Rio de Janeiro - Brazil
Motta - Composing progressive rock music is necessary to have talent,
of course. So, where do you take your inspiration from?
comes from many sources. In terms of artists before me whose works have
become part of my musical vocabulary, there are several. The Canadian rock
trio Rush, for instance, were a major influence in my early days when I
was learning to play guitar. Later, I began listening to British progressive
acts, such as Genesis, Yes, Renaissance, Mike Oldfield and Steve Hackett.
There were the artists from whom I learned the art of longer epic compositions,
which I would later delve into.
music is taken for a high grade one. What’s the main care you take upon
have also been non-musical inspirations which helped me to shape my views
and articulate what it was I wanted to communicate through my music. The
works of novelist-philosopher Ayn Rand focussed my attention on what purpose
art has in our lives. I saw that music can serve as a projection of our
ideals, giving us the emotional state of having reached our goals, thereby
fuelling our day-to-day struggles in life. It can be likened to a beacon
that shows us where we are heading and it was this quality more than anything
that I wanted to put into my music.
all that I had learned, I began taking a more structured, long-term approach
to the way I compose, seeking a balance between intellectual and emotional
aspects and aiming for thematic cohesiveness.
without repetition in long form; that’s something I always strive for,
along with a sense of grandeur. One of two things can happen in a lengthy
piece of music. It can go from section to section without a sense of direction
or any apparent connection between the beginning and the end. Or it can
repeat the same things over and over to the point where it becomes monotonous.
musicians have confessed to be afraid of non-acceptance of their works
my longer pieces, I’ve chosen an approach that involves the use of only
a few themes, but offers countless variations. For exemple, my seven-part
suite ‘’Songs for Spring’’ begins with an arpeggio in 9/8 time, played
gently with a chime-like sound, which serves as a backdrop for the introduction
of other themes. Later in the suite, the same arpeggio is played aggressively
on guitar. The effect is quite intense, as other instruments serve to emphasize
the rather technical rhythm. At the end of the suite, there is a vibrant
variation of the arpeggio in 4/4 time, where the other themes resolve around
it in a celebratory fashion.
exemple in the same suite would be parts two and four, which share the
same chord progression and lyric structure, but with vastly different imagery,
dynamics and rhythm.
are the kinds of things I like doing most with composition. It makes it
enjoyable and interesting for me, as well as for the attentive listener.
Some have commented to me that after a few listens, they begin to recognize
the relationship of one part to another and how it all makes perfect sense
and flows together in a piece that is twenty-seven minutes long. For me,
that is very rewarding..
By the way, do you have this kind of apprehension too?
I have on occasion and I think it’s perfectly natural. Like any other artist,
I pour my heart and soul into what I do. For a listener to reject it for
whatever reason or for a critic to say harsh things about it, that’s like
an attack on the soul. I think every artist experiences this to some degree.
Those with integrity learn to deal with it without compromising their artistic
values. They resist the temptation to shape their music in such a way that
would allay their fears of non-acceptance. They realize there is a far
greater reward in creating something which is uniquely their own and speaks
from the soul.
culturally developed countries use to help their artists by giving them
reminded of a quote from Edmond Rostand’s play ‘’Cyrano de Bergerac’’,
in which the hero, when advised to have a successful dramatist rewrite
his poetry, answers ‘’when I have made a line that sings itself so that
I love the sound of it, I pay myself a hundred times’’. That sentiment
has long been a part of my philosophy and I try to remain true to it.
support or something like that. As Canada is a culturally developed country,
then like to know if Canadian artists also receive any support by the government.
it happen in your country?
our government at all levels do support the arts by way of grants to various
projects. There is a lot of bureaucracy involved and I’m certainly not
the best person to explain the process. I should stress that I have never
been the recipient of such grants and quite frankly, I don’t intend to
my music, I attempt to project a world where man is self-reliant, heroic
individual; where his achievements are a result of his own efforts and
of those he freely chooses to co-operate with. To rely on government grants
for my survival would go against these values and I doubt that I would
then be capable of creating the kind of music I do with any kind of conviction.
This may be difficult for people in poorer countries to relate to, but
I choose to compete in a free market, even though I consider myself an
artist first and foremost. I think the listener should be the ultimate
judge of whether or not I deserve to make a living from my art.
a friend and partiner from the Progressive Rock And Progressive Metal Site
Purest of Designs - (1998)
See It Made Real -
Awaken - (1991)
/ Info / Bookings
Grandville Ave. 1403
ON I8E 1J7
in Nova Scotia in 1961 and now living near Toronto, Steve Cochrane's early
listening experiences came from AM radio, then later from the FM band in
its explosive infancy. At the age of 15, he picked up a guitar and got
serious about becoming a musician himself. He was soon practicing six hours
a day, learning by ear from favourite records. A major influence at the
time was Rush, whose albums he could play along with from beginning to
Involvement with a handful of local bands soon followed, the most notable
being Endpieces, an all-original progressive rock band which gained some
local celebrity status. Steve's abilities as a composer blossomed within
Endpieces as his listening tastes and influences expanded to include British
progressive rock acts such as Genesis, Mike Oldfield and Renaissance. Steve
Hackett, in his work with Genesis and as a solo artist, became the new
During this time, another notable development had occurred. Steve discovered
the works of novelist/philosopher Ayn Rand, who's writing projected a rational
world and Man as a heroic being. Steve was inspired by this vision and
sought to create music that belonged in such a world.
In 1983, Endpieces disbanded and Steve, contemplating his future and bolstered
by a growing confidence in his artistic abilities, decided to go it alone
as a composer/recording artist. He then invested in some basic recording
equipment and began working on what he hoped would be his first album.
Five years later, struggling for the resources to complete a guitar and
vocal-laden project with huge production requirements and with no record
label interest, Steve saw the benefits of the emerging MIDI technology
and decided to put the current project on hold. Heroes Awaken was born
and in 1991, released. Although it is dominated by keyboard synthesizers,
electric guitar is included on two tracks and MIDI guitar, which Steve
delved into along the way, appears throughout.
With a debut release under his belt, Steve was getting back to the guitar
and hoping to incorporate it more into a follow-up album. Much of what
was written at this time was originated on guitar or with the thought of
featuring guitar as a lead instrument. Technology was now bringing digital
multitrack to home studios and Steve invested in a computer-based system.
The result was the 1995 release, To See It made Real.
Finally, the time had come to take care of unfinished business. Steve looked
back at the project he had put on the shelf before Heroes Awaken. With
the resources now at his disposal to record at home, he spent the next
year and a half relearning, re-recording and fine-tuning the arrangements.
One new adventurous piece, The Promise of the Music, was written as a retrospective
on the artist's idealistic youth. Fifteen years after its inception, The
Purest of Designs (originally titled Preamble) has been released, as Steve
Cochrane ponders new directions for a fourth album.