Epicworld Heritage Academy interviews Jordan about his music album of “Solace”.
n the stress of your daily life you can relax with this New Age Instrumental Music.
Instrumental Composer talks about Ambient Music Collection
Epicworld Heritage Academy
Interview with Jordan and his music album “Solace”.
I realized we never really talked about the "Solace" album, and its increased popularity, tell me more about it?
Better late than never, it’s hard to believe how many years have gone by since I released it. I wrote it as a stress relief album because I was going through some rough times myself at the time.
This is one of the reasons why I put timelessness in my music, like Beethoven and Mozart.
I can listen to them all day long. I wanted to compose some music that keeps you more focused or in a sense something that you can hold onto like a warm blanket. Music that you can relax and bring you comfort or help people connect to something that takes them somewhere safe.
What made you start with the “Solace” album instead of the more active type of music, like the others such as your “In Motion” album for instance?
Of course “Solace” was the first album released, but to be honest it wasn’t the first album I started with. I’ve been writing music since I was young.
I wrote my first piece of music when I was about fourteen years old which is a story in itself. I guess I really wanted to start off with something more of a softer approach.
There was a lot of music noise going on during that time, and I would say in my life as well. Even though I was writing “Solace” I was also writing the “In Motion” album at the same time.
It seemed to be more of a relief alternative to make it easier to try other things while writing “Solace”.
How long did it take you to write the “Solace” album?
I think it took me about eight to ten years off and on and about one year continuously for most of the music to come together.
There were a number of projects or life happenings going on during that time. For example I think that pieces like “Rescue Me” sat on the shelf for almost twenty years before bringing out on the table.
That one almost made it to the “In Motion” album because it had a higher tempo rate that I thought just didn’t work for the melody so I changed it, which seemed to work out.
A number of the pieces came together within the release year such as “impression” and “Influence” which were not small pieces to compose.
You have some interesting titles to your music, how do you decide what to name them?
Sometimes naming titles is easy and many times it is not. Some of the titles fit and others may surprise you and may wonder if it really fits. For example “Ponderous” or “Ground Surplus” are not exactly thought provoking or industrial sounding music pieces… or maybe they are, it depends on how they are taken. During that time I was inexperienced and was exploring many new things first hand.
With many on the “Solace” album, the titles came after I wrote them. They each tell their own story. For example “Just for You” was a title that has a small story in the music with two instruments that start off in a Romeo and Juliet type scenario starting apart, but has a better ending and they come together at the end.
Some of the titles were intentional. For example “Music Box” was meant to sound like a music box with a transitional phase, from a small music box to an orchestra, taking your thoughts to a larger music place like a symphony.
Another example was “Influence” the title was meant to be called “Gentleness” it just didn’t quite fit. It just was meant to be on a larger scale. As for titles like “Majestic” which gracefully came together so quickly within a day. The others such as ”Rain Drops”, “Serenity” and “Simplicity” were just more fitting to their titles. I wrote these pieces so that the listener can also have their own stories to take from them.
Is there a type of music message you are trying to say?
I would say the overall the goal is to preserve our heritage and culture. I would think that particularly with “Solace” it was meant for the listener to take a step back and look at what we have control over, because as you and I know that doesn’t always seem to be the case.
We all have stressful days that keep us from doing many things that we would like to see completed. I have had many people tell me that this album has helped them in some way, to cope with some of their day to day challenges. I know of some that have lost loved ones or just have struggles they have gone through and this music album has helped them.
There is a one person who has listened to “Solace” every night before she goes to bed, and has for several years. This has helped her to relax in spite of all her health issues. She can’t seem to get enough.
Another example is a guy that said that he was going through some personal struggles and “Majestic” helped him. That makes me feel good to know that this album has helped many people and I hope to continue to write music that will inspire them one way or another.
How do you begin a music project, with fresh ideas, where do you start?
Well it isn’t easy and is always a challenge to bring new ideas to the table. It is always a challenge to sit in front of the 88 keys like Beethoven, Mozart and countless others to come up with new music material. It can be a scary thing sitting there with a blank page wondering what to put down on it. Sometimes it is hard just sitting down and knowing what that approach is.
I try to have a routine and of course distractions often happen and other pressing matters that keep that routine quite loose. Some days the music flows together and other days become weeks and sometimes months. It is a constant struggle. There are times I would write a piece of music that just doesn’t fit the criteria so it ends up on the shelf until the next project which could be years later.
There are different types of music and basically they are like a huge puzzle to solve when composing these pieces. For instance with the “Solace” album was more of an open ended project and the overall theme was just writing calm music, which allowed me to write music more freely. There wasn’t a deadline to meet such as the “No Limit to the Skies” album which was a video game project or various other film shorts trailers and so on.
Writing music is a process and mostly takes a lot of time and thought. I would say it is mostly a lot of thinking. Sometimes it is just taking a breath and to have the courage to just try and start playing and know that it most likely may fail and won’t be right the first time or even the second.
Most of us just have to try something new by changing our approach or even technique. As for me it is sometimes a picture or film or just being in the right place to get an idea that makes all the difference. Every piece of music tells a story while making an outline and taking notes on a pad of paper really helps give it some direction.
Was there a particular piece that you were terrified or excited to write?
In a way it is all pretty daunting. This music takes a lot of energy and emotion to hopefully give the listener what was intended to hear. I would say it depends on what the mood is and it can feel exciting.
At the same time it can be a somewhat overwhelming and it quite a struggle to come up with new music, but when it just comes together it is quite amazing! Many people have asked me, “When are you going to release some more music?” Then I would reply that unfortunately it takes a load of time and it’s in process. Being creative just takes a load of time. Many artists of any type would agree, if you rush something you may not like the result and would have to live with it.
There are a lot of things to take into consideration, especially if it involves multiple instruments in an orchestra, and just taking the elements to piece them together. I listed the music tracks on this album in such a way so that listeners begin their journey on a simpler note and then build to a more rich and involved ending. I would say that by the time I got down to pieces such as “Rescue Me” and “Influence”, it got more complicated.
I spent a great deal of time on those tunes as I got closer to the end. Like I said there is a lot of thought before even sitting down with a blank page. To answer your question, it’s all scary. I guess that’s what makes it exciting. [laughs]
Have you thought of doing other styles or genres of music?
I for one like timelessness in my music. The trick is to make music that becomes timeless and not trendy. Many genres can take you to a certain place in time. For example, Jazz and Rock music are limited in their genre. On the other hand, Soundtrack, Instrumental and Classical music are more transcendent.
Even Classical music has a large ensemble group of instrumental players from different time periods and still has a timeless and unique style. The difference to me is that it holds a place that can give the listener a kind of new experience as they listen each time.
I study a lot of the types of music and composers and their lives, with Contemporary, Soundtracks, and a lot of Classical music. I often try to write various styles and emotion to bring to the table.
At times I tend to incorporate a number of genres together and see what happens. I tend to do mainly what works for the project or what feels like it fits the scenario. I would imagine that there are a number of ways to play by the rules. I tend to bend or break them a little bit and try to give it some wholesomeness.
Some musicians like to stay within a certain structure. As for me, I don’t mind being outside of the box sometimes. It gives a different perspective. I basically do what works for me.
I know you have said that you have more music in the works, anything coming soon?
Yes there is in fact there is a lot more coming. I have a number of ideas and other albums in the works. The trick is to know which is closest to finish. Of course there have been some major setbacks with this whole pandemic thing with various resources and availabilities.
I’ve had to relocate which means taking down the music studio and setting it back up which takes time, losing several months and a number of other life issues as many can relate. In the meantime there is more in the works because it is true, everything does take time.
You can’t rush creativity, especially if you want it to turn out the way it was intended. Remember what I said about control over things? I wish I had a definite date or deadline but every time I set a date, things seem to change. More music is on the way.
I have been working on a very interesting album that has been in the works for many years. I would say I am much more than halfway. It has been an extensive journey for this particular album. I am excited for this rather large album and am hoping it will be worth the wait. Be patient with me and keep listening, my aim is not to disappoint.