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  • Richard Tracey

My Love of Instrumental Music.....




If anyone has been paying attention to anything I post on Twitter, either as part of my posts, or adding my tuppence worth into other people's posts, you may have noticed that I have a massive love of instrumental music.


I like to create pieces of music, that can build and tell their own story, without the need for lyrics or vocals. There is something beautiful in the way a melody, can interweave with a counter melody and build and fall away, leaving you desperate for more - or another listen.


But where did this love of instrumental music come from?


Well.... for as long as I can remember, I have tuned into the thematic music in TV programmes and films - sometimes more than the film. For me, a really good soundtrack can make a poor movie so much better, but a poor soundtrack, can have the opposite effect on a really good movie.


I grew up listening to John Barry, John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, John Carpenter and Ennio Morricone, who were absolute masters of their craft. The emotion they can pull from a piece of music, is spellbinding and gives me goosebumps even thinking about some of the themes they have created. While John Barry is my all time favourite composer and you should check out all of his catalogue, I must ask, that if you haven't heard it yet, you check out Jerry Goldsmith's soundtrack to 'Papillon', in particular the Main Theme and Cruel Sea.


I could go on giving examples of soundtrack music to listen to all day, so I might at some point do another post, where I give some essential listening for my favourite soundtrack composers.


Of course, there are a lot of soundtrack composers I could mention, that I am a huge fan of, Hans Zimmer, James Horner, Michael Giacchino, Thomas Newman and Craig Armstrong to name but a few more.


But, it's not just soundtrack composers that made me fall in love with instrumental music. I also have a fondness for classical music, in particular Satie and Debussy. A lot of the time it is the piano that pulls me in, so of the newer artists, I really like Ludovico Einaudi, Max Richter, Nils Frahm and Ólafur Arnalds.


And then there is the instrumental music from some of my favourite bands from the 80's. Most of the time, they would use the 'b' side to showcase an instrumental track - or as Ultravox did on the Vienna album, kick it all off with the stupendous Astradyne.


For me, the best for the electronic/synthpop instrumental was Ultravox, Visage, Midge Ure and Depeche Mode. I could write a whole post just about this subject and may yet.


It is in all those artists that I try to pull inspiration for the instrumental music I make. Sometimes it is just overtly synthpop and other times, very classical/soundtrack in it's creation. But if I can make someone feel anything remotely to how I feel when I listen to these artists, I will be an extremely happy person indeed.


So, I will leave you with this.... when you are alone, nothing else around to make a noise, put on some headphones and some instrumental music and let it wash over you, calming your soul and making you think that nothing else matters in those moments.


I know I will......


R x

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