On the rational and emotional creation of a conceptual album: part I


Ago 22 2007, 14:37

Hi all,

First of all, this is my inaugural journal post on last.fm. If you're interested on knowing my musical preferences, just check my charts. But in a nutshell, I'm a huge fan of Opeth, Anathema, My Dying Bride, Enslaved, Immortal, Pink Floyd, Portishead, Chopin, amongst many other (good) artists and musical styles.

This is the first of several posts where I'll keep you up-to-date with the creation of a conceptual album, a thing that I see as the most interesting art super-form, since it combines music, writing, and visual art forms into one coherent piece.

The beginning: I'm a deep fan of progressive, sorrow, and harsh music. I'm very interested on knowing the stories/ideas/concepts behind albums: the what's and why's of every piece of melody, lyrics, and (attached) graphical art. I like to listen to an album and, at the same time, I try to understand the lyrics, the artwork, grasp the influences of the composers. I like to explore each album and each music in such a way that, a lot is left to be said on the first times I hear and see it. I like to find new things each time I listen to it.

Almost every day I crawl through the Metal Archives, Wikipedia, and other sources of information as starting points, trying to gather more information and to be (positively/negatively) influenced by what others have done.

Often this results on hours and hours of wandering through the hyperspace, learning about so many topics such as Europe's ancient history and languages, music theory, typography, religion, classical music, geography, philosophy, etc. Yes, it's really a huge range of topics, I know...

Then, I try to apply all this information, coupled with my beliefs, wills, life experience, and musical knowledge, by writing down concepts, exploring them, finding a rational behind all choices, creating layers and layers of intertwined concepts that, ultimately, will become an album. Without compromises or restrictions. Simply being true to my self, exploring my chosen aesthetics, rationals, and beliefs. Without censorship or prejudice. On all aspects. Music, lyrics, graphical art. All tied together in such a way that it wouldn't make sense to create it in any other way.

For all these reasons, and none in particular, I cannot say that the album I'm co-creating with a long time friend of mine should belong to a particular musical (sub)genre. Yes, from all my influences and preferred aesthetics it will have a strong emphasis on metal. Also on progressive rock. Also on ambient music. These genres afford exploring melody, harmony, rhythm, without restrictions. History and literature will have a strong impact on the lyrics, merged with philosophical matters. I want you (the listener) to be motivated to actively participate on the listening process, to find new things each time you listen to and observe the album, even after 20 times. Simply put, I want you to have the best experience as possible.

After some brainstorming sessions, the concept emerged: the tale of a day in the life of an anonymous man, his inner struggles, love and hatred, depression, and how he managed to keep himself alive and accept the suffering. It will be a good challenge to create original music that blends into these concepts, as well as weaving the lyrics onto it, and creating the visual counterpart that will reflect them.

On my next installment, I will explore the difficult process of creating an album structure. Finding the right structure, in order to fit in the concept, is not a trivial task.

Until then, keep listening, keep exploring, and feel free to comment or ask any questions.


  • Bruno01

    You got me interested. Sounds like you're writing a new Dark Side of the Moon. :)

    Ago 23 2007, 2:00
  • ruidlopes

    @P0isnNblacK: thanks! @Bruno01: well, it is certainly a good influence and an abum that I deeply respect. Thanks for the comparison, I'm flattered :)

    Ago 23 2007, 12:42
  • ruidlopes

    Yes, it's (slowly) going into pace. I have divided it into two different projects, due to having two different views on what I wanted to create. I have now one project with something around 100 riffs/melodies, patiently waiting for their integration into something cohesive, and 11 music scores almost complete in the spawned project. I'll blog a bit about it in the next months ;) Thanks for your interest, @avanishingact!!!

    Lug 18 2009, 22:18
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