Composing music is an amazing thing to do. The possible combinations of notes are close to infinite; meanwhile, the language of music enables our species to express itself in extraordinary and extraordinarily diverse ways.
Take, for instance, the following examples:
- Bach expressing his faith in the ineffable in his B minor Mass
- Mozart taking delight in human relationships and insecurities in his opera Le Nozze di Figaro
- Elgar expressing his most intimate musings in the cadenza of his Violin Concerto
- Gabriel Yared portraying the expanse of the desert in his film score to The English Patient
- Claude-Michel Schönberg bringing the drama of the French Revolution to life in his music for Les Misérables
- Miles Davis blending the sounds of acoustic and electronic instruments in Shhh
- Piazzolla mixing tango and string quartet in his Five Tango sensations
- Anoushka Shankar combining Indian classical sitar music with electronica beats and synthesized sonic backdrops in Oceanic
What a remarkable diversity of music is represented here. Consider the following aspects for each of the pieces listed:
- The nationalities of the composers and artists
- The years in which the pieces were written
- The singers and instrumentalists required by each piece
- The intended venue for hearing the music
- The emotions expressed by the music
- The style of the music
For as long as I can remember, I have been drawn to this amazing activity of composing: for the fascinating patterns that can be made and manipulated, for the emotional journeys that can be created and savoured, and for the means of expressing what I have experienced in life and what I have learned about myself in the process. It has allowed me to entertain audiences, articulate friendships and externalise what I feel deep inside.
Sometimes the results have been laughably inept, overblown or incomplete; sometimes the process has kept me up all night in excitement or frustration, but one thing I know: I shall go on composing, searching for the music I want to be 'out there'.