are there any particular secrets to your creativity?
The way I relate to concepts, in combination with strong attention to details to be able to portray it. But although I also put my personal thoughts in my music, I like the open-minded relation to everything I experience and think of, and that I still might not have got the full picture… This is something I think goes both for me, and for everybody else. A way to relate to authorities and experts as well. From this point of view, it helps me a lot for my personal creativity, and keeps me from trying to sound too much as “everybody else”.
About the acoustic styles of my instrumental works, like orchestral or tracks with solo instruments, I usually try my best to keep it as realistic and believable as possible, unless I’d make something sound artificial for a reason. So far instrumental attention involves lots of precision tweaking to make it sound like natural performances, as opposed to the sense of a mechanical or computer generated production. But I also enjoy blending styles and traditions for those extra dimensions to the concepts.
At this point, I normally wouldn’t use factory loops if I can avoid it, not much copy and paste, and I’d always want to put my creative signature on any music I do. But I’m still improving workflow speed-ups like that, trying to maintain the personal touch and versatileness on it still.
Do you have any audio creation techniques that resulted in something interesting?
I sometimes try to create a sense of real space and distances in the mixing, for two speakers/headphones. So not only one-spot realistic acoustics and panning. This means combining close and far mic positions and dry and wet sounds and EQ editing for specific metaphorical reasons as well.
For a current project, I want to depict planetary style ambient lush vocals combined with progressive and traditional metal elements. This might sound like a bad fit, but her ambience being a purposeful contradiction to the other more traditional rock band elements and common choices for mixing reverbs. This is because I try to give the impression that the character singing wasn’t really connected to the Earth bound, also portraying a conflict of wills. So this means she should sound partly disconnected to the band performance but also like a dialog between, (since the initial metal band performance represents the male, but also the Earthly. (<– potential contradiction there again, for a reason)
Any specific “lessons learned” on a project that you could share?
Never put all eggs in the same basket, especially if you’d try to test the limits of how many you could fit, hehe. In my case testing the VST loading limits with a complex all-in-one project made it crash, seemingly beyond repair, loosing several hours of hard composition work as well. I really shouldn’t have both at the same time. That was a bit naive and over-optimistic, but lesson learned, I hope.
Any tips, hints or motivational speeches for the readers?
One can become extremely determined and focused on music, in a highly professional manner, but there can be other sides of the coin of professionalism, that I think might be important. So many different aspects and perspectives about the World and humanity, that have the potential to influence you as inspiration for concepts and more.
So how about trying to not miss out too much experience or knowledge in various fields, even if priorities often would be heavily for the music production, and family too perhaps. I hear many composers do research on the subject they’re scoring for, but what about curiousity for other subjects, and being able to link different fields of research and experiences, because that can open up whole new possibilities of inspiration and understanding, I think.
Will you at all consider the possibility that your own perspective and maybe some firm believes sometimes might be merely one out of many different ways to see things? Considering this might also add depth to the more complex and philosophical kinds of projects, as well as possibly on a personal level. We are all still humans, not machines after all… So I truly hope I’ll maintain my motivation for creating for as long as I live, but I also believe it depends on if I manage to keep my curiosity, and to express personally significant thoughts through my music to others. At least on a regular basis.
So trying to maintain balance in everything might be the key for that, even keeping a maintained compassion for others, to really put efforts to try to understand others, how different, foreign, weird or unsignificant for you that they might seem at first glance. So trying to see things and others from different perspectives might be very helpful with all this, I believe. Plus I feel good about myself if I’m not limiting myself to indentifying with my profession only, despite the creative nature of it.
Curiosity for the World, the past, present and future, and all kinds of thoughts on humanity and human aspects connect to that…? To me, that’s virtually an endless source of inspiration and motivation even. As unrelated to music production as this all might seem at first glance, perhaps see if you guys might be able to get something out of it, even for the professionally kind of inspiration and creativity abilities. The kinds that might be expected of you for premium work?
I’ve noticed some in the music production field acknowledging parts of these thought, so why not at least consider it more, in case you feel you haven’t… Never too late to get more open-minded, I’d say. Same thing goes for me to still.
That being said, it’s a true honor to be included in this project. You might understand how much that means to me, especially with the enormous talent and professional skill that is represented here!
Thank you ever so much for this opportunity to share my thoughts and getting my name here. Extremely encouraging and appreciated!