Instrumental Music by Miritreus
A beautiful mix of classical and mainstream music.
An independent and self-taught artist, Miritreus, writes mostly instrumental music that is a mix of classical and mainstream music. Many of Miritreus' tracks have a soundtrack like character. Listeners often find the music to be emotionally deep without being sentimental and varied.
I must say this is one of my favorite Q & A sessions. Miritrues' answers are both thoughtful and thought provoking.
Why the name Miritreus?
I wanted a unique, powerful sounding and sexy name and came up with this.
What is your chosen genre?
Currently, I am mostly writing instrumental music. It is a mix of classical and contemporary elements. I also write songs and dance music once in a while, the genres flow into each other a I see fit. But I am not too busy with fitting into any genre: I just write what comes to me.
Why did you gravitate to that genre?
Instrumental music because of the purity, the freedom and the ability to make a grand statement.
Songs, because that comes naturally to me. Since when I was a child.
How long have you been creating music?
For 25 years now. I take ‘creating’ broadly here. When I was 15, I started making up tunes, lots of them. On the way to school, during my paper delivery rounds etc. Some of those tunes I can still remember and sometimes process them into larger works. This making up tunes really took a run when I started studying (ehm, lots of free time). I always had a black cassette recorder with a red record button with me, the size of a walkman, looking back now a monstrous thing (haha). And kind of a remarkable thing to walk around with. So when walking with this thing and a tune came up, I had to find a quiet place to avoid undesired attention from passers-by 😉. After a couple of years, I switched to a much smaller micro-cassette recorder. Currently, I am using the voice memo app on my iPhone to collect my ideas.
I have no formal background in music and I didn’t play any instrument till I was 20. And in my family, music was also always frowned upon as a frivolous thing. But I have taught myself music theory and notation and I play the piano a little bit. Music has never been my full time job, it’s been an on-and-off thing. But the tunes always came, even when I didn’t want them.
How would you describe the music that you typically create?
Emotional, original, varied. Often energetic, sometimes dark. Beautiful and flawed, larger than life and nothing but a helpless cry.
What is your creative process like?
Music is movement. And the ideas almost always flow when I am walking or bicycling. That was the case when I was a child, walking to school or doing my paper deliveries and it’s still the case. Sometimes it’s just tune snippets, sometimes it’s a whole work that flows out during such a walk.
But this is just the beginning. The next step is notating it, yes, I am using notation as my main source of materializing ideas. I use the software program Sibelius for this. The notation is not always straightforward or easy. Often during the process new ideas pop up, the germ ideas sprout into bigger ones etc. After a while, most of the work is there and starts the editing phase. Instrumentation, fine tuning for creating a better flow. Finally, I feed the notation program midi into samplers to perform the notated score into sound.
I must mention that PLAY is an important part of the whole process. Play not in the sense of playing an instrument, but much broader: playing with ideas, magnifying things, distorting, combining, eating them, peeing over them, slapping and cutting. It’s never only about the notes or the tune, there is an imaginary world that sound is part of and emanates from: a composer catches the sound, but that doesn’t mean that it is only sound that comes toward him, that he is embedded in.
What is the best song you ever released and why?
Cannot really give a definitive answer. Every musical piece has a different world where it sprouts from. There is place for uplifting music (recent example: ‘We shall meet in better times’) and a place for dark music (recent example: ‘In the grip of corona’), and everything in between. One piece may have a very catchy tune (e.g., ‘Impossible’), while another one may have a catchy tune but also a long development to get there (e.g. ‘Play Through the Storm’ or ‘New Beginnings’). I have pieces that last 3 minutes, pieces that last 15 minutes. Not easy to compare.
But whichever the piece, afterward I can always find flaws, things that could be better. And sometimes I then reedit a piece, sometimes not, because there are lots of new ideas to be materialized and time is ticking..
What is your favorite song(s) to perform?
See my answer on your last question. It depends on how my emotional outfit is at the moment.
Where have you performed? What are your favorite and least favorite venues? Do you have any upcoming shows?
I am not a performing artist. Would be great to get my work performed by a live orchestra, which will be soon.
Do you think you could get any better as a artist/band? If so, how would you achieve that? OR Have you seen growth in yourself/ band from beginning to now? If, so how? And what spurred that growth?
I definitely can improve on lots of aspects. Like orchestration, voice leading, arranging. I could speed up the process from idea to finished work. My strongest skill is getting ideas: I have no shortage of that. But getting to a professional sounding finished work is a different thing and needs more work. It comes with practice. I am definitely not the child anymore who gets ideas but does not know what to do with them. But sometimes, I still feel like that 😉. It has also to do with the fact that I am doing everything myself, no arranger, no editor, all by myself. Working with other professionals may help in improving. On the other hand, working by myself gives me lots of freedom to experiment. Also, when you have the scores of big composers like Mozart and Beethoven, what else do you need?
What was the best concert you’ve seen and why?
The performance of the Eroica Symphony of Beethoven in The Concertgebouw, in Amsterdam, by the Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest. A larger than life statement, bold, daring, revolutionary, highly original.
Who are your musical influences?
Mostly the classical composers: Mozart, Beethoven. As contemporary artists: Two Steps from Hell, Hans Zimmer.
Often I forget the influence of Turkish music, because it is so natural for me and it flows through my veins so to say. While in my youth, we at home did not listen to music often, what we listened to was exclusively Turkish music.
What’s the biggest problem you’ve had to overcome so far?
The lack of basic musical education in my youth. I had to self-educate myself starting quite late and from scratch.
Also, the double life that you need to live as an artist: the daily job versus the composer, they are constantly in struggle with each other and I must say that the artist very often loses.
Finding a fanbase is another huge problem. The genre that I focus mostly on is not popular. It needs a keen ear, some music education and some patience as well. Unfortunately, we are in the age of the shortcuts. To compare, with the language skills of a first grader, one may not be able to appreciate a novel written by a master writer. The level of musical education is on the level of a toddler often indeed and it sometimes feels like talking in Chinese to someone who doesn’t know Chinese. As an example: some time ago I submitted my ‘Lost Son’ piece to a blogger on Submithub to consider for playlist placement. The blogger complained that the piece lacks melody and that it is too discordant. Now, this piece contains several melodies but they are much more subtle than a dance tune that one could easily wiggle his ass to. And of course it is discordant, it is a parent’s mourning, what do you expect!
How would you define the word success?
Creating high-quality work that outlives me.
Do you have a strong, viable, grassroots fan base?
How do you feel the Internet has impacted the music business & your music?
The internet has definitely leveled the ground for independent artists. We are now much less dependent on the cures of a couple of publishers. It is now much easier for anyone to publish his or her work on any of the streaming services like Spotify or Apple Music. Which is also a big problem: because how do you get noticed with so much music being put online every day? The content overload is problematic in the sense that you can get clicked away in an instant if you don’t sound instantly recognizable.
On the other hand, it is also easy to reach out to audiences worldwide, while in the old days you were much more confined to geographical boundaries. So, if we take everything into account, I think the Internet has been a blessing.
If you could go open a show for any artist who would it be?
I love this answer.
Who would you have open for your show?
Same question as 17?
What is one message you would give to your fans?
I would advise anyone to explore his or her boundaries. It may be music, listening to music that is not mainstream or picking up an instrument. Or it may trying out a new idea at home or at work. And not follow the hype of the day or the crowd, because that’s dangerous and yeah, plain boring..
What is your favorite/best outlet to connect with your fans Instagram, Spotify, FB, Twitter, iTunes? How would you want them to follow?
Spotify. I would appreciate artist follows.
Did I forget to ask something? Something you would like to say, that I didn’t address?
I wish everyone strength and the wisdom to put things into perspective in these dark days where an invisible enemy roams though the world.