Have you ever wanted to change so bad you were upset about it? Whether it was changing an attitude, a direction in life, or a bad habit. The change is good, and the desire to change is even better.
My favorite movie is Big Fish. It’s the center of everything I do. I watch it whenever I get some free time, and it’s actually 1 of only a handful of movies I’ve ever seen. One line in the film goes “the biggest fish get that way by never being caught” and I’m surprised I haven’t gotten that quote tattooed on me yet, because I live by it every day.
The idea of never being caught is about never being comfortable. You have to keep on moving, like a shark, or else you’ll die. The risk IS the reward. The risk is your ability to keep moving, try new things, and embark on a journey to become a bigger fish. It’s about failure, learning, humility, and transforming.
"Dare To Transform" is an original piece I wrote last week in response to my buildup of frustration with copyright and creativity issues. Whether it’s my Gravity Falls piece not being allowed to be uploaded onto iTunes, or Gangnam Style getting a takedown notice, or other problems - I’m just one kid, and to spend 70 hours on something and then have it taken away is upsetting.
It’s more dramatic than to call it upsetting, it’s crushing.
So I’m transforming. I’m going back to my roots for a week and answering the calls of original melodies I hear in my head. This will allow a few things for me:
1.) I’ll have complete control over the music. If you want to steal it, upload it to Youtube, or even remix it - you can. It’ll be Creative Commons NC 3.0. Art is meant to be shared.
2.) Money isn’t my motivator, happiness is. And a large part of that happiness is being able to fully express myself without being bound by terms or creative boundaries.
3.) Sheet music. Since I own the song I’ll be able to make sure that I can invest in music education any way I can. While I don’t think music education is the answer to the world’s problems, I do feel it’s the answer to some people’s lives, and I would love to contribute to that cause any way I can.
"Dare To Transform" is aggressive in every way. It had to be because a transformation isn’t calm, nor should it be. It’s a tear in two distinct directions that cause people to struggle and question. For me, I kept thinking "In the past no one bought my originals, which is why I quit For Orchestra before. If I go down that same road again, will I cannibalize myself again? If I can’t financially survive to eat, then I’m doomed." So be it. Let’s throw caution to the wind.
I’ve been playing piano nonstop in the past 6 months, and you’ll definitely hear the influence of that in this arrangement. I always wanted to write piano literature, but was never confident that I could pull it off. Writing for piano is different than every other instrument I’ve ever tackled because there’s so much going on at one time. 10 fingers dancing simultaneously will do that to you.
So this piece is my adventure piece. It’s breaking the chains and exposing a new side of my writing. It’s scary, and it’s daring. If this is well received I’ll arrange more originals for you all, but I’m prepared to hear the chants with torches in hand of “It sucked, go back to the cover songs!”
Artists’ ideas aren’t propriety because everything is a remix. A melody I’ll think of tomorrow will be the result of something I heard yesterday. A painting will be influenced by a street sign someone saw while taking a casual walk. A movie will bring someone else’s script to life.
And so in the age of transformation, remix, and struggle I think this piece sits well with me. It came out exactly as I heard it in my head, and it’s progressive in the way that it made me grow as a composer.
The percussion section is violent. The piano is poetic. The strings are epic. It’s a piece I’m proud to say is mine because it pushed me a little further into being scared, coloring outside the lines, and becoming a bigger fish.