Music and emotion

So here’s my first “blog” post ever!

Where to start? Well lets start with explaining why I’d want to make a “blog” anyway.
Since I’ve been teaching game audio more and more I recollect important memories in my musical development and overall musical career. I’ve been playing in orchestras now for some 24 years starting with the local wind orchestra in my youth and later even the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra as a percussionist.
In this time I’ve seen and heard so much beautiful things which, I can safely say, made me the composer, sound designer and musician I am now.

It’s things like these memories together with the things I teach during game audio classes and problems I stumble upon during production I want to share in a blog form. I hope you’ll enjoy the read and please leave me some comments on if you even want to hear me rambling on about this stuff!

Lets start digging shall we?
Throughout my youth orchestra periode I’ve had the pleasure of meeting some truly wonderful conductors who took the time to explain certain things about musical emotions, emotions that made a whole concert hall audience sniffle and even myself every time we played that one part. But lets start with one of my most forming memories.
In 1998 I was very fortunate to be picked from a handful of musicians from the Jeugd Orkest Nederland to participate in an international youth orchestra in Switzerland.
During the project we played, among other music, Schostakovitz 5th Symphony.

On the first rehearsal the orchestra played through the symphony and, as expected from eager young musicians, they played through it flawlessly.
The conductor, stopped us after part 3 Largo and complimented us on the performance so far….however…
“I’m missing the emotion” he said. He explained us what he wanted to hear.
“Imagine a little girl in the streets in Stalingrad during the war. Imagine her walking up to a soldier and asking him if he knows what freedom is…” As this may sound dodgy now it sure had a very big impact on our youthful minds back then. We played the part again and it had such another, deeper, feeling which made even my eyes water….everytime we played the it to be honest. The conductor may have made this story up but it worked very well.

*listening as a I type this and goosebumps keep creeping up neck*

This little anecdote is maybe more to describe how performing the music in a certain way can make a world of difference. I mean, the same piece performed by another orchestra could make you cry for a completely different reason.
Overall it’s things like this that helped me realize how strong emotion through music is.

I hope you enjoyed this first post, please leave me a comment on your thoughts and if you think I should pursue this blogging adventure 😉

Thanks for reading!


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