Our love of cinematic music brought us here

Written by HQ on . Posted in From the HQ

This last decade has seen a big rise in interest in soundtrack music and cinematic instrumental music. Here are some personal thoughts on why that might be, and the philosophy behind much of the work you will find here.

I think that how we enjoy music changed drastically with the introduction of our own private music space, with what I consider to be a proper music revolution - The Walkman. 

All of a sudden you were not limited to sitting in your living room or your car to enjoy music, you could be outside walking, bicycling or commuting, and the music you listened to literally became the soundtrack of your life. This changed everything for me. It was huge. And now we all have it. Our phones and music players carry our music or stream it wherever we are. 

I noticed that on my travels I wanted to listen to music that set the mood to the scene I was experiencing. I would frequently choose instrumental music over the vocal stuff I would otherwise be listening to when I put on my headphones. 

I would allow the music to sink in, and become a part of what I was visualizing and experiencing. Augmenting my other senses, giving me peace to think. Sometimes I would feel like I was the main character in a film. My film. That isn't a bad feeling. I soon found that I was listening more and more to cinematic music. 

And this is the music I'm trying to write and share here. Music that I'd like to have in my headphones while traveling or moving around. Music that puts images in my head, that relies on my own fantasy to finish what it starts. It's cinematic, but not always strictly film music, film scores tend to be more subdued and sparse, as  they have to set a mood while avoiding to be in the way of dialogue or a herd of stampeding buffalos. 

I tend to write repetitive but simple melodies around a buildup, hoping that they will sink in so you don't necessarily have to concentrate on them or on lyrics, it should just be there, setting the mood. I rely heavily on sound design and creative soundscapes to further enhance the cinematic texture of the music and mix styles as much as I can. There are classical influences as well as electronic, but to be honest, I'll use just about any method, style or instrument to get thing to sound like I want them to. Every song here should be allowed to become what it wants to.  

When I write, I usually compose to a scene in my mind. Sometimes I share these scenes with others, but mostly i prefer people to make up their own images in their minds. 

I write music and sound design for commercials for a living. There I have to cater to a lot of different tastes of directors, creatives and clients. When I started working on Music To An Unborn Film and Dark Space Matters, I warmed to the idea of 'clientless' music. While scoring films and trailer music interests me professionally, I wanted even more freedom. I wanted to write music to scenes I had in my mind, for other people to make their own.

This eventually led me to start Anthemico. There will be music from other Icelandic composers as well, as many of my colleagues have expressed interest in having a place like this for their less categorisable music and sound design work.  

This is the philosophy behind the work that you will find here. I hope you enjoy it. 

Petur Jonsson