Wow – finally. I’m at the end of a very long road here. As of last week, I have a Masters degree as well as a commission in the US Army as a Second Lieutenant. It’s a pretty amazing feeling knowing what I went through to accomplish both of these goals. I don’t think many people join the Army to study music – and fewer Composers are also Officers in the military. But, I love having the balance of these two worlds in my life. There are things about each end of the social spectrum that are incredibly enriching and valuable.
Ok, this site and these entries are supposed to be about music and sound design, so let’s talk about why I love the creative process of music so much.
To me, it’s a wonderful blend of intuition and analytical and theoretical thought. Personally, I always use musical theory and analysis to spur an intuitive spark – to make me feel what the music should be. Once that idea is in my head, my classical education helps me to identify what I’m hearing and how to execute it. Music school doesn’t teach you what the answers are – it teaches you what the answers could be and how to find your own answers! If I don’t know what the answer is, I think and analyze my progression, my inversion, my mix, variation techniques and ornamentation. While this happens, an idea will just appear. Maybe a mistake will spur it or maybe one of my textbook techniques will just feel right. Either way, my goal is always to induce this feeling of what the music should be.
There is however, one facet of music that I only feel and never “think” about. The Melody is the greatest human element and gives the most direct conversation between the audience and the music. Once I have a melody, I almost always know what the progression underneath it is and what variations I may want to experiment with – but the melody is never known until you hear/feel it.
Music has to be felt and created by feeling for it to begin to breathe and become something truly unique with a life and personality of it’s own. I can’t wait to wake up every day and make a living by engrossing myself in this process!