Gav Moran’s album “Broken Pieces” has just been released. Gav Moran is a composer and producer of minimalism and neo classical music combining raw orchestral elements with modern contemporary electronic soundscapes to create an edgy twist on his influences from the classical baroque and romantic eras. Drawing on his experiences growing up in the eclectic cultural melting pot of Dublin, Ireland he sees his music as a spiritual journey. His debut album Broken Pieces takes you through his collection of piano led compositions on a path of melancholy and inspiration.
We met the artist for an exclusive interview that you can find below.
Welcome Gav and thank you for this interview.
1. When did you start composing – and what or who were your early passions and influences?
I started playing piano as a young child and did my first exam on it at 8 years old, I always loved to make up my own musical patterns but real music production started when I was about 20 and I was mainly a dance music producer for a long time, real music composition only really started for me in the last 4-5 years when I got the love for the Neo classical sound. Being a classically trained piano player I was influenced very early by the baroque composers like Vivaldi and then the romantic era stuff, at the time I didn’t see this music as old or aged, I just loved the simple motif based rhythms and it definitely shaped how I thought about musical structure, I still build my own music in this motif lead way.
2. What do you personally consider to be incisive moments in your work and/or career?
A big turning point for me was actually the 2016 movie Arrival, I was blown away by the synergy between the score an visuals of this movie and the power behind these two forces working together made me realise that artistic masterpiece can be achieved by marrying the right music with the on screen visuals to bring the viewer/listener on a journey with you, When I’m making my own music its usually to my own imagined story and telling that story is what I try to achieve through the composition.
3. Can you tell us something about your last release “Broken Pieces”?
Broken Pieces is a collection of imperfect pieces as I would see it, for me music is about painting a picture in the imagination of the listener and I have mainly tried to create a journey of melancholy, not really sadness but I see melancholy as beauty or an emotion that invokes inner thought around past or maybe future experiences.
Some of the pieces on the album were finished in days but others I did painstakingly tease out string parts over weeks or even months.
4. How long did it take to prepare the album?
I started the album during the pandemic lockdown, in total it took me around two years to complete. Some of the pieces on the album were finished in days but others I did painstakingly tease out string parts over weeks or even months.
5. What do improvisation and composition mean to you and what, to you, are their respective merits?
For me improvisation is very important, lots of my music is made up by “happy accidents” where I may be trying to achieve one particular sound and end up in a completely different place than I’d intended.
6. 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 know some big name composers are political activists but I tend not to mix politics and art. The opening track on Broken Pieces is Letter to Kyiv and I see this as more capturing the emotion that people experience while feeling helpless to affect any change that eases the burden and suffering of our fellow brothers and sisters. Highlighting the plight of others through music may at least help through compassion for those less fortunate in the world.
Everything Starts with me on the piano, I have a 150 year old antique upright in my studio and I love the aged sound and history from a piece like this.
7. What equipment do you use to compose your music?
Everything Starts with me on the piano, I have a 150 year old antique upright in my studio and I love the aged sound and history from a piece like this. I’m also a real music gear collector and I do love that shiny new thing, I have some amazing flagship synths from the likes of Arturia and Moog and having hardware just makes sense to me, I was never able to get my head around working “in the box”, I have to mix on a console , Im old school in that regard and enjoy controlling the studio with buttons and faders under my finger tips.
8. How, do you feel, could contemporary compositions reach the attention of a wider audience?
I really feel that visual art and contemporary music can work hand in hand, obviously musical score has always worked to pull the emotion from movies but I see a huge potential through the marriage of music and short video via social media apps and reels creating mini movies capitalising on the throw away nature of these platforms, if you can tell a story in 30 seconds or less using picture and audio you can reach a much larger audience than ever imagined before.
9. Could you tell us something about your future projects?
I do plan some more synth led projects, the possibilities for creating that image through audio are practically unlimited using the power of evolving soundscapes, there’s a beautiful synergy between the earthy sounds of orchestral instruments like cellos and violas when combined with the more electronic sounds available through modern synthesis.
10. Where can our readers find more information about you?
My social media handle is @gavmoranmusic and more info is available at gavmoranmusic.com and bluespiralrecords.com