ARTIST NAME: Witold Suryn
SONG TITLE: Arpetition
ALBUM TITLE: 34 Dance St.
RELEASE DATE: 2019-04-08
GENRE: Electronic/Contemporary Jazz
Witold Suryn is a Canadian composer, pianist, bassist, and music producer.
Formally educated in music (piano) he composes music for over 40 years, first in jazz, then in contemporary symphonic and movie scores genre.
In addition to his formal musical education and years of composition practice in classical music, he gathered considerable experience in movie scoring for the contemporary film industry.
In his work, he cooperated with several young North American and British directors scoring their short and mid-length productions.
Independently he continuously composes music for cinema or TV productions, releases albums in symphonic, jazz, and recently in electronic genres.
Narrate your experience while recording in the studio or while touring.
I record all in my studio. If I write jazz scores all are practically live recorded, my instruments are directly connected to my DAW with no use of microphones, so at least one problem is avoided, the background noises.
I play most of the instruments and eventually add final drums later.
When I have other musicians participating; they either come to my studio and I am a recording engineer or I send the project and they record their parts with their DAWs and send me the material to be used in mixing.
When it comes to cinematic or symphonic scores the process is different – I write notes on staves, sometimes record them live, but still, the process resembles the classical composition with partition and pen, except partition resides in notation software and mouse is a pen. Once the composition is finished it goes to DAW where “recording” takes place, i.e. MIDI data is sent to libraries and the resulting audio is recorded in situ.
Live recording, when there are no mikes used, is relatively straightforward when the studio has a decent audio interface, powerful enough computer, and proper DAW software.
Recording in loops, comping and some other smart technical tricks shorten the recording time but may make the mixing time considerably longer.
Discuss your songwriting.
Being a piano player with formal musical education I use it as a tool, not as a set of rigid rules. So the music builds itself as I hear it, no matter whether it builds following the craft rules or against them.
My composition process follows what I hear, sometimes I have a complete vision of what I will write, and sometimes it resembles building the stairs when I figure out what the next step will be just before finishing the actual one. But one thing remains constant, the need for telling the story. Without it, my music would have no soul.
Being of an old school I use notes, partitions, and piano as a basic set of tools, but to create the sound I use notation software, many different instrument libraries, and later in the process the mixing and mastering capabilities of my studio.
Elaborate on your future projects.
Future goals are the same as the present ones: compose music and make it reach people. Make them like it, or hate it, but never bore them.
And, if possible, have my music played by others.
Tell us what you are doing to increase your fan base.
I work with several publishing houses, a few distributors, and radio stations.
For now, working with radio gives the best and the fastest results.
Tell us that point in time you wanted to give up on your music career.
Actually, it never happened; I only had to decide off what I want to make a living. In my times making a living out of music meant either being a professional musician, in my case a professional pianist, or playing a popular genre of music. Nothing appealed to me, so I decided to keep the music free from the obligation of feeding me and chose another domain as the source of income. This decision gave me the freedom of creation and freedom to say “no” when requested options were not to my liking.
Go into detail on how you make your instrumentation or melody.
The two of them are closely linked and interdependent. Melody goes with the choice of musical message to be conveyed, orchestration is a conveyer.
For example, when composing a piece of my More Cities Trilogy, Auberge Under the Wild Bear that takes place in the Swiss Alps I chose, besides of classic symphonic orchestra set up the instruments that easily go with the type of music played in this region, an accordion, a solo tuba, a bass drum, a fiddle, a solo trumpet (or cornet) and a human voice able to yodel. Such a setup would be useless if I decided to compose a rock song.
In other words, a melody is a story; the instrumentation is the language you tell the story with. Both of them need to be chosen properly if the message is to pass.
State your favorite genre of music.
In this order: cinematic scores, symphonic orchestral pieces, jazz.
Tell us the theme of most of your songs.
There is no such thing as the “theme of most of my songs”. Every piece I have ever composed or will compose has its own story to tell and they are never the same.
Elaborate on this song.
“Arpetition” is an attempt to mix jazz, electronica, and a little bit easier listening into one, digestible piece.
Tell us your opinion on self-training and enrolling in an educational institution to study music.
Music is a complex and delicate matter with bigger power of influence than we dare admit. This is why I am of the opinion that both proper education and intelligent practice, or, if you will, the self-training is necessary to create something of value.
Today’s technology gave into the hands of pretty much everyone tools to build meaningful sequences of sounds, but is it “music”?
The DJ’s creation of dull bass pumping is definitely a good start for a disco where people dance, but would we go to a concert hall to listen to it? I have my doubts. No matter the genre all of them have their fans, listeners, and followers, so they are necessary, but not all of them require music education to exist. But again, Mozart will be remembered forever while DJ X will go to oblivion next season.
State your artist’s name and elaborate on it.
My artist name is my real name and I like it that way.
State the title of the song and the meaning.
“Arpetition” is a “mission statement” for this piece. The name is built as a combination of two words: arpeggio and repetition. The listener will easily find that there is a lot of both in the music.
State the title of the album and the reason for choosing the title.
The album title, “34 Dance St.” comes from the title of its first piece. The title piece is in 3/4 Metrum with several danceable moments despite being entirely jazz, so 34 Dance St. seemed more than adequate for the title of the piece and the album.