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Channeling 2015

2018 June 132 min read

In Memory Lane, I confronted the painful memories of the past two years. My latest piano piece, Latinesque, is a return to the "good old days", before things passed the threshold of "too good to be true".

At the time, 2015 was the happiest and most productive year of my life. I graduated from high school with a prestigious scholarship, and I had supremely high hopes for my future which were already coming to fruition. On the music side, I began busking at the waterfront, and producing instrumentals and improv tracks for SoundCloud. I also won first prize in the CFMTA National Student Composer Competition for the fourth year in a row. By 2015, I had long since made it out of the darkest parts of my life, and I was proud, motivated, and ready to take on the world.

As great of a year as it was, it would only get better. This cycle of productivity accelerated, and I built up a more impressive musical and academic portfolio than I would have ever imagined back then. Even my social life drastically improved. Summer 2016 marked the beginning of my first long-term relationship, which continued to flourish in 2017. During that time, my girlfriend was my motivation throughout all the hard work I did, and she was by my side for all of my greatest achievements.

In the spring of 2018, when our relationship ended, it left me shocked, devastated, and unable to escape the feeling that the whole relationship, and thus the last two years of my life, were somehow pointless - that her memory was so inextricably tangled in every major milestone that I would never be able to look back fondly on anything I had accomplished.

I thought back to 2015, before I had ever met my ex-girlfriend or accomplished any of the things I did in the past two years... how happy I was back then with so comparatively little to celebrate. I told myself when the breakup happened that I would forget about the past two years, and try to return to the "2015 mindset", revisiting those memories instead in hopes of rekindling those feelings. Although this experiment produced mixed results, it was useful in the short term for giving me motivation.

One of the forgotten 2015 relics that I revisited was an unpublished, semi-finished piano piece that I called "Amazon Rhythm".

You'll hear the gist of Amazon Rhythm in the first three minutes of Latinesque, which was built off of Amazon Rhythm with revisions throughout. The rhythms and harmonies in those first three minutes are emblematic of my "2015 style" - it was the year that my compositional and improvisational styles really began to fuse, and they've fed off of each other ever since. It's an upbeat, energetic piece with a catchy tune, and a fun new middle section that ties in nicely with the whole thing. Happy listening!

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