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The Inner Workings of an Alter Ego 

 February 1, 2023

By  QJé composer

The Inner Workings of an Alter Ego is a music composition that reveals the creative mind at play: a composition of complexity and simplicity. 

To discover how that sounds, listen right to the end! 
And please share with us how this makes you feel, by adding your comment below. 
Thank you. QJ.  

Here is the music...

  • Welcome to a dawn chorus of instruments. The first tones establish the need to wake up and engage with the day. It has officially started. Each awakening tone, beat or chink of approval finds a diminishing number of spaces in which to sit or squeeze – a bit like musical chairs. An emerging civilised cacophony but one in which do find a space. It seems to mirror our natural world. And when the evening light does fade and darkness is but a breath away, to sleep they do go, to rest and recharge – ready to be be roused by the ‘bugle call’ of a new day.

    This music has direction and fun. I also found pleasure in imagining the music played by any number of conventional musical instruments which I think could also convey much of the fun going on here. Thanks so much QJ. I can listen and appreciate – you are the one who creates.

  • Curiously, I did not connect in the way I have with previous pieces. Perhaps I was too occupied with the sometimes subtle differences of the different sounds – are they instruments, voices or possibly thoughts competing for space in the mind where time is not linear? My own alter ego wanted them to be flavours, inspired by sounds that invoked memories of ice cream vans! So, although the bass was typically dark, the upper voices were somehow sweeter and indeed the ‘workings of an Alter Ego’.

  • From the first insistent, repetitive beat which runs throughout, the ego seems busy and occupied.
    The occasional cracks and counter tones provide differing paths – perhaps the alter ego – and more than one.
    Are those sounds the background to different, meandering, never-ending thoughts? And is this mind going anywhere?
    Or is this just the mix of random and unconscious with the planned and conscious?
    And is it true that we can always hear the sea inside our heads? Or is that just the static sound of our mind’s eye? Who knows?

  • This has a great ‘soundscape’ with depth and width in the mix. It would be interesting (or perhaps disturbing) to know what the visual inspiration for this piece is. Horror or psycho thriller perhaps.

    • Thanks Matthew, for the ‘soundscape’ comment. I LOVE soundscapes with depth and width in the mix, but have to admit that it was almost by accident that this track ended up like that. Of course I chose some of the panning (echo) and all of the reverb and ambient effects to separate the different instruments and sounds, and to give each its own space, position and perspective in the stereo image. But working in the digital domain brings a whole bunch of this stuff available at the click of a mouse. You still have to have good judgement (and a good ear, of course), but working with a great DAW is like a dream come true!

    • Turning to your interest in what the visual inspiration for this piece is, the truth is there was none! The initial ideas came from my blank ‘Head Space’ which was going to be the initial title for the piece. Ideas, like the rhythmic synth bass line, and the ‘kick with moog percussive stabs’ both just popped into my Head Space one day, the the rest of the piece developed from there. It was only later that the idea of it being my Alter Ego at work that produced the original idea and impetus for the composition. The ‘scary’ element you articulate by suggesting ‘horror or psycho thriller’ is perhaps from your own alter ego! Now there’s a thought.

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    QJé composer


    Hi I'm QJ - a composer of music and sonic art.
    My music is mostly dark, cold and unsettling.
    A theme park full of intense, scary rides, and sonic thrills.

    It's sometimes about social issues I feel strongly about.
    It's designed to elicit emotional responses.

    I hope you enjoy some of it.
    Please do leave your comment: I want to learn about how you react to music - especially mine (even if it makes you uncomfortable).

    Enjoy the roller-coaster! ... and big thanks.

    QJ Short Bio...
    Composing Music to be enjoyed purely as an emotional, imagination-triggering listening experience, and for Film & TV.

    Ex-Rock/Pop producer, artist and song-writer.
    Now Solo Artist/Producer (interested in collaborative projects).

    Former Chorister, Classical Pianist & Rock Guitarist/Keyboard player / session musician.
    Former Song-Writer, Record Producer, Label Owner.
    PRS member. Music Publisher. High Quality Sound Guy (engineer / producer).
    Former commercial studio owner.

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