Diary of a project, part 5: End of the Journey

February 3, 2017

1st prelude: Opus 28, no. 4 in E minor ("Suffocation")

2nd prelude: Opus 28, no. 15 in D-flat major ("Raindrop")


There they are, my two preludes. Together they make up my newest track, "Mallorca Winter". I've accomplished what I set out to do and I'm very pleased with it. I spent the last couple of weeks mixing and mastering, and now it's ready for release. More on that later. First, some philosophical musings...


Have you heard of the term "emergent property"? It's a scientific concept that refers to a characteristic that a complex entity has, but which its individual components don't have. Here are a couple of examples: salt is made of only two chemicals, neither of which has a salty taste; the behavior of a flock of birds can't be predicted by studying the behavior of an individual bird. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. You get the idea.


I believe that this phenomenon happens all the time in art. In my opinion, it's so fundamental to it that it's hard to call something "art" if this property is missing. The choices you make in your art are determined by your mindset. Mindset comes from your skills, attitudes and life experience, and total immersion in the details and atmosphere of the work you're engaged in. Unexpected synergies among the components of your creation emerge. All of these aspects both generate and become part of the larger whole. When you look back at the finished work, it seems inevitable that it would turn out exactly as it did. And yet it's something of a mystery as to how it actually happened.


This was definitely the case with "Mallorca Winter". The structure of this track emerged from the music and sounds and their relation to each other. Chopin's drowning nightmare (see Part 3 of this series) was my guiding image. I found myself imagining a story that started in Reality (prelude 1), moved through Dream and into Nightmare (prelude 2), then Awakening (prelude 2), and back to Reality (prelude 1). The rhythms, tempos, and sounds change between these sections, yet they remain linked together.


To be honest, I'm a bit nervous about releasing "Mallorca Winter" out into the world. I'm not at all sure how it will be received by people or how to describe it in terms of fitting into a genre. It wouldn't surprise me if some people were annoyed by it, scolding me for tampering with the work of a genius. I hope that, after listening to it, you'll feel that I've done something good for Chopin -- at the very least, that I've grabbed you emotionally. A very good friend of mine, who's a talented classical pianist, told me it gave her "goose bumps". That's really all I can ask for.


Thank you for coming on this journey with me! I enjoyed writing about the project as much as I enjoyed creating the track. I'm planning to release "Mallorca Winter" along with a couple of other tracks I'm working on in early 2018. Until then...see you next time!












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