Lucas talks about why we should not label the music and how to avoid the negative connotations that come with classical music and how to write exciting emotionally appealing music.
It’s a huge part of my life, saying it means everything wouldn’t be an exaggeration. It’s the ultimate form of communication, I can convey thoughts and ideas that I couldn’t with words. It gives a voice to a part of me that very rarely gets to speak.
Do you agree that music is all about fantasy? Yes. We listen to music to escape and dream, to transport us to worlds that we can’t go to. I write music for that reason, I want to show you other worlds.
If you were not a professional musician, would would you have been?
I was making plans to become a police officer, I did my work experience with the metropolitan police at school and was applying for Hendon Police College when I decided to take a chance on piano.
The classical music audience is getting old, are you worried about your future?
Not at all, the audience is still there the medium has just changed, people still love hearing classical music but now we hear it in films. John Williams, Danny Elfman, Joe Hisaishi. With the ever growing popularity of TV shows, YouTube and Netflix the audience is growing if anything. Also with YouTube and digital recording techniques there are now so many ways for people to try their hand at composing their own music without necessarily needing a traditional classical background. It’s all so much more accessible now.
What do you envision the role of classical music to be in the 21 century? Do you see that there is a transformation of this role? I would say from the way things are now classical music’s role will be in TV and film.
Do you think that the classical musician today needs to be more creative? What’s the role of creativity in the musical process for you? Creativity is important but I don’t think there’s any need to try and reinvent the wheel. I think a lot of musicians waste time trying too hard to be original.
Do you think we musicians can do something to attract young generation into the classical music concerts? How will you proceed? By associating classical music with things the young generation know and like. For instance, if there was a concert “greatest classical pieces of the 21th century” I would bet hardly any young people would go to it. But if we named the concert “The Music of Star Wars” then you would get a lot more attention from that demographic. They would be listening to classical music, but to them it’s just “That music I heard in Star Wars” and they would love it.
Tell us about your creative process. Do you have your favourite piece (written by you) How did you start working on it? I usually start by deciding what emotion I want to evoke. Then I select instrumentation according to what I think best represents that emotion. E.g. sadness I think solo piano. Happiness I think Xylophone, pizzicato strings, clarinets, bassoon. Fear, detuned piano, music box, SFX.
Then I lay the foundations for the pieces with what I call “Base” instruments which are generally pieces that can cover a wide note range and work well as solo instruments (Harp, guitar, piano). Then I find the melody for it. Once that’s done I add bass instruments. I sometimes like to have artwork on my desktop open when finding the melody.
My personal favourite pieces of mine hold sentimental value, some of them aren’t special or different from a composition standpoint or even difficult to play, but I wrote and recorded them to convey a particular thought, when I listen to them again I remember exactly what that abstract thought was. The best example of this that I can think of is “Remember”, when I wrote and recorded it I was moving house the next day, now whenever I listen to it I’m back in that room at the piano looking out of the window I looked out of a thousand times.
A lot of my pieces are improvised, I prefer it when I’m trying to capture a moment or thought, that way it’s still fresh. Instead of sitting and constructing the piece as the idea and original thought fades I can just get it recorded there and then. It’s similar to a diary.
I’m not sure if this is true for other composers, others may rate their pieces on difficultly and complexity but for me it’s all about… fantasy.
We, Moving Classics TV, love the combination of classical music with different disciplines: music and painting, music and cinematography, music and digital art, music and poetry. What do you think about these combinations? It’s the future of music, some things just go together and music goes with almost anything. Combining two artforms usually makes for a beautiful combination. I always think to myself imagine if the great classical composers were alive today, if Beethoven had wrote the score for Lord of The Rings?
I have collaborated with poets and artists, what I find is we tend to inspire each other, their work inspires the music and in turn the music gets their creativity flowing.
Can you give some advice for young people who want to discover classical music for themselves? Try not to label it as classical music, there are a lot of negative connotations that come with classical music, snobbery, boring, old are just a few. We had it drilled into us from a young age, being forced to listen to it at school. But it doesn’t have to be like that. If you looked at my iTunes, I have Liszt next to Snoop Dogg, Shostakovich next to The Rolling Stones. It’s just music don’t feel threatened by it. Incorporate it into your regular listening.
What projects are coming up? Do you experiment in your projects? I don’t usually experiment in projects, I experiment during practice and sometimes on my YouTube channel, I then decide if I want to include the results in projects. It would really depend on the project, projects usually involve other people. If I’m working with somebody who I don’t know I wouldn’t experiment, but if it was with somebody who I know and am comfortable with I would possibly offer some new experimental ideas. If it’s a solo project I would experiment.
I’m planning a large collaboration with composer Peter Gundry. I’m also planning on recording orchestral arrangements of the music from the Harry Potter series.