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A special kind of music

Posted on January 31, 2017 at 1:10 AM

Imagine what inspiration would sound like if it were in the form of instrumental music. Simple yet elegant notes of music with the power to influence your emotions. Music crafted by some of the most creative composers, a wide variety of the finest instruments, played by skilled musicians, and in some forms also includes both choral and solo performances. Music which could invoke feelings of triumph, sorrow, peace, war, reprisal, defeat, hope, loss, courage, bravery, a fight for survival, to win against all odds, a battle against good and evil, or a chance between life and death. Such a form of music does exist with all of this potential and much more. I will begin by explaining in detail to avoid any confusion.

Known loosely as modern classical music, it is a style of orchestral music that spans dozens of different genres each with its own unique twist and instruments used, as well as hybrid mixtures of genres that defy traditional composition. Collectively, this modern classical music is broken down into three specific genres important to be familiar with: Film music, Trailer music, and Epic music. The easiest to distinguish first, Film music or score, is original instrumental music specifically written and composed for films. I first started with film music when I was growing up and became a fan of films such as Star Trek and Star Wars, which had notable scoring by composers like John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, and later Hans Zimmer.

The second form of music, Trailer music, consists of the background music used in mini-movies called film trailers. These trailers don't necessarily have to contain scoring from the actual film, and often times such scoring is not yet finished because trailers are released for marketing purposes before the film is completed. Trailer music is therefore composed specifically to support the pending release of a film for generating interest within a target fan base. I have been exposed to film trailers long before now, but it wasn't until the 2009 release of the second film trailer for Avatar which awoke my interest in Trailer music. Earlier that same year the reboot of the Star Trek franchise had released their film trailers, which contained music I was equally inspired by at the time.

Though, the first time I began searching for who composed this music was with the second Avatar film trailer. Thanks to YouTube, I looked for the songs by using search parameters such as "Avatar trailer music". I discovered that there were a total of three individual tracks, with two of them having been by the production music company called Audiomachine. In order, the trailer begins with Steve Jablonsky's film score, My Name Is Lincoln (The Island film), Audiomachine's Akkadian Empire and Guardian At The Gate. I strongly encourage everyone to check out Jablonsky's score piece, My Name Is Lincoln, because it is a very soothing and an absolutely incredible uplifting song that will demonstrate the powerful potential for this kind of orchestral music.

Trailer music was originally meant to be used as inspirational and uplifting music for motion picture advertising campaigns. Once it caught on and became a growing sensation, Trailer music popularity has continued to grow at an astounding rate. So far to date, it has also been used in other mediums such as the Olympic Games and commercial advertising. Fans around the world convinced recording studies for the music to make their albums public for purchase, whereas before the compositions were kept private. Sales of such albums and continued popularity have driven some fans to show support for public concerts to be held as well. The Avatar film trailer is what I would describe as a modern film trailer, because of this music's heightened emotional effect.

Derived from Trailer music, Epic music is its base form which can used for film trailers but is being increasingly composed for public exhibition on websites like YouTube under Epic Music Channels (EMCs). Due to the steadily growing popularity, Epic music has attracted a vast new group of composers specializing in composing the music of this type. It has also evolved to become very similar to neoclassical music, which is my preferred name to describe it more accurately. Since 2009 with the Avatar film trailer, Epic music has become a major source of inspiration that has literally changed my life. Beginning with Audiomachine, Two Steps From Hell, Immediate Music, and Thomas J. Bergersen, I gradually explored other production groups and composers.

Audiomachine - Paul Dinletir, Kevin Rix

Thomas J. Bergersen

Two Steps From Hell - Nick Phoenix

Immediate Music - Yoav Goren, Jeffrey Fayman

Steve Jablonsky

Zack Hemsey

Q-Factory Music - Robert Etoll

The Hit House - Scott Miller

Fringe Element - David Travis Edwards

Hi-Finesse - Jez Colin

Jack Trammell

Twelve Titans Music - David Travis Edwards

Confidential Music - John Samuel Hanson, Kyle Biane

I quickly discovered what Epic music was capable of when used expertly in movie trailers for films, such as: Captain America Civil War, Doctor Strange, Everest, Inception, Interstellar, Iron Man 3, Star Trek (2009), Star Trek Into Darkness, Star Trek Beyond, Terminator Genisys, The Adjustment Bureau, The Avengers, The Avengers Age of Ultron, The Martian, The Wolverine, Thor The Dark World, X-Men Days of Future Past, and dozens more just to give you a taste. With the shortest teaser trailers released first, two to three more revealing film trailers usually follow. If a film trailer is meant to be a mini-movie, the sheer intensity of Epic music used in these trailers has to be equally compelling because a trailer only lasts a couple minutes on average. Imagine the potential to help alleviate mental illness symptoms.

Soon after the Avatar film trailer in 2009, I came up with an innovative concept of organizing Epic music songs into special playlists I call Opus playlists. Opus, because I am the one who composed the organization of the songs into extraordinary playlists. Each of the three I have created are actually arranged according to how each song makes you feel, each different emotional reaction progresses to tell a larger emotional story. Generally, they begin with an upbeat mood for the beginning of the imaginative emotional experience, which transitions to songs that create feelings of peril and defeat such as an imaginary evil rising to power. This is followed by triumphant, uprising, and battle tempo songs of fighting back against those dark forces, culminating with a powerful last stand series of songs for the climax.

To round out the end of these playlists, I used songs that create sad emotions to portray the sacrifices made, a couple triumphant songs for the ending, and concluded with a minimum of three very compelling songs that serve as the end titles like for a film score. I used to create similar playlists like these when I was growing up, using Film music from both the early Star Trek and Star Wars films. What makes Epic music far more effective is that it isn't tied to scenes from a movie, which you would immediately think of rather than the creativity of how it makes you feel. This difference allows a listener to concentrate on what emotions these songs make you feel, and when strung together to create a story, can be very inspiring.

I considered sharing each of my three opus playlists here, but that would take up too much room. I do have them saved under the public Notes section of my Facebook profile in chronological order of when I created them: Destiny's Resurrection, March of Souls, and Against All Odds. Where a Film music song such as Steve Jablonsky's My Name Is Lincoln, mentioned above, would fit in with an example opus playlist would be after the climax near the end. It would symbolize a hard fought victory and overcoming whatever forces of evil a person can imagine. What songs like this actually can do is allow a person to feel positive emotions, from the more upbeat songs, and help alleviate troubling symptoms with such mental health conditions as depression and bipolar disorder.

With songs from genres like Epic and Trailer music, and an active imagination, the sky really is the limit for what this music can do. Anyone who might need their own little boost, when their days are somber and down, can pick their favorite energetic song and experience the positive potential. I listen to Epic music just about every day, during my box-ercising routine, and when driving in my car. If you find it enjoyable, share it with anyone you know and maybe someday the composers and production groups will begin to hold actual concerts. Imagine the intensity in a performance center and all those people packed together. :) I, for one, would be speechless.

I would also like to dedicate this post to the composers who created some of the first Epic music I discovered and have loved ever since. Thank you Paul Dinletir, Thomas J. Bergersen, and Nick Phoenix. I owe you a thousand words for the thousands of hours your music has inspired me to do great things. Well, actually a thousand five hundred words as this blog post turned out to be.  8)

Categories: Inspirational, Famous People, To Know Me Better

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