Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Love Symphony Released

Happy St. Valentines day to you! Today The Love Symphony is released. I began writing this in December and is my first major piece of music in a few years. Often for music I'd gradually accrete tracks, then fit them together to match the mood and theme but this time I designed the feeling and story from the start and decided to write music to fit; much more like the way I paint.

The music is a story from loneliness to love, a growth from nothing to joy in a not-at-all-hidden homage to Beethoven's 9th symphony; although in negativity I prefer sadness to anger because it's more romantic, and in fact I love it and my favourite films are weepies. The music!

Here is the cover...

The music is divided into three sections. The first was about growth or searching, from emptiness, and then a dream of love, which was based around a simple melody and triplets of notes. This sounded most Vangellisian, quite by accident and was originally called The Door in the Sky, and the image I used was a door in a sky-blue roof of a cave filled with an underground ocean, like the sunless sea referred to by Coleridge. The image was of the door opening, which is why the start sounds like a hiss, like the release of steamy gasses when doors open in space in sci-fi films (of course, sound doesn't actually travel in space at all anyway, not sure why I imagine a clear space-door "hiss"). When opened I walked along the sky upside down, and flew in the air over the ocean, and that instantaneous image was the basis for the music.

The middle section was about loneliness and then finding inner peace, which became empty. The main track was actually the first written and so sounds different in instrumentation than the others. It's simple musically, a soleful melody in one chord like a lost snake, then pretty and warm and wide chords to contrast it. Then I added a melody to go with the chord part and swapped the size/space of the verse and chorus before a finale which included everything. It ended so beautifully that it didn't fit the mood needed for that part of the album, so I added the flute again at the end, and suddenly the instrument realises the falseness of this narcissim, the pretty chord-part now represented God. When I'd worked that out I added the previous track, Encounter with the Believers, in which the main flute was inducted into a religion.

The final section begins with a harp which sounds oriental but which was supposed to be masturbatory, then a melody also in harp which has now become the protagonist. The flute is the object of affection, a chance encounter, and the two instruments chat to each other then get to know each other. The melody is simple, it starts as a sad version of the main tune in the glorious finalé, and gradually the flute and harp in dialogue grow to and move towards that finalé. The tune ends with a moment where the eyes of both tunes seem to meet, that's it, they've fallen in love.

That long tune at the end was one of the first written, but I thought it would be a nightmare to sequence and balance. I was wrong! and it all worked so well that I had all of the important parts noted down in one day. I always wanted the beginning to start with glorious alarms, church bells peeling and an explosion. The ending too I had worked out, with something quiet and happy and content and beautiful, not a big "pomp" or bang but gentle and lovely.

I ended up writing a lot more than ended up in the album, but I'm happy enough with what's here and I like it as much as I liked The Spiral Staircase, which I always liked a lot.

You can hear clips for the album on www.marksheeky.com

The music is available to order by download or on CD from that page, and soon on iTunes and by other distributors such as Amazon MP3.


Robin said...

Good luck with music sales. I am curious to know how you were able to list this on iTunes? The sample music I heard was wonderful, other worldly-ness to it, Mark. Your talent continues to be limitless. It really is a gift when an artist lets us inside their thoughts, to understand where the inspiration is drawn from, thank you for sharing.

Mark Sheeky said...

Thank you Robin. There are various companies that will list music on iTunes for you and pass you the sales royalties. Some charge a one-off fee and some require payment each year. I use a company called EmuBands for this and I think they do a good job.