Archive for January, 2017

1Q2017

Posted: January 9, 2017 in Press

nkm_album-coverJanuary 2017 is under way, and I’m releasing three new albums. Each is designed to highlight my film scoring chops, and I hope, will appeal to seasoned filmmakers and film composer agents. Two albums, Nkrumahand The Night Of…, are concept albums composed for an imagined film. No picture exists for these, but the product is an excellent vehicle to promote my score reel. I mean, why wait until a scoring opportunity arises, and then suddenly, I realize there’s not enough existing work samples to convince the interested party that I’ve got the chops for the gig. From a business point of view, this fixes that dilemma way in advance. And oh yeah, the third album, Un-Released Film Scores, showcases unreleased film scores from four independent films I scored between 2007-2008.

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With the 60th anniversary of Ghana being celebrated this year, I planned to do a special project for the event as far back as 2013. With drafts beginning in 2014, I decided to use that for my proposed opera about Kwame Nkrumah. I pitched my initial project idea to New Music Alive, but it was not among the recipients; so I took some time to consider other alternatives. The result is this concept album, that highlights the life of Kwame Nkrumah from 1957-1972. The album is a unique blend of symphony orchestra, afro-beat, and funk. As I previously mentioned, I wanted to create something that would interest filmmakers; whereby, my music would accompany her/his work. However, with the Nkrumah album, perhaps interested Ghanaian diplomats would want to engage in some sort of collaboration. The door is wide open now.

The Night Of…! Imagine a lone biker, sort of like Mad Max, but not living in a world of nuclear aftermath. Now, imagine this biker dude on the run; from whom or what is uncertain, but he rides. He’s got issues indeed,  but it all takes place in just one night! Lots of great films have stories that take place in only a day; I thought I’d do that.

Edna Sophia is featured on the title track, Late Nite Drive. Gotta have a female vocalist open up a hot-ass movie!! Skyfall with Adele? Diamonds are Forever with Shirley Bassey? Uh huh! Or, even a falsetto. The Delfonics’ tune “Stop, Look, and You Have Found Love” from the Netflix series Luke Cage has grown on me in a great way. Also, this concept album fuses rock-soul with the symphony orchestra…VINTAGE KERWIN YOUNG!

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Unreleased Film Scores showcases work from my intermediate stage, while I was still inquisitive about orchestration and harmony. In retrospect, that was a sixteen-year period, from 1994-2010. Just so you know, I began writing notes to paper in the spring of 1994. I scored my first film in 1997, after some ghost writing and smaller projects in-between. In 2000, my orchestral pursuits intensified, and after being denied by the Paris Conservatory in 2002, because I was “Too Old”, I really went IN! All the while, know this, I never discontinued music production! And, I’ve always played several instruments, as well as reading music since my single digit years. Facts. I’ve always been a student of music, and that won’t ever change. I listen to it all.

Of course, I saved the best for last! None of these projects would have been done if I hadn’t composed Songbirds: Suite for Violin and Piano for Tami Lee Hughes. That commission took me on a musical journey through time. I learned so much from the research and analysis while composing that work. By the time I was done, I had figured out the harmonic workings (progressions and stylizations) of almost all popular music genres. Thank you Tami Lee Hughes, and thank you Sphinx Organization! By the way, Songbirds premieres this month (January 2017). Click HERE for details.

Finally, I’m halfway complete with my fifth symphony. It’s got that thing!!!! Symphonies 1, 2, and 4 form a trilogy, and are composed for large forces with choir. Symphony No. 3 is a time piece, reminiscent of the years 1759-1817. Symphony No. 5 is untitled (a first), does not include choir; but I manage to include some of the oddities from previous works. Simply, because I can, it’s MY work, and MY sound. Forget about emulating anyone else, or another composers’ approach. The style of those people are all taken; so I must represent me, Kerwin Young. You should do the same. No one can be you, but YOU.

I’m now composing Symphony No. 5 in the second dedicated Moleskine sketchbook. I’m enjoying it. I compose and study in the day, and I’m producing other projects in the evening. My days and nights are LONG.

Until next time.

K!