SoundShock Artist Interview

So I was recently interviewed by Daniel Stronglin, the good founder of SoundShock Audio: a website dedicated to nurturing aspiring music producers.

The questions asked were definitely not of a standard "let's-get-to-know-this-artist" template, but rather one that caused me to reflect on my own creative process. I've had to dissect it, analyse it and talk about my strengths and weaknesses (sort of).

It's never easy for an artist to be vulnerable about his/her own art. I'm so honoured and humbled to be given this opportunity. I also need some new photographs.

http://www.soundshockaudio.com/2017/09/16/gregory-tan-interview/

An Orchestral Endeavour

It's nearly 3AM. I should be asleep. My fiance may kill me if she found out that I'm writing this at this hour.

I apologise in advance for any grammatical or typo errors. The brain doesn't function well at such a time as this, but here we go anyway.

You might have guessed. I released a new music project today. "Sky Threader's Journey" is an Epic Orchestral EP of sorts that I'm happy to share with the rest of the world. This project is significant to me because it signifies a shift in my musical direction. More importantly, it also signifies a new season in my life. 

Each track in "Sky Threader's Journey" tells a story in and of itself. There's a consistent melody that solidifies the foundation of each song despite the bombastic hits and dynamic contrasts through the musical passages. I have always seen myself as a storyteller of sorts, not just a music composer or artist.

"Sky Threader's Journey" was written in the context of a celebratory hallmark. 2016 was a rough year for me and if you went back to have a listen to some of my older work, the material sounds a whole lot darker and borders along the lines of progressive post-rock unlike this project, which is of a more Hybrid Orchestral nature. While the projects launched between 2016 and 2017 are still considerably cinematic, I would say that the melody in each of the pieces of "Sky Threader's Journey" are more refined and fluid. In a musical sense, each piece is also "fuller" with more instruments involved.

I don't know if this genre of music qualifies as what some might call "epic" music, but it is definitely an indication of where I am in my musical endeavours. Being brought up in a classical environment, I've always gravitated back to my roots, but the electronic sound design blended with the orchestral foundation of each piece represents a sort of "dilution" of my musical foundation.

This is the first time I've worked on a project from scratch without the help of anyone else and I'm rather pleased with it.

Have a listen to "Sky Threader's Journey" here.

Unorthodoxy.

2017 has been a rather odd year so far. It's actually been a year where I've not strived to "sell" or market myself. I've come to a point where I rather let my portfolio and my work ethic do the talking (selling). Despite not having pushed for freelance projects of late, more work requests have been flooding in than ever before.

Coincidence? 

Unlikely.

Despite the advanced marketing tools we have in this day and age to reach audiences far and wide, the good old "Word of Mouth" channel/method still works best when it comes to getting one's name/company out there. I've been so blessed to have been referred to prospective clients from former satisfied ones through this very medium.

I'll never take this season for granted - I'll also never take the One who orchestrated such events for granted.

Oh, and uh, more music is going to drop soon. Look forward to a personal project dropping in the subsequent months.

June 2017.

June. A significant month. Representation. More than just birthdays (mine, my partner's).

This time a year ago, I returned home to Singapore from a 3 year stint in Melbourne, Australia. I came back a tired, weary and jaded individual, despite only being 24 years of age then.

So much has changed since then. I'm so grateful and thankful for that. I used to think that Singapore would be my end point, that my time overseas was up. Somewhere in the first quarter of 2017, I realised otherwise.

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them.

The point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”

I'm really looking forward to the days ahead.

Some Updates.

I've been off the radar for a while, and I apologise for that.

Life does take its toll while business sets in. Over the last month I've,

Signed a new non-exclusive publishing deal, got engaged to the love of my life, relocated to a new residence on my own and became a content contributor for an up and coming music tutorial site.

I've also had sleepless nights, fallen sick twice or thrice, been involved in unexpected conflicts and forged some really awesome friendships along the way.

I must admit that it's been a little tiring, both in the highs and lows, but that's what keeps me on my toes. I strangely love this journey.

Of The Sea.

Hi friends, I’m really happy to share that I’ve just been offered a new exclusive music publishing deal by Music of The Sea; the agency that manages Beyonce’s and Chaka Khan’s music catalogs.

This journey has been terribly exciting so far, filled with ups and downs. It's often been a struggle daily to move forward, but sometimes moving on is the only thing one can do. It's the little yet beautiful reminders like this that motivate and reaffirm the whole dream chasing process.

I'm so honoured if you reading this have at some point, been a part of it.

 

Success, Redefined.

The individual defines success on his or her own terms. For some, it's financial and material wealth. For others, it's about being the best version of themselves they can be. For some, it's about being really good at something and getting paid to put their passion into practice. For most, it's about leaving a legacy of sorts behind and impacting others.

The list goes on.

Whatever one's understanding of success is, there is a universal truth buried within all of these definitions:

Success is a process and a journey, not a destination. We don't reach a place or a level of success. We see and reap the fruits of labor, but we succeeded to get there. Replace "succeeded" with "walked" or "ran" or "struggled" etc. and you'll get where I'm coming from.

Are we more concerned with the fruit or the journey?

Student, Always.

Titles such as "music composer" or "orchestrator" or "audio engineer" are in my humble opinion, merely titles; terminology that provides insight and description to a specific series of actions that reflect the daily duties of an individual.

It would be nice if I was to be remembered as those titles listed above, but I would much prefer to describe myself as a music student, and would like to believe that I will always be one till the day I leave this world behind.

I don't know how to quantify or qualify when it would be okay for someone to ever stop learning; to cease educational conquest and declare him/herself a maestro of everything related to the subject.

The field of music consists of endless myriads of possibilities.

For that reason, I don't think that a single lifetime would be sufficient to consume all that is available, not especially with new audio technological discoveries and fresh permutations of notation exercises being made each day.

For that reason, I will always see myself as a student of music.

Blessings, Reflections.

I feel it’s necessary to count my blessings once in a while.

It’s barely been 2 years since I picked up composing, and I daresay that it’s nothing short of a miracle that I’ve managed to score licensing deals with various music publishing houses around the globe in such a brief period. I’m thankful to have composed & arranged music for various media agencies and corporations thus far.

I honestly don’t know where all of this will take me, but I guess it’s exciting to live life in the unknown putting faith and hope not in my own abilities, but rather in Him who holds tomorrow. I used to think that Singapore was my final stop after a short stint in Melbourne, but I’ve got a small inkling that this might not be the case.

This place will always be home, but in the future, I’m guessing higher education in a different country may call. Over the course of the journey, I’ve been reminded time and again that vision and passion demand execution.

Composing underscore music probably isn’t the most glamorous endeavour, but like many other things that don’t stand in the limelight, is a necessity (especially when it comes to creative production).

I’d like to think that working “behind the scenes” is a personal reflection of my character and where I see my position in the Creative industry as a whole.

Scoring music above all, is a form of service, and is interestingly, part of the Servant Heart development process that began internally some time ago.

I am so so grateful for the past, present and future.