On this occasion, I would like to write about my second album, “Melophile”. This album is an instrumental album which makes this one a very distinct departure from my previous album “Exulansis”. I started working on the writing and the recording not too long after “Exulansis” release. After releasing my first album, I wanted to enrich my discography with an instrumental album. “Melophile” was born from a lot of musical ideas that I've collected through the years.
The opening track “Daybreak” is an ambience track composed and executed by Hisako Ozawa who played with me at HYDN (my old band). This track was something that I intended to give an epic but minimalist to the listeners and also to allow a smooth transition to the next song, “Meliora”. “Meliora” is probably the core of this album. This is the first song that I recorded and it made me believe that I should make an instrumental album. My biggest dilemma when I recorded this song was whether I have to add a lead vocal track or not. I was thinking that a repetitive chanting-like vocal line will give this song a surprising element at the end. I finally went for it after I got hooked up with the line : “Everything is temporary. Ad Meliora (towards better).”
Track no 3, “Snowbound” was inspired from a short excerpt that I learned during my time at McNally Smith College of Music. The piano-based verse has the original progression, but I added few guitar-based sections which eventually make this song has multiple transitions from guitar to piano. The title “Snowbound” also reflects my love for winter time in Minnesota. The 4th track, “In Reality”, was inspired by some neoclassical artists like Hania Rani and Olafur Arnalds. I think I used the same composition approach for majority of the songs in the album. My approach is to write/compose two distinguished sections (A and B or Verse and Chorus) and play these two sections again with more instrumentations. I’d like to call this approach “The Radiohead Formula.”
For the next three tracks, I prefer to treat them as a medley of calming and peaceful solo piano tunes. My main reason is because these three tracks really share many things in common, especially mood and vibe. “Fall In E Minor” was originally a guitar instrumental loop that I created in 2019, but it turned out to be a better piece (for me) in piano. “Greensleeves” was initially a string-quartet arranging project from my school. Then, it became a guitar instrumental piece that I even posted on YouTube. But, just like the previous song, it became a beautiful piano piece and fit my album perfectly. “Stargazing With You” was the last entry for the album. This one is actually my other favorite track in the album (beside “Meliora”). The A section of the song was inspired by classical piece, and I honestly feel that the melodies could be either romantic or dark, depends on how you feel when you listen to it.
The closing track, “Won’t Say Goodbye”, is like an old friend of mine. I wrote this tune completely in 2017 during so many heartbreaking moments at that time. This track is the only track in the album using AABA (jazz standard) structure which makes this song can also be classified as contemporary instrumental or so. Anyway, I feel like this song is really perfect as the closing track. Not only because of the composition, but also because of the message it’s trying to convey. Yep, this is not a goodbye. You will still hear more stuffs from me.
I’m planning to (finally ) revive my band project and start recording some materials I’ve been putting on hold for so long.
I hope you’re enjoying “Melophile”. Thank you for reading this and stay tuned!