Composing music

photo: Araiuk – pixabay

I used to think that composing only applied to music. Now that I’m also involved in the visual arts, I keep hearing that word. Compose, composition. It means: making a new whole out of parts. But a composer is really a music writer and not a painter, sculptor or writer, yet they can also compose. And according to the English translation of “composer” it is also a compiler.

Anyway, I thought it would be nice to dedicate a paragraph to these kinds of crossover words and phrases, such as “find your voice”, which more or less indicates that there is some sound in visual art. Or “tonal color” which possibly opens the paint pots when you hear a piece of music. For most Dutch people that is no problem at all; most of them know some english language. But Dutch is somewhat more difficult for the English speakers among us. So over to the actual blog post: music composing.


I’ve been composing music since I was ten years old, simple songs, verse – chorus, that kind of thing. I first did the standard and then I started experimenting, because the grid verse-chorus soon became too boring for me. Unfortunately, much of my composed work has been lost as I didn’t feel like writing it all down. That is a completely different profession. It’s time consuming and, I think, extremely boring. It is a bit like making a painting and then giving a detailed account of the method, sequence, colours, which materials and in what proportions I used it.

Plain – boring – Those were things I avoided. It had to be grand, epic, unexpected, surprising. It was therefore not surprising that at a certain point I turned to symphonies, where I wrote “stories”. It is my trademark (or voice) not to stay within a specific key and time signature, to mix epic exhilaration with calm, soft sounds, but not too long, because then it gets boring.

It used to be normal for me to hear music all day long that didn’t exist yet, in the most dramatic setting with violins and brass instruments. At first I was really frustrated with that because I couldn’t get a hold of it to let it be heard in real life. Later on, I resigned myself and decided to enjoy what only I could hear. While I’m certainly not dissatisfied with the work I’ve written, this one can’t match the heavenly sounds in my head.

After a (for my feeling long) period of silence, they come again and this time not only as a symphony orchestra, but also, for example, an eternal guitar solo on a blues schedule, or (oh help) a song with the so-called “paling-sound” of an average girl band from a certain place (Volendam) in the Netherlands.

photo: Bob Dmyt – Pixabay

The way of working has also changed. I could always work from 10 am to 2 am and had to have my other half interrupt me for dinner. Not eating, drinking little, smoking a lot and in the meantime entering a lot of notes, very quickly. Or at least: as quickly as possible. With a small adjustment by not smoking in the “workplace” anymore, I got myself some breaks, but when I stopped smoking I went straight through the days again. That broke me down.

Now I work, when I have inspiration, for an hour a day and as crazy as it may sound: I became more productive because of this. By distancing myself from my work every day, I hear whether something is right or not and how I should proceed. AND I can do a lot of other things on the side, like painting and writing.

I have put some music pieces here on my website. It’s a page that can’t just be found easily, the hidden gem! You can find it at the bottom of the page, there are two music notes that you can click on…