Great music doesn’t have to be made with just guitars and drums and a bass. Gregory Tan and Mitch Protheroe — aka Omni Optometrist — are among those who prove as much with work they’ve released this year.
In September, Tan released a track termed “Prayer Of A Warrior,” which takes the listener on a cinematic but grounded feeling ride through cascades and peaks aplenty. There’s an emotional core at play, but Tan has taken some of those core emotions familiar to us as humans and amplified them for musical examination.
“A song or composition reaches the hearts of people when it carries or conveys emotions that are easily identified with,” Tan notes, adding: “Humans are complex creatures, and can grasp multiple feelings at once. I wanted to pack a myriad of contrasting emotions into this track. The melody lines of “Prayer Of A Warrior” somewhat reflect elements of nostalgia, a tinge of sadness, but also hope. The changing dynamics of the track also follow this theme. Yet, despite the changes in the structure, the piece still flows in unity as one.”
“The harp and piano harmonizing at the start and end of the composition also bring out a kind of lightness and frailty that contribute to the gentler parts of the track,” he adds, getting more into the specifics. “I guess I wanted to examine the vast complexity of emotions in a single instrumental. After all, we humans are so complex and yet so fragile.”
With that aim in tow, Tan opens up the listener to a whole new component of themselves, you might say, since the average music fan probably hasn’t heard these familiar concepts presented quite like he does.
Then, there’s Mitch Protheroe, who crafts music similarly experimentally bent, encapsulating familiar drives in a likely completely unfamiliar — and yet still accessible — package. His work, exemplified through means like the 2018 full length Entheonaut, presents a “stream of consciousness” packaged in a free flowing and yet still remarkably somehow cohesive musical work.
“My recent work has been heavily inspired by this notion that through composing, I’m able to create a musical stream of consciousness,” he explains. “The ideas can continually flow and never look back as the song progresses. It’s been a lot of fun creating a song this way, as there is so much variety in each piece that the whole thing becomes this refreshing sound byte with so much replay value. The melody and rhythm that yearn to be created are full of life in this way. It’s like I’m drawing from a well of ideas which never runs dry.”
In a sense, through such maneuvering Protheroe positions himself at the fountain of musical life that’s informed musicians and other types of artists throughout the past many years of human existence. That existence itself is never going to stop, so Protheroe and the others working alongside him in spirit might as well not either.
Both his work and Tan’s is available to listen to now.
Check out his full length Entheonaut below, via Bandcamp.
Tan’s track “Prayer Of A Warrior” features below, via Bandcamp.