Little Match Girl
Aziraphal is a composer and producer of electronic music whose style could be loosely defined as Symphonic Progressive Ambient. Researching and composing electronic music for 12 years he has created solo albums in many diverse styles, but has also collaborated with other authors and written music for TV, films, commercials, Flash ads, games and children's stories. He also composes 'serious' classical music for solo piano and small ensembles which was performed live by himself (as pianist) and other performers at several events. History The composition style emerged from the author's classical background, at first influenced, formally, by Chopin and Beethoven and sonically by Vangelis. After a period of collaborating on several film and TV projects he developed a musical form most suitable for his creative visions and electronic tools: the Electrosymphonic Poem. It is a program music form that should be experienced as a standalone soundtrack, utilizing both synthesizers and orchestral samples. His adaptation of a famous Slovenian ballad, "The Legend of the River Man" (Povodni mož) was later adapted into a computer animated film with live jazz-balet cast. He often composes complex classical forms such as the Fugue with modern synth sounds. Lately he started including overdubbed vocals combined into a one-man choir which adds another dimension of human touch to the music. All lyrics are in an invented musical language; this approach was inspired by such works as Karl Jenkins' Adiemus and Vangelis' Mythodea or 1492 and helps the music express an emotional atmosphere rather than direct defined ideas, allowing for the listener's imagination to participate actively. His fascination with computers also led to his formal education, a university degree in Computer Science and a career as a software developer. Since the classical piano playing and composition are essential to him as a musician, he keeps in shape by organising a piano recital every two years where he performs challenging pieces from traditional repertoire as well as new compositions written for each occasion. More information can be found on the Web page. Musical Vision He believes in creating music with all means available; the electronics and computers just happen to be the most convenient and effective tools today. However he feels that there should be more electronic music conveying emotions and feeling - for many classically trained musicians still find electronic music robotic and non-human. The synths are capable of all the emotional expression of a Stradivari violin and beyond - but it is up to the artist to convey them. The term Electronic Music seems to be too polarized between two extreme banks of the river: The styles such as Drum'n'bass, Trance, Dance, Techno on one bank, and serious compositions, often called Electroacoustic Projects and usually atonal and aryhtmic, utilizing electronic noises to create a particular atmosphere, on the other. Last but not least he belives the amount of copy-pasted loops in composition should be drastically reduced. About "The Little Match Girl" album This is Aziraphal's latest and most accomplished work. The songs range from full-blown heroic Hollywoodesque sound of the opening 'Ave Triumphator', majestic choirs and four-voiced Fugue of the 'Mirrors of Apollo', the meditative dreamsynth and lead vocal of 'Sanctuary' to the almost half an hour worth of musical drama in the main work, the electrosymphonic poem 'The Little Match Girl', based on the famous stirring and tragic tale by H. C. Andersen, which should be experienced as a musical soundtrack to a silent film or animation of the story. The first two movements faithfully paint the original tale; however, the third movement brings the unique approach to the story. Because the composition tells uf of the events as seen through the eyes of the little matchseller, we can follow her story further as she joins her Grandmother. Part 1: The Street The imaginary camera that the listener should experience in his/her mind pans over the rooftops of a small town; It is already dark, the Eve of the New Year. A town square comes in the view, delightfully illuminated by a thousand decorative lights. The snow falls gently as the last remaining people, with loads of presents ion their arms, hurry to their homes to celebrate New Year with their families. The sound of falling snowflakes suddenly changes; no longer gentle and romantic, it becomes harsh and dissonant, for it brings only suffering to the little girl whose story is now told by the composition. The cold, her fear and loneliness are interrupted only by the sounds of laughter and party from the open windows that she passes on her way to find buyers for her packets of matches. As she sinks to the ground, unable to move another step, the end of first movement sees her torn between the desire to warm herself by lighting a single match and the fear of the hard and avaricious father, who has only harsh words and beatings for the child; and what he calls love is even worse, for it leaves her in pain, embarrased and bleeding. Part 2: The Visions Finally summoning the courage to light a match, the girl experiences the visions of a warm stove, the table laden with food where the roast chicken and cuttlery seems to jump up and dance, and the marvellously decorated Christmas tree. Each of the visions gradually fades back in the harsh atonality of the freezing street. Seeing a shooting star after the third vision the girl is reminded of her kind late Grandmother. Striking the remaining matches she prays to see her again and to leave this world to be with her once again. Here the original story ends, but the final scene of the people finding her frozen body the next morning is not present in this work - for we still follow the story through the girl's eyes, and as the blinding light of the matches disappears she finds her magically transported in Grandmother's house. Part 3: Grandmother's House Awaking in the Grandmother's humble cottage the girl sees her cooking the dinner for New Years Eve. At first unable to believe that the suffering has come to an end; then notices the Grandmother's stove, the chicken and the Christmas tree - they are of course smaller and not as splendid as in her visions, but as they are Grandmother's own work they are all the lovelier for it. (Note, for instance, the sound-image of the tree's candles and decorations performed on a piano, as opposed to the synth arpeggiators of the tree from the second movement - that one, although bigger, impressive and machine-perfect, was nevertheless an impersonal product, designed for the masses on the town square!) The joy of the Grandmother and Grand-daughter seems to grow beyond all boundaries as they are united forever. The sorrows of the first movement are forgotten, and only with the final chord of the song we are returned to the terrible reality of the next morning. The cover was designed by the excellent graphic artist and designer, Visage. URL coming when he finishes his official website.