Escaping one's influences

Hi colleagues,

I think the key struggle for me as a composer to be the best that I can be has been a struggle to find an original voice. This has become my defining goal. Not to say this is the only goal possible or the only good goal. In past discussions I have participated in, some have suggested that it may not even be a good goal - "seeking newness for newness alone" to paraphrase my critics. Yet I'll stand by seeking newness for newness alone as my approach.

I have many influences, including Gershwin, Chopin, Joplin, the rock band Yes, Miles Davis, and many others. When I first started out as a composer, my music showed these influences, which will be with me forever. In recent years though I have tried to step away from them to some extent. I'm more conscious of when I am being "influenced" by my idols and when I am just imitating them. I want to move on into something more "me." Hope that's a good thing!

Cheers!

p.s. here's one piece I posted on the forum about a year ago that is an attempt for an original voice. Whatever you think of it, I think you'll agree there's no Chopin in it (though I may have had his incomparable sinuous melodies in the back of my mind when writing it) - https://composersforum.ning.com/forum/topics/underground-river-ride

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Replies

  • Thanks a lot, Teoh, for taking the time.  For some strange reason, I would like to be right (that it has applicable key signatures).

    The extra accidentals do appear throughout, though, not just on ornamentary notes.

    I think...

    Mariza

  • Mr. O., I can only imagine that Baltasar G. would like the brevity of that. 

    O. Olmnilnlolm said:

    Am in iPad now

    Only short msgs

    Ther is no problem with chromaticism

    No inherent advantage to tonality
    Escaping one's influences
    Hi colleagues, I think the key struggle for me as a composer to be the best that I can be has been a struggle to find an original voice. This has bec…
  • I call on O******** O((((((, whatever it calls itself, to be a better member of this forum. Clearly, you want to be here. But IMO your posts are wasteful, and just a bunch of BS nonsense. Perhaps no one else will call you out on this, but I will. Your posts are too long and disrespectful to the composers whose threads you hack - who has the time to research your obvious red herrings of composers nobody has ever heard of, and other crap you mention in your posts that only you seem to know about. IMO you need to examine your life and determine if your posting useless nonsense here is worth doing. As far as I can tell, the serious composers on this site are trying to figure out the best way make the best music they can. You are interfering with that. Perhaps I will be kicked off this forum for being so blunt, but if my opinion matters in the slightest to you, then do two things differently: 1) stop posting your long-crap replies - I've seen you posting shorter replies lately, so I know you can do this; 2) Be more thoughtful - I think you consider yourself to be a thoughtful person, but I think you are the opposite of that. You just post the same crap all the time - a bunch of red-herring niceness with a ton of off-post topics. Stop and consider simple postings of your own music and offering comments on the music other composers on this site. If you don't do what I suggest, I consider you to be nothing more than a troll. Your choice. Oh, and if you want to post one of your usual tldr crap replies, go ahead, that is what I expect from you

  • Gav,

    Your post is really hurtful and unfair, and I am really disappointed that you view Ondib's posts as BS.
    I have learned A LOT from Ondib's posts, they reflect a great deal of knowledge and passion for music, and a broad understanding of music that is needed on this forum.
    I also perceive him as respectful towards others, in particular by not attacking at the personal level.

    I don't understand how you decided it is OK to try to shame him publically like this. If you think someone's posts are too long or off-topic, why on earth do you not consider contacting them directly in private with a polite and respectful request? I think your post shames us all. I for one will not stay on this forum if your post above prevails.

    You allow yourself to use the term "loathe" to describe an entire category of music that you don't understand, in a post of yours about atonal music. I see now this was a pre-announcement that you would attempt to restrict this forum to your own musical preferences and goals, instead of keeping it open to all music. I think your intolerance towards an entire category of music has extended now to Ondib because he advocates for that type of music. Similarly, you summarily got rid of a young person who had just joined this forum, I now think because he was using a recognizable style of music from the past (Chopin-esque) which you disapprove of.

    Your post to Ondib is inappropriately personal, objectionably cruel, and in my view is motivated by the desire to shape this forum to the type of music you happen to think is the only valid endeavor for any composer.

    Shame on you, Gav.

    Mariza
  • Hi Mariza.

     I stand by everything I have said.

    Gav

  • Hi Mariza.

     I stand by everything I have said. I will restate my position, so there is no confusion as to my viewpoint. I think Ondib is a troll of this site. Yes, he is a composer, but ultimately, and more importantly, a troll of this site who should be removed. What is the definition of a troll? Someone who posts crap. I think the definition is not more complex than this. His posts are too long, off topic, and refer to composers nobody has ever heard of (which I assume are made up).

    Gav

  • In terms of the original discussion, I will say that it's been interesting working with various influences while "growing up" as a composer.  I started off writing very much classical-period inspired music, and then romantic and impressionistic music.  Now I use techniques, timbres, harmonies etc. that I hear and find interesting in various places and try to create something engaging and pleasing out of them.  I do this in a way that tries to be original, but it would be very difficult to completely escape my influences.  Instead, why not try to learn from them?

    As for tonality vs. atonality, I think that puts the picture in a far too black-and-white manner.  As has been mentioned before, there are many ways of using tonality that aren't common-practice.  Look at Messiaen's music, for instance.  He uses very distinct types of tonality and cadences and modes that don't fit the common-practice type of tonality, but his music is certainly not without tonal centres.  Look at Berg- his music has clearly tonal moments, and he uses tonal centres even as he uses a dodecaphonic system and integrates serialism into his music.  It is truly a spectrum, and composers have approached it in many ways.  

  • Hello all.

    Gav, I think you add a great deal to this forum.

    I for one do NOT think you have done anything wrong or said anything wrong.

    You may have just had just had a bad, or a few bad days.

    Perhaps you have spoken in an unnecessarily personal fashion because you disagree with certain statements.

    Don't worry if people here speak about composers you have never heard of. We are all in the same boat, more or less, and I admit I also encounter here the names of composers and songwriters I have never heard of.

    I honestly hope you have a long and happy life and the opportunity to learn about as many of the composers we discuss here as possible.

    If you think there are serious unresolved issues between us still, perhaps we can find a way to mediate, and learn to handle these differences. I am open to suggestions.

    Yours amicably,

    O. O.
  • Hi Lara,

    Thanks for replying to the OP. How about posting something of yours on this thread?

    Gav

    Lara Poe said:

    In terms of the original discussion, I will say that it's been interesting working with various influences while "growing up" as a composer.  I started off writing very much classical-period inspired music, and then romantic and impressionistic music.  Now I use techniques, timbres, harmonies etc. that I hear and find interesting in various places and try to create something engaging and pleasing out of them.  I do this in a way that tries to be original, but it would be very difficult to completely escape my influences.  Instead, why not try to learn from them?

    As for tonality vs. atonality, I think that puts the picture in a far too black-and-white manner.  As has been mentioned before, there are many ways of using tonality that aren't common-practice.  Look at Messiaen's music, for instance.  He uses very distinct types of tonality and cadences and modes that don't fit the common-practice type of tonality, but his music is certainly not without tonal centres.  Look at Berg- his music has clearly tonal moments, and he uses tonal centres even as he uses a dodecaphonic system and integrates serialism into his music.  It is truly a spectrum, and composers have approached it in many ways.  

    Escaping one's influences
    Hi colleagues, I think the key struggle for me as a composer to be the best that I can be has been a struggle to find an original voice. This has bec…
  • Hi Ondib,

    Please consider keeping your future posts to threads which you do not originate to the same length as this one. I, and I suspect many others, simply do not have interest in your often long and divergent-from-the-original-topic posts. This is an issue of respect. If you respect your peers (everyone on this forum), you can show this by simply posting shorter, more-on-topic posts. If you do not respect your peers, then continue on with your "three-screenfuls-of-scrolling-off-topic-look-at-me-listen-to-these-composers-you-have-never-heard-of" stuff. On your own posts, do whatever you like. But on a post of mine, I ask that you show this respect to me personally. Unless you don't have that respect.

    O. Olmnilnlolm said:

    Hello all.

    Gav, I think you add a great deal to this forum.

    I for one do NOT think you have done anything wrong or said anything wrong.

    You may have just had just had a bad, or a few bad days.

    Perhaps you have spoken in an unnecessarily personal fashion because you disagree with certain statements.

    Don't worry if people here speak about composers you have never heard of. We are all in the same boat, more or less, and I admit I also encounter here the names of composers and songwriters I have never heard of.

    I honestly hope you have a long and happy life and the opportunity to learn about as many of the composers we discuss here as possible.

    If you think there are serious unresolved issues between us still, perhaps we can find a way to mediate, and learn to handle these differences. I am open to suggestions.

    Yours amicably,

    O. O.
    Escaping one's influences
    Hi colleagues, I think the key struggle for me as a composer to be the best that I can be has been a struggle to find an original voice. This has bec…
This reply was deleted.