fredag 28. oktober 2011

What is the point of discussing genre?

I have never really understood why people are so interested in what genre a certain type of music is. Of course putting music into different genres has its purposes, but sometimes putting it into a genre becomes the purpose itself.

I have a good example of this. In university I studied linguistics among other subjects. However, when you come to think of it, this particular field of science is based upon how people talk in real life. All they have done is to write down how the rules of the language works at the present time and put it into writing. Then, when the language is subject to change, they pull out the linguistics rules and hold them up as the law, which then has become outdated because it originally was based upon the contemporary language at the time when the rules were made. The person then claims someone’s writing or speech to be incorrect.

This very same principle can be applied to music and genres as well. All the time I see two or more people discuss what genre a particular band belongs to. If they both enjoy the music and know what the music sounds like what does it matter…?

Hope you guys can give me some feedback on this...Do you agree or not?

lørdag 15. oktober 2011

"Discovering Illusion Suite"

This weekend I spent working on the project ”Discovering Illusion Suite” which is going to be a independent space opera that I’m doing together with Andreas Ravnestad.  The idea was originally meant for ”Illusion Suite” but when internal problems occurred, before Kim joined the band, I decided to work through different channels to get the project done.

Bill Makatowicz_Andreas Ravnestad_Discovering Illusion Suite

Andreas is a very talented composer that popped out from no-where.  I had never heard about him before I bumped into his music on the Internet… And there he was, not connected to the metal scene in any way, just making awesome music in his own living room, hardly sharing it with anyone. At the time when I became aware of him he had only been composing music for 2-3 years.

Up until this weekend Andreas and me had mainly been working together over the Internet, and that had been working out pretty good. We have now made about 30 minutes with music where the composition and lyrics are 100 percent finished.

When I visited him in Trondheim we immediately hit it off and we turned out to be both efficient and creative together.  Nothing was planned, but everything seemed to work out by itself. We had a short jam session and we tried to unite the music that we had made before we met.  We took some pictures and made some short film clips as we sat there. Before we knew it we had also made a three-minute presentation of the project “Discovering Illusion Suite”. The presentation can be viewed here and shows some of the demo material and the process of making that music.

To listen more to the project please visit:

As I grew more familiar with Andreas it also turned out that he has a lot of other gifts and talents. I already knew that he was a good lyric author as I have worked with him on lyrics before. His profession is computer engineering. Besides this he has quite a lot of knowledge about cars which is very practical and physics such as the theory of relativity, quantum physics and other theoretic knowledge and laws about the universe. This was a huge advantage when writing about a theme based album such as “Discovering Illusion Suite”. I also learned firsthand that he is a great cook, and he served me one of the best steaks I have ever had.

Bill Makatowicz_Nidarosdomen_Oslo

In Trondheim I had quite a spectacle when visiting “Nidarosdomen”. It is a Norwegian Cathedral originally constructed in the times of a famous Norwegian Viking king called “Olav the holy” (around year 1000-1100). Objectively speaking it is probably not more impressive than those over dimensioned renaissance churches in Italy, but personally I found it more interesting, probably because Renaissance culture has already been referred to a lot in pictures and movies aldready.  

tirsdag 4. oktober 2011

Illusion Suite – past, present and future

For Illusion Suite things went very fast once we figured out that it was not possible to work together any more. On one hand it was a great relief because things had gotten so bad that it was difficult to get anything done. On the other hand it was a shame because the album was 90 percent finished. We had only little more than to compose about 30 percent of the vocal and it would all be done.

After the break up we immediately started to look for a new guitar player. We didn’t get to try many people before the right one came along. Kim Jacobsen played drums, guitar and had even won the world champion chip in Prog metal together with his band “It’s the end”. Talking to the guy he also seemed very motivated and ready to go. So left now was only to try the actual recording. He fired up the guitar and recorded a song in a few days. It sounded smashing and he was unquestionable the right man for the job.

Kim Jacobsen Illusion Suite

So now, as it is, we have about 6 songs to complete with guitar and about 4 songs to complete with vocals before the album is finished. We estimate to have the recordings finished before February starts so this will mean that the album will be in the stores around may or june 2012.

For those who are interested in a glimpse even further into the future I am also working on a project together with Andreas Ravnestad. This will be a project outside Illusion Suite. However the project is called: “Discovering Illusion Suite” and is about a journey through space and time to find out what “Illusion Suite” really is. The project is nearly finished as there is only one more song to compose before the whole concept is complete.

September 2011

Progpower USA - the ultimate concert experience

I wrote this about right after I came back from our performance at Progpower festival 2010. At the time I did not have a blog, but now I do...Then it is only natural that this becomes my first blog entry.

This article is not about prog power from an audience point of view, but from an artist’s point of view. The experience of playing at progpower USA was so awesome. The audience gave so much of themselves that I feel I want to give something in return by writing this.

Illusion Suite_Progpower 2010
Illusion Suite_Progpower 2010

As the vocalist in Illusion Suite I have to say that this is the best arrangement we have played at. The audience was extremely dedicated and meeting them was somehow like meeting parts of our family.

One of the things that made it especially exiting to be an artist at this arrangement was the myriad of back stage area and VIP bars. It sometimes felt like being in an ants mound where the artist, as the queen, had access to the whole place, and it really took some time to get to know all the hidden back door and corridors.

Illusion Suite at progpower 2010

What was unique for us with the progpower experience was the moment when the into to our set played, before the curtains had opened up. I remember the crowd started to cheer. One could not really see the people out there; just hear the cheering of the crowd.  That was the time when I really started to get nervous…

Please feel free to leave comments. In fact I would appreciate it. Thanks guys!!!