• Interview with Misha Kolesoski (Music Composer)

    Misha Kolesoski is a 34 years old music composer from Oregon, USA who is currently working on a piano concerto for chamber orchestra...


    Thanks for taking the time to do this interview Misha Kolesoski. Tell us a bit about yourself, your name, age, where you’re from and an interesting fact if you like...
    OK, I’m 34 years old, a multimedia composer and I’m from Oregon in the USA – I’ve also been working on growing a fairly long beard.

    MUSIC
    What genres of music do you compose? What's your favorite?
    Well, as a working composer making the majority of music from commissions, I basically have to deliver on whatever for which the client is asking. I do try my best to put my own spin on it – but in the end most people have a pretty clear idea of what they want.

    When I’m composing for my own projects I tend to write in a more formal sense. On the other hand when doing electronic music, everything becomes very minimalistic.

    How long have you been composing?
    I started when I was 11 or 12, but I wasn’t writing anything that could be deemed “playable.” My first real worthwhile pieces came around age 16 or so. I’m 34 now, so I‘ve been writing for about 18 years off and on.

    What first got you interested in becoming a music composer?
    Other composers – especially Ravel – my early music reeks of rehashed Ravel.

    What/who are you inspired by?
    Ha, I just mentioned Ravel – I love music from the late 1800s and early 1900s. Really though, any music that is done passionately is music I can enjoy. I’ve been really into Japanese Gagaku and Persian Court music lately.

    Do you use samples or compose your beats from scratch?
    Both – I really admire the loop composers working for companies like Sony and Propellerhead. On the other hand, I do feel a bit like I’m cheating every time I load a sampled loop into a sequencer. So when I do that I try to cut it in a way that obscures where it came from.

    When doing my own beats I still use sampled instruments - so I guess that a lot of it is “just in the box.”

    What software and hardware do you use to compose music?
    For scores I use Finale, I took a class on it in college and I tend to stick with what I know. For sequencing I used to use Sonar – I was in a band that released 3 albums which were created in Sonar. But, I just had so many problems with 8.5 that I kind of threw up my hands and said “I’m done!” Now I mostly use Reason, which is awesome especially since they added a recording function.

    Do you see composing music as a career or as a hobby?
    Personally I don’t know anyone who lives exclusively off of composing music. I teach music at a local college in addition to giving private music lessons. So music is absolutely a career for me. However; composing music makes very little money (I’m grateful for the money it does make though). I don’t think that makes the process any less “professional” though.

    What are you trying to do with your music? Do you want to help your community? Are you trying to get rich? What is your goal for your music?
    I wouldn’t turn down getting rich! Would you like to write me a check?

    In all seriousness though – I think the only thing a composer is trying to do with their music is share it with people who might enjoy hearing it.

    Do you have any kind of management, publishing or distribution team behind you? If so what are their responsibilities?
    I publish though an online music library (copy-us) and have submitted to many web-housing facilities. Other than that, it’s just me.

    What are some accomplishments that you have achieved and are most proud of?
    I love the Erhu Adagio that was performed at Edenbourough University – that and the string Trio played by the NACUSA LA String Quartet.

    Have you ever made any contact with big time people in the industry and do you keep in contact with them?
    Sure, I’ve met a lot of people – but no, haven’t been in contact with anyone that would raise eyebrows.

    What one tip would you give to other aspiring music composers?
    Go practice your instrument, then write, then practice some more, then write, then read a book about orchestration, then write, then read about counterpoint, then write, and repeat.

    It’s also important to maintain contacts of musicians and artists with whom you share mutual interests – remember it’s all in who you know.

    What do you see is in the future for the music industry? How do you think it will evolve/change?
    I think we’re going to see even more amateur involvement – which is a good thing. I see the death of record labels – which is a good thing. I also see a lot of online collaboration. Essentially the internet has changed the dynamic in much the same way that the phonograph changed the world over 100 years ago.

    INTERNET
    Do you feel like the internet is helping you as an underground composer?
    Yes, absolutely. At the same time, however; we have to understand that because everyone has the same access it’s more difficult to cut through the noise.

    How do you think social networks such as Facebook and Twitter have affected the music industry?
    I think positively. I’ve discovered so much great music just by reading my friends’ posts (that’s how I found Die Antwoord – Love Them!)

    Where can we check out your beats online?
    You can search “Misha Kolesoski” on YouTube, there’s a lot of stuff there.

    You can also go to my website http://mishakolesoski.weebly.com and look at the “libraries” portion of the page.

    IN CLOSING
    What projects are you working on at the moment?
    I’m as well as a one-act opera based on a translated Japanese Noh drama.

    Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years time?
    Writing music – and teaching.

    Do you want to give a shout-out to anyone?
    Yes, anyone who wants a shout-out from me.

    Thanks again Misha for doing this interview.
    My pleasure, thanks to you!
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