After mentioning Philip Glass in the article about Hans Zimmer’s work here’s now what upcoming composers say about simplicity. Especially after speaking about Hans Zimmer who’s best known for his monumental (some might call a track with 12 drummers even “overloaded”) pieces it should now be interesting to take a look at the other side.

You’ll read what London based Juan Iglesias, Grady Klein from Athens, Jaroslav Vyhnička from Dubnica nad Váhom in Slovakia and Bob Goodwin from Liverpool think about simplicity in compositions. It also shows how large the spectrum of a definition can be. Leave us a message or a comment when you got your own definition within a specific track of yours or inside your mind!

 

In his first album Fractal Grady Klein already proved how important simplicity can be. Here’s now his latest track “It’s time” and his thoughts about simplicity:

To me simplicity is something joyous, as a benchmark for me so to speak. I do not throw my expectations too high. I may never be a Thomas Bergersen. But I never sell myself short when I feel confident about something. Simplicity is a way of showing I can learn subtle things especially with music. Hopefully I can learn complex things in music when I know all the simple things.

With “Ellipsis” Juan Igleasias also wanted his listeners as well as himself to dive into something “experimental, minimalism. A bit like Phillip Glass. Only bigger.” Make sure to download it for free!

I was just trying to repeat a small pattern, until it became a larger pattern, which in turn shaped the piece as a whole. In the end, I just wanted something that you could lose yourself in its repetition.

Ellipsis means ‘something left unfinished or unsaid’ (…). The title is actually referring to a missing beat in the metre. Our ears are accustomed to even bars of music, so I’ve cut a beat out. Instead of 2 bars of 6/8, it has a bar of 5/8 followed by a 6/8. This adds a little ‘skip’ to the rhythm as the pattern builds, as if something has been left out.

Here’s another great example for simplicity by Jaroslav Vyhnička aka coldnoise:

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Only 1 melodie but if you put together a lot of instruments is really great relax track. Music is beautiful in simplicities. Many people composed songs very complicated and are managed by genre rules. I do not have any rules. I’m doing a song as I want and not someone else, and as required by the genre, I feel sad I make it sad.

Bob “TheWraith517” Goodwin points out that simplicity even could be a possible start for another composition:

Simplicity can be something as easy as a “drone”, a basic bog standard home made element. Made from just picking an apparently useless pre-set and just mashing notes together, yet that one drone may just fill a gap for one person, and yet for another person it could be used as the beginning of a much longer piece

 

Posted by Peter F. Ebbinghaus

Based in Berlin, Germany. Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief. Music Producer at Eon Sounds Productions. Founder of Composers for Relief. Keeps Moving.

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5 Comments on "The beauty of simplicity (?)"

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Bob TheWraith Goodwin
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I like how Grady has that underline drone aspect as the strings come over it, yet it still lingers as the strings ride it like a wave. I also like how Juan has the same aspect of repetition that a drone brings, although a melody is less repetitive & simplistic than a drone on its own, but a melody like the pocket watch of a gun fighter plays its little loop. Your Wonderland seams to be a more Simplistic way of life sounding than a simplistic piece though, albeit a very nice kinda lets explore the kingdom piece.

Juan Iglesias
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Muchas gracias, Bob, appreciated!

Grady Klein
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Loved the Ellipsis track Iglesias. Absolutely captivating. And the track by coldnoises was a great example of breaking rules. I have to agree, no amount of genre rules and following the vulgar crowd gets creativity anywhere. Bravo sir. 😀

Juan Iglesias
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Thanks very much Grady. Loved the sound of yours too, real atmospheric!

Simeon Harris
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lovely stuff. stripping away so much allows us to experience some qualities of music more directly, i think. texture, tone, flow etc. here’s a piece of mine, performed on guitar in one improvised take…. https://soundcloud.com/simeonharris/the-crystal-caves
as for composers, i love some of cliff martinez’ ambient stuff. very evocative, using very few elements and almost no melodic content at all.