February 5, 2022

How to Write Sincere Music Today?

Topi Lepojärvi

AudioNeljä Vuorokaudenaikaa (The Nychthemeron), 2021Composition, Production, Recording

As a Finnish composer studying in a Scottish university, I used folk instruments to reflect on the best of both worlds. Celtic music and instrumentation have always felt more to my taste, but I also cannot shake the melodic legacy of Finnish melancholy. While writing Neljä Vuorokaudenaikaa, “Four Times of the Day”, or “Nychthemeron” in English, I was interested in the idea of 19th century symphonies. However, I felt that the music I write shouldn’t be restricted to any established, historical ensemble.

Instead, I was looking for ways to write highly conceptual music within a more modern musical context, that would also touch modern values such as nature. It was important to write music that conveyed why I write music, and so I looked into film scores, metal and art rock concept albums, electronic, experimental and traditional music.

What I also attempt to do with Neljä Vuorokaudenaikaa is to challenge the ongoing media trend of irony. While I enjoy irony as a means, I feel it has in many cases taken away the ability to enjoy art. Irony is used as a mask to hide our own vulnerability and protect us from getting caught emotionally sincere.