On improvising and composing, part 1


For those of you who started composing or improvising recently, there might be lots of questions and potential roads & crossroads to choose from, before achieving your very own identity as a composer and musician.
At least this is common at the level that you might be aiming for in the long run.

Even if not knowing you personally, who read this, I think my advice in this post and upcoming parts truly can offer something valuable to musicians and composers of most kinds genres, even if only parts are applicable on your own style of musicianship and aims.

On letting go of limitations from a single kind of influence.

A while ago, I was asked by an aspiring young talented composer for pointers about tracks and composers for educative inspiration.

My advice would rather be to also look elsewhere for more diverse and more personal creativity, and to keep studying music theory as suggested below.

In the long run, you’ll become more diverse, and will be able to express yourself and your thoughts through music in a much more free thinking way.

You’ll be able to express not only personal emotions, but to express many different things in different contexts. Even being able to express your personal view on things as well


Realizing the priceless creative use of music theory

Study music theory more, and aim to understand how it will help you to reach the next level!

I could bash you over the head with examples, but for now let’s just say I believe it with offer a much more effortless kind of creativity for any specific aims that you might have or will have later on. Best thing might be if you’ll notice it on your own.
It also can serve as the intuitive kind of inspiration for high level improvising.


Recently, I learned about the blog posts (and other posts) by Chris Boardman, a very high level orchestrator. He speaks of similar things, to have a plan to help your creativity, and to prevent getting stuck.

I hope you’ll stick around for my own slant on the matter too.
He writes universally about creativity there. In these blog post parts, I write about music related creativity mainly.

But here it is:
(note: blogspot.com uses your country’s domain. For me, it turns into blogspot.se)

I learned that he did some of my favorite modern orchestrations, working with Michael Kamen, David Foster, and on many Hollywood movies like Die Hard and Lethal Weapon movies. Orchestrating the S&M concert with Metallica too, if I recall correctly.


Back to my own thoughts now.

For many years, I’ve been saying similar things to my music students,
that knowing music theory offers more conscious and deliberate choices while creating. (as opposed to seeking/waiting for divine inspiration only)

The latter might work right now or so far for you, but sooner or later I bet you’d be stuck and without fresh ideas that work. Without a sense of direction and inspiration.
That rarely strikes me, whenever I spend time with composing or improvising. Take a listen to my music if you haven’t already.

Listen (from this website)

Listen (with the Links section on my website)


To me, the fundamentals along with individualistic mind set is one of the most important combination for the initial blueprint to creativity, at least on a professional musician & composing level.

So for periods of time, I’d suggest spending less time listening to composers, and instead focus your time more on implementing the use of different scales (one at the time) / rhythm & chords patterns / intervals etc.

And don’t forget to actually listen to the different characteristics and moods of all the above while practicing it.


Hope you could take something from this blog post. If you wish to address any specific detail of this text, please let me know!

Link to Part 2


PS. I only allow comments from people I know are genuinely interested in the subject I write about.
To prevent spam comments etc. to slip through, I’m asking you to contact me personally whenever you’d commented. A PM will work fine, and you should know how to find me by now.


Multi-facetted perspectives as a personal philosophy and as a composer

Oh, here’s a new blog post, on the philosophical side, also with revealing an aspect of some of my most personal music concepts.

I intend to share some contemplating thoughts on various subjects with you too.
Perhaps there will be something to learn or spend a thought on from it. Things you might or might not have considered in depth.

It also depends on you, if you have the motivation to try seeing things from more than one perspective.
Personally, I think it often can be a good thing…

Ok, here are a few conclusions from some personal contemplating:

About multi-facetted perspectives

Considering different perspectives can lead to not only a fuller picture for what you’d regard as reliable or not, but also a more genuine understanding & compassion for others and their different situations and mindsets. At least the way I see it.
To consider all these things can benefit us as human beings, I feel. Trying to understand each other, as opposed to totally alienating ourselves from each other cultures, traditions or said mindsets.

As a composer, it’s also important for my artistic intentions to create music that correlates deeply with emotions, story telling and subtle concepts.
It benefits my aims to further improve my composer skills and creative insight.

Trying to put myself in someone else’s situation and such, trying to see things from different angles and any dualistic messages that might be intended in music, scripts, or any media productions, etc.
I believe these are vital aspects of lots of highly regarded art and media productions in general…

Big words, and from a different angle, I could still be wrong.
I could read too much into things (or overlooking things), but so could we all, I think…

I think we all make assumptions, often based on limited amount of time spent on a subject, or based on previous experiences alone.

To me, the above is profound even for my personal music, and if you’re interested, I can tell you this:

Some of those compositions of mine are created partly around the idea of deliberately creating suggestions for early assumptions,
but with the concept that not everything is what it seems. Not even from the beginning.
(“And that’s just one soydd of meh!”, like Susan Boyle once said, as people in the audience were rolling their eyes.)

I could choose to reveal lots of such specific details, but I’d prefer if you make your own interpretations and conclusions from them. I love whenever I discover similar things in works by others too…

But if you read this, then now at least you know that I claim there’s something deeper to these compositions.

note: Lately, I’ve been focusing on improving mixing/mastering skills more…
Not all of these tracks reflect my current and upcoming music production mixing/mastering abilities and currently available instrumental sample libraries (instrument software plugins),
but they do indeed reflect the above aspects of composing and concepts.
Most of those tracks are very personal and I’m aware that these are not very suitable for music licensing, due to their complex and diverse nature.
At least not for full length versions.

I’ll start focusing more on music for licensing and also look for more commissioned composing too.

For some upcoming blog posts though, I think I’ll write a bit more specific, and not always mentioning my own music.
Have a sane Holiday and a relaxing time everyone!
best wishes / Fredrik

My personal Music Charity project for the Philippines; thoughts on charity organizations and sources for information

I personally do not trust most of the established International charity organizations much at all lately.
The reason is mainly the reports on systematic corruption both within Charity organizations, as well as local corruption.
This has been a commonly reported issue, with evidence published in both established mainstream media, independent media and local media alike.

Then there’s the economical, political & religious independence for the targeted suffering areas, that still can be of strong concern even from receiving help.
Both local and International Help organizations can influence these native aspects, whether it’s a planned thing or unintentional. I know this has been mentioned by local politicians and spokespersons for local organizations  in some targeted areas.

Sticking to Medical aid & rebuilding infrastructure have been more certain ways of help getting through, but of course they need resources and funding to maintain being effective.

Please consider actively researching areas of less fortunate people, as well as which organizations and sources of information you actively might choose to trust. Organization statuses and policies also might change over time.

What used to be true & trustworthy might not be so in the future, and vice versa, depending on many things, and from case to case.
You still have a conscious individual mind, and hopefully the motivation & ability to come to your own well-founded conclusions, especially if you do the personal research that opens up for more sources and perspectives. If you didn’t give these things much thought, I think it’s time to improve it.

We all can improve on that, I feel, and it’s never too late to start…
Different and opposed opinions is not necessarily evil. I think suppression of opinions often might be more dangerous than diversity of opinions.

Whether you agree or not with foreign or local religions, political systems, information obtained from news media, family members, other social groups, or what you learned in school,
– also consider that information from single sources (or even single kinds of sources) aren’t necessarily offering anywhere near the full picture, even on the very subject. (let alone on other subjects)
But opposing sources still might offer different kinds of valuable information and knowledge, even if you don’t agree with any conclusion promoted while at it.

I offer no sources of information in this post, other than the links below. These links certainly do NOT cover all aspects worth learning about, even for the Typhoon disaster.
Because of the other subjects in this post, I strongly encourage you to give the sources of information a serious thought, not just following me, or any leader or doing whatever Simon says.

If you consider all perspective and aspects you can, you are much more likely avoid trusting anything blindly.
At least that’s the way I usually see it in recent years.
If you haven’t considered this, chances are you already trust something or someones blindly, without being aware of it.

That sums up the sense morale of this blog post. I make my own words of wisdom(?), rather than quoting famous speeches alone.
So thank you for your time and interest!
More blog posts to come, covering music related topics more.
hugs / Fredrik

PS. Here are the related links for this post. (opens in new windows)

my personal Charity for the Philippines Project Bandcamp link

MSF’s Website Page for the Philippines (Doctors Without Borders / Medecins Sans Frontieres)

MSF’s official Blog for the Philippines


A Norwegian Help organization, doing local work in Tacloban. One of the few that seem trustworthy to me. Streetlight shelters for orphans in Tacloban, and has been highly acknowledged by local population, also outside the mainstream media. (I learned about the latter, since my wife is from the Philippines and has strong insight in local word of mouth.)

MSF (the Swedish branch, “Läkare utan gränser”) is the Help organization of my choice for my personal Charity for the Philippines Project.

(Notice the lack of mentions for any other well-known Charity organizations in this list.)