Start (The First Album)

As already made obvious, this is the first album I ever wrote. It started out as a few songs that I had written and had made sure to finish. I wanted to break the habit of starting songs and never finishing them and after completing about two songs I figured the best way to break the habit completely was to set a goal, write twelve songs and compile them into an album. I think I only had two that I didn't complete for this album and I put them off to the side to complete next time I write an instrumental album. This was an album that focused on figuring out what musical direction I wanted to go in if I ended up wanting to write more albums, and as a test to see what I could write as a novice composer/songwriter. The working title of this album was "The Summer Album" because it was also a challenge to see if I could write an album over the course of the summer of 2013. The album was released on May 8, 2014.

Start

The first song of the first album. It was inspired by the Symphony and Metallica concerts in 1999 and the music of the Finnish Symphonic Metal band Nightwish. As a member of my high school orchestra I was fascinated by the whole concept of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal music being combined with Classical. Unlike most of this album, the beginning of this song was written on physical staff paper first instead of in a music notation software.

Beauty Sonata in E Minor

This was one of the first songs where I combined an almost random mix of instruments just to see if I could make it all work. The song is supposed to convey the mood and feeling that you would have when you see someone you truly admire.

That Old Nostalgia Feel

This was inspired by the intro of All Alone by fun. I always wanted to write something in the chiptune style and when I heard that song I knew the direction I could take this song in. I wanted it to sound like music you would hear when walking through a town in an old Pokemon game.

Pianoful

This was originally supposed to be a song written for a piano quartet. But because I was still learning how to compose music it proved to be too much of a challenge for me. The use of a D.C. al Coda was enough of a challenge.

Song of Summer

Probably the most successful song off this album, and it was another mix of instruments that were slightly experimental. I knew this combination could work I just didn't know if I could make the combination work considering I was still new to composing. I wanted it to sound like a song from the Legend of Zelda video game series because I always thought the music in that series was so amazing.

Pan Flute Awesomeness (It's Not All The Same)

Inspired almost entirely out of pure spite I wanted to write a song in this style that would be recognizable and would break the stigma of every song in this style sounding the same. I probably wouldn't have thought to do a song in this style at all if it wasn't for the fact that my kinesiologist usually had music like this playing in his office.

Rainy Day Violin

This was the first song I ever tried to write in less than a day. Because I was just starting to really write music this was a daunting challenge for me but I wanted to say I could do it. The song ended up being through-composed as far as the violin was concerned and the only thing that was used more than once were certain drum parts. The song was successfully completed within a day.

For When You're Pissed

I don't know what it was, but one day I was just in a really bad mood, and I took the opportunity to try and write angry. I kind of just wanted to see if it was possible. I also wanted to write something that a musician could play when they're really mad where they can just get all their aggression out. At the time I was more of a drummer than anything and I ended up writing more from a drummer's perspective than anything else. So a drummer can really have fun on this song, but a guitarist not so much. The intro drum beat came from trying to figure out how a drum remix would work with the song Straight Through My Heart by the Backstreet Boys. The drum part for the song had a lot less bass drum notes until I actually tried playing it one day and it felt more natural to play it with extra bass drum notes.

Magnificence

This was a song that was meant to convey the same feeling that Beauty Sonata created but in a different genre. This was also the first song from this album to be played in full live. The first performance was at the Penn State Altoona campus during one of the open mic nights held in the Slep Student Center during the 2015-2016 school year. I played the lead guitar part while letting my computer play the rest of the tracks. This was one of the last songs to be written for this album.

Energization

I tried to write a song that showed my Volbeat influence. This was also the first song where I tried to get the drums to kind of set the pace and feel of multiple sections instead of one section or just having the string instruments doing most of the leg work.

Dark Forest

This was probably the first song I started writing for this album. Eventually it got to the point where I wanted to exclusively work on this song because of how awesome I thought it was. With the timpani parts, piano lead section, and the violin solo I wanted to put as much attention into this song as I could. I had also written the violin solo in a separate document and then copied and pasted it into the main song file so that I could focus more on what the violin was doing and not what the other instruments were doing in support.

Head Contact

The first song on the album and the first song ever where I actually sat down at a keyboard and wrote most of the song. The melody that comes in at about 1:04 can be considered the first melody written for this album. It was thought up in about 2009 when the "band" (read the blog post about my first band to learn about the need for the quotation marks) I was in was trying to incorporate a keyboard and I played that out of nowhere. They laughed at it so I kind of just forgot about it until I started writing this song. I played it, thought it sounded familiar, and remembered what it was. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to use that in a song I was going to publish so I could say that a melody that was once laughed at can now be downloaded world-wide. This was one of the last songs to be written for this album and I knew that this was going to be the last track on the album so I put the held out gong as a sort of a non-repetitive fade out for the album.