Written By Aidan Remedios (Grade 7)
I began playing the piano three years ago. The curriculum included music theory and practical sessions. After hours of practice and a year of lessons, I began to get musical ideas of my own. My grounding in classical music and music my parents played culminated with musical ideas sprouting in my mind whenever I sat in front of the piano and didn’t have sheet music in front of me. I also began to figure out the notes of songs that I liked and would play them to break from the structured practice that sometimes bored me.
Towards the end of 2018, my father introduced me to Avicii. As I listened to more music from this genre, I discovered a liking for the sound and instrumentation. I then started listening to more proponents of the EDM (Electronic Dance Music) genre. Somewhere along the way, I was no longer content to just listen to EDM, I wanted to create it. This desire got me started on my journey as a composer of original tracks.
I began my musical journey using an app called NOISE by ROLI. Hardware extensions that worked along with NOISE included a Seaboard, a Launchpad and a Live Block. These digital instruments were the ones that I use to create my first melody that I called – “Jijin”. I also began uploading songs to YouTube. The songs, however, lacked richness because production on the ROLI was limited to 4 MIDI tracks.
One day in the course of a conversation in class, I discovered my classmate also listened to EDM. He suggested that I listen to a Norwegian DJ called Alan Walker. When I went home that day I started listening to him and I loved his style and the way he used triplets in his music. When I read his Wikipedia page, I discovered that he was a bedroom producer and started making music at the age of 16. He made music on a laptop using a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) called FL (Fruity Loops) Studio which inspired me to start making music on a laptop as well.
I started using a 2012 Mac Book Pro to make music but I didn’t use FL Studio, I used another DAW called Ableton Live 9 Live which was equally good but was limited to 8 Audio or MIDI tracks. I briefly did a short course on Ableton Live on Udemy to get to know the basics of music production and to help me with my creations. I composed several tracks and noticed that with each one, my style was improving. I was encouraged by this. I would ask my parents to share my creations online to get an idea of the response to my music. I also enlisted the support of my brothers to create music videos that added colour to my compositions.
My parents were very happy with my keenness and dedication to my craft. They supported me by upgrading my setup. I added a keyboard and a Novation Launchpad MK2 to my setup. I connected both of them to my computer. Now, whatever I played on the keyboard and the Launchpad streamed through the computer with whatever effects I used. With this access to the latest technology, my songs got even better and I was really happy with the way things were going.
For my birthday, my parents then upgraded my setup once more and bought a new Lenovo desktop which had an Intel i7 processor and a 16 GB RAM. I then downloaded both Ableton Live 10 and FL Studio but I mainly used Ableton Live 10. Since I upgraded my DAW to Ableton Live 10, there were many more features and I could add infinite tracks. It was very professional. The first song I made was ‘New World’ which sounded very strong, powerful and professional. It had 44 layers and took me a fortnight to compose and put together. When I made this track I decided to use my music to send out a social message on ‘Saving Trees’, so the name and the video are dedicated to that.
Once I had access to Ableton Suite I began work on my first album – Aural Benefits. This album has songs inspired by the sounds of the locality that I live in. Miaou Miaou features the feline vocals of the kittens in my grandmother’s house. Bhow Bhow has sounds from the leashed dogs that walk past these kittens. Toy Moodle is inspired by the lyrical ballad Tom Dooley, a fun name that my parents would sometimes call my younger brother, Dylan. May the 4th be with you is inspired by the haunting melody of the Star Wars series that I once binge-watched with my family. I hope you check them out and enjoy these pieces of music!
I will be releasing a new album on my birthday…
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YouTube Music: https://music.youtube.com/channel/UCdZa2On9TaKDxEsgI77ajzw
Featured Image Courtesy – Pinterest