by Megan Jones, Editor-in-Chief
While contemporary and electronic music do not seem to have much in common from a listener’s standpoint, comparisons can be seen between composers Michael Genson and Matt Kholodov, seniors.
Genson began composing music his freshman year.
“As soon as I get home from school, I begin to compose,” Genson said. “I’m a big fan of contemporary and band music.”
According to Genson, contemporary music provides the most variety of orchestration styles, techniques and complexity to alter with, as opposed to the 4-5-1, bass, guitar, drums and vocals of pop music.
Genson plays the trombone and “somewhat” the piano.
“My favorite part about composing is listening to the song afterwards, once it sounds good,” Genson said.
Kholodov has been composing for three years, consisting of compilations he releases as extended plays online and posting music on Soundcloud.
“I had a fascination with electronic music and started messing around with it,” Kholodov said. “I love the drum and bass and house music. It has a great tempo to work with.”
Without reading the notes on the guitar, Kholodov taught himself how to play in fourth grade by using the tabs and frets.
Kholodov’s favorite piece he has composed is called “Majora.”
“Since 2008, I’ve started to get into my own style and this is the first piece to me that really showed it,” Kholodov said. “I usually like my pieces, but I think it’s a good piece when others like it more than me.”
According to Kholodov, seeing “a bunch” of views on Soundcloud makes him happy.
Genson has taken his composing to a professional level as he creates pieces for specific clients. When he does not have music to compose of his own, he finds people online who need pieces.
“Lately, I have been creating video game music for work,” Genson said. “If they want a certain style, I will search the video on YouTube and get a feeling in my head, which just takes over, and I begin to write.”
Genson submitted a piece for the trailer of an upcoming Harry Potter Kinect game for Xbox 360.
“Entering the competition marked a significant time for me because it exposed me to the ‘sounds of my competitors,’ which is very different than the notes themselves,” Genson said.
He received $250 for being the top third piece voted on. This probed Genson into investing $800 into Vienna Symphony Library in order to produce significantly more realistic sounds.
Even though Genson has just began composing for others, he has earned $500 so far.
Kholodov earns money through DJing by booking live gigs and getting commission. He typically plays underground dubstep.
“People enjoy my live edits,” Kholodov said. “It took me four years of doing chores and lending hands for easy pay to get money for the equipment.”
Pursuing Music Careers
Genson hopes to double major in music education and music composition. He currently looks into Illinois State University and Elmhurst College.
Specific examples of Genson’s work can be found at <http://gmc.yoyogames.com/index.php?showtopic=545439>.
Genson has left a mark on WHS by helping to co-found Music Theory Club with Alexander Meza, orchestra teacher, along with Adam Korber and Matt Erickson, seniors.
After WHS, Kholodov hopes to re-sign to Circus Records and finish his only EP for “mau5trap,” which should be released in the fall of 2013.
“I really want to continue my work after high school. I’ve got a couple of record offers, but I’ve been trying to talk things over with Lifted Music and Circus Records,” Kholodov said.
Kholodov’s music can be found at <http://soundcloud.com/skychilli>.His last piece is a “DnB” mix.