George Denis Ardelean is a composer living in Romania. Self-taught pianist, George started learning first learning the accordion at a young age, before starting to study the piano. His compositions capture both sad melancholy and hope which derives from his strong interest for film music and storytelling. His works are marked by delicate combinations of instruments, sounds and textures designed to strike that particular emotional chord in the audience, essential for the musical story and experience to be complete. Each piece of music is a journey to the vastness of his inner world.
We met the artist for an exclusive interview that you can find below.
Welcome George-Denis and thank you for this interview.
When did you start composing – and what or who were your early passions and influences?
I find it a little hard to pinpoint the moment I started composing. Retrospectively, as a kid, I always had tunes and sounds going around my head. I feel I was always doing it, but became aware I’d been composing, much later on. In terms of influences I suppose I was and still am influenced by a lot of different music and genres. Max Richter is one of my biggest influences, Phillip Glass, film composers like Ennio Morricone, John Williams, Alexandre Desplat, and of course the classics, Bach, Mozart, Chopin. I find myself influenced also by artists like Bob Dylan, The Beatles and even heavy metal bands like Iron Maiden.
What do you personally consider to be incisive moments in your work and/or career?
I suppose the first one would be the moment I’ve decided to truly embrace my passion for composing music and the journey that lies ahead. It filled me with a great sense of wonder and energy, which encourged me to start reading and learning more about orchestration, music theory, practice the piano and other instruments to widen my musical knowledge. The second would be when my album “Unfold” was released by Blue Spiral Records, which I believe to be a big step forward for me. I am at an early stage of my composing career, but I am very excited for the future.
Can you tell us something about your last release “Unfold”?
“Unfold” is an album of 6 pieces for strings and piano. Music for me is story telling, so I wanted to channel thoughts and feelings I’ve had at the moment when I composed the pieces about different things that weighed on me, many of which where connected and influnced by the period we went through the past 2 years. The music speaks about sorrow, but also hope. The concept of “time” is, I can say, a obsession of mine, and each piece captures a feeling on a giving moment in time, and I tried to “hunt down” the sound that to me was closest to what I wanted to say, so when listening to the music, it will unfold that story to the listener, from where also the name of the album – “Unfold”.
How long did it take to prepare the album?
The music was composed in a few months over the past year. Initially, I did not think or imagine to release an album, I just wanted to put everything into music. Later on, the idea of releasing it come into my mind, and I was very lucky that Blue Spiral Records shared my vision and offered to release it as an album.
What do improvisation and composition mean to you and what, to you, are their respective merits?
Improvisation is the act of creating in the moment and its merits lie that each time you’re saying something unique. There are guidelines in improvisation also, but it’s not restrained to any particulat rules, so you can create anything you want, and the possibilities are endless. Composition is an act of creating, revising, editing a work of music. It is more like a framkework, a foundation that glues together the differents parts and allows the improvisation to come to life within its construct. You can use a melody you improvised and molded exactly how you want. For me, improvisation and composition are two different environments that one can use to express one’s unique voice, and the combination between the two has the potential to hold more power and give more depth to one’s musical creation.
The role of the composer has always been subject to change. What’s your view on the (e.g. political/social/creative) tasks of composers today and how do you try to meet these goals in your work?
I believe that music has the power and capacity to bring change in the world, to inspire and help people, and that composers can be such messengers of change. I think that one of the main tasks, we as composers have is to remain true to the material, to the story, and let it go wherever it wants to go, and always try to remain open to what it can do, keeping one’s unique artistic voice in expressing that particular story. I try always to remember myself of this ideas when I compose.
What equipment do you use to compose your music?
I have a digital piano with weighted keys, which has a great touch and I use it as my MIDI controller for audio recording. I compose within my DAW, Reaper or Pro tools using different sample libraries from Spitfire Audio, Cinematic Studio or Orchestral tools, depending on the sound and feeling I’m looking for in my composition. For sheet music, I use Sibelius and sometimes Musescore.
How, do you feel, could contemporary compositions reach the attention of a wider audience?
There is a lot of demand for original music these days in film, TV, series, games, podcasts, commercials, so that contemporary music is reaching already a pretty wide audience, but we need also to find ways of engaging the audience into the music.
As a composer, I try to consider the audience as a part of the composition, that the music is just half of the conversation. Each and every person listening to it will bring his own feelings, experiences to complete the story and enrich it, so that it can have different meanings for different persons.
Could you tell us something about your future projects?
I have begun to receive some commissions to compose original music for films, which I’m very grateful for, because film and cinema are a great love of mine. I have also a few songs in collaboration with other artists, for which I’m gonna do orchestral arrangements.
I’ve started contemplating my next album, which I would love to record entirely in a studio. And who knows, perhaps there will be some live performances with the music from my album “Unfold”.
Where can our readers find more information about you?
Blue Spiral Records profile: https://www.bluespiralrecords.com/george-denis-ardelean
Official Website: https://www.georgedenismusic.com/