The overture as a piece of music has long felt a powerful story-telling mechanism to me. Before you hear a note of the first piece, you are imbued with fragments of the whole. The unfolding work breathes in unison and begins to unfold as a cohesive skeleton with no necessary regard for chronology. The inter-relations of all of the ideas flood the mind and blur the lines between the conceptualizations of the separated pieces.
As with the vast majority of overtures from the classical paradigm, this was written after all of the others in the work (I had completed recording demos of all of my other songs as well). I really wanted it to set the mood. As is immediately evident, some of the notable themes and modalities surface quite early on and shuffle in and out throughout the piece just in time for the final key change into “Lost.” Beyond this there are a few other points of interest, however.
As some will have recognized from listening to “For a Friend,” there is a nod at Sergei Rachmaninov’s second movement of his second piano concerto. As a means of referring to this again without directly referencing the line used in “For a Friend,” I included the unmistakable opening lines (from the first movement) just a minute or so into the piece. Some will recognize them as the pounding Orthodox bells which rang out each day in Moscow – where Sergei had studied in the Royal Conservatory – and would for years throughout Russian music. This was one of the first pieces of classical music to have an irreversibly profound impact on me. I was familiarised with the inspiring story of the piece and lent the score by a friend. Something that would ultimately lead to my impending study of, and fascination with, the orchestration and scores of other great composers such as Beethoven, Debussy, Stravinsky, etc. This theme appears adjacent to the theme from “For a Friend,” because of it’s strong ties to it.
Conceptually, Overture sets the pace of the rest of the album. The seed is sown from the first line and grows and shifts through it’s entirety, guiding the listener through the dynamic changes of texture and musical themes and preparing them for the landscape of the EP.
I hope you will enjoy listening for the elements of Lost, Freedom, and For a Friend among the flurry of other musical ideas contained within “Overture.“