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John Paul Hayward p5

Creator of Cross Symphonic John Paul Hayward talks about his recording plans...

READERSVOICE.COM: The Live Creature and Ethereal Things original compositions have some haunting songs like A Drop in Time. I pictured a trapeze act in a circus when I heard this. I was wondering do you picture scenes in your head when you write pieces of music.

JOHN PAUL HAYWARD: Oh, absolutely! Everything I write has some sort of visual connection – even if that connection is just an image in my head. To me music is something you paint with. There are so many colors, emotions, and various elements that you can use to paint whatever picture you want. Sometimes that painting isn’t clear and is more of a feeling, and sometimes the image is so sharp in my head that I’ll write portions of pieces to specific actions that I’ve imagined.
A good example would be the piece Rain from The Live Creatures and Ethereal Things. The image that I had when I wrote that piece was of rain hitting and running down a window in a dark room. The exciting thing about music is that it can mean a variety of things to a variety of people. To some that image is calming; to others it’s depressing. When I write music I try to tap into emotion, to make a connection with the listener on a deeper level. I tell my story and they interpret it in a way that is meaningful to them.

RV: What is your daily routine in Utah?

JPH: My routine completely depends on what projects I’m working on. On a typical day I’ll head to my office around 10 AM and catch up on my daily commitments to my publishing company until lunch. Then after lunch I’ll work on music (writing, arranging, publishing, whatever is on the docket) until around 6 or 7 PM at which case I’ll grab dinner. Then back to work until 9 PM or 10 PM. If I’m on a deadline or if inspiration is really flowing I’ll sometimes work until 1 or 2 AM, but I like to try and keep my evenings free whenever possible. After work I’ll hang out with friends and family or try to play an hour or two of games before bed.

RV: Are there any new games you’ve come across with soundtracks that you would like to give the symphonic treatment, or will you go in another direction?

JPH: Most of the games that I want to give the symphonic treatment are older games from the SNES and Ps1 era where music was really limited by technology. A lot of modern games already have great orchestral accompaniments or are in completely different genera that wouldn’t lend itself well to an orchestra, so I’m not sure I really have anything to offer those. Games that attract me the most are games that have great storytelling with wonderful melodies – regardless of genera. Right now I’ve been eyeing Chrono Trigger (despite my comments above. Haha), Final Fantasy V, Final Fantasy VII or Final Fantasy VIII.

– see johnpaulhayward.com and bandcamp for the great albums of John Paul Hayward, including Cross Symphonic.
– copyright readersvoice.com