Salvador Dali once said, “The fact that I myself do not understand the meaning of my paintings at the time that I am painting them does not mean that they have no meaning”.
I take a similar approach with my music. I can’t often say what the piece is about when I’m working on it. It takes the time to discover the story that music tells.
These 14 compositions are the stories words cannot describe. And I thought that the best way to visualise the music is to draw illustrations to the music.
Below you’ll find the stories behind each composition. I suggest you hit play below and read these small stories.
Hope you’ll enjoy listening to the album and the stories behind it.
All illustrations made by Tatian Listarova. Check her other works on Instagram.
New Day. New opportunity. New beginning. Something unknown, daunting. It’s like a first step that seems the hardest one.
When the piece was completed I knew that it should be the opening track of the album.
I believe that the best way to illustrate “New Day” is to show sunrise in the mountains.
I’d been working on this composition for a long time. I had to rewrite it several times, begun again from a blank list. I didn’t like the result when the piece had been recorded. So I had to begin again.
The title for this composition came to me when it was recorded and done. I decided to call it “Begin Again”.
The work on this piece reminded me “Groundhog Day” movie. No matter what I did the day before I had to begin again from the start on the next day. I decided to illustrate day-night and spring-autumn in the illustration to show the cycle of my working process on this composition.
The piece was inspired by Final Fantasy game soundtrack. One of the compositions had a simple chord progression that was used throughout the whole piece. I thought that I could do a similar thing.
Foundational chord progression came quickly to my mind. But I always deviated from it. Came back and then deviated again.
Illustration idea was easy and simple. I decided to show the flowers because they have the same basis: stem, petal, flower but every one of them looks different.
Let me know what story do you hear while listening to this composition. Hit reply to share it with me.
Being a musician or any creative artist means always fighting with doubts. You never know if people like what you do, especially people that liked your previous works.
I often don’t know what my pieces are about when working on it. The more I worked on this composition the more I realised that it reflects a moment of doubt.
I couldn’t figure out how to illustrate that moment for a long time. But then, suddenly, it came to mind. All I have to do is to illustrate the agitated sea that represents doubts and the ship that represents the man fighting these doubts.
Sometimes ideas for compositions come by themselves, all you have to do is to write it down before you don’t forget it. It’s the longest duration piece I’ve written to this day.
The work on this piece was done quickly but I couldn’t figure out how to name it for a long time. The title came to me while I was on a walkabout with my friend. We talked about everything we usually talk about. I was asked if I’m sure in my music. I answered this question almost immediately. That question gave me title idea.
I think that the man that came out of the maze is the best way to illustrate the title, No False Hope.
Sometimes I wonder who would I become if I was living in the past, in a time of Bach or Mozart. Would have I became musician or someone else?
I’m sure you could have similar thoughts too. This reminds me Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” where the main character went back in time, the age he admired. If you didn’t see the movie I suggest you check it out.
As an idea for an illustration, I chose piano concert of 18th-19th century.
Sometimes titles to my pieces come to my mind before I work on any music. To be honest, the title was the incentive to write this music. I wanted to describe in music the moment of calmness before the storm, as I see it. The moment you realise that it’s about to begin and you’ve got a few moments to enjoy calmness.
The plot of this composition was born in my mind first and then I turned it into a music. I don’t usually write that way. And it changed the way I compose music.
I think that oncoming storm is the best way to illustrate this piece.
I heard one expression somewhere, it sounds like “be careful what you dream because your dreams might come true”. I couldn’t get it off of my head. What if all the dreams come true… anyway or anyhow, sooner or later. All you need to do is to set it right in your head or better write it down on paper. And maybe tomorrow dreams will come true, or maybe a bit later, or maybe… Maybe it’s behind of one of those doors…
I always put my emotions and feelings to my music. I felt inspired when I was sad, that was my main inspiration when I was starting writing music. I guess that’s why most of my pieces are written in a minor key.
As I said before, it is always hard to title the music for me. More often the title comes to me when the piece is done. But the title of this piece came to me when I was working on the intro to it. I think it reflects the feeling of loneliness the best I was feeling at that moment. Feeling I didn’t want to feel. I believe that nobody wants to be alone.
I think that the best way to show it in a picture is to illustrate the boy trying to get the flying balloon away.
This composition is a significant one for me because it was the first finished piece. Before that, I had only some melody ideas. Some ideas became new compositions. Some ideas stayed as ideas only. I was proud that I had a fully written piece. It was a start of my creative musical journey.
To be honest, I don’t remember what I was thinking about when I had been writing it. I gave the title to it several years after it was completed. I was playing the piece trying to figure out how to name it (this is how I usually “search” the titles for my compositions), I felt loneliness, the feeling of loneliness among friends. It’s like you’re a stranger among his own.
The best way to show it was to illustrate “sad” person among “happy” (smiling) ones.
It took me an evening to write this composition. I did some edits next day and the piece was ready.
At first, I wanted to call it Pain of Destruction but it wasn’t about destruction or pain either. It’s about to keep going on, to leave your comfort zone, to do the step to unknown. So I decided to call it Salvation.
I could not come up with an idea for an illustration for a long time. I was watching on my laptop’s sticker. There are birds in cages, birds out of cages. It always reminds me that sometimes we limit ourselves and I thought that was it – the bird flying away from a broken cage.
I’m often asked how I write music. Unfortunately, I can’t answer that question because it always differs. Sometimes I’ve got a melody in my head before I hit any piano key. Sometimes it comes while I’m playing the piano. Sometimes there’s an idea or a feeling that I want to turn into the music. This piece was inspired by my dream.
I love seeing dreams. I see a different kind of dreams. Sometimes, while I dream I can change the story of the dream. Sometimes dreams are so real that when you wake up you need some time to understand that it was just a dream. But most of the time I don’t remember my dreams, I just have good aftertaste, you know. Don’t know about you but I can’t see faces in my dreams. So I just remember this “I think I saw you in my sleep, the beauty that appeared to me messed up reality and dream as if it’s been in real life…”
I wrote this piece for my mom. She’s the only one who supports me in all of my endeavours. She bought me my first instrument when I had an idea to learn to play the piano, helped me to find a piano teacher. She always supports me no matter what. I will always be grateful to her for this.
I was playing the piano the other day and was thinking about it all and my fingers played a melody part. It became an intro to this composition. I finished this piece very quickly. It was unusual for me, the first ideas that came to my mind were the right ones. I often do many revisions before I can feel that the piece is ready.
I thought that this composition is a nice way to say thank-you for everything my mom does for me.
I always adored people doing what they love. You can see it in their eyes. I adore their courage, their persistence no matter what. They go to their goals sacrificing themselves most of the times. I’m sincerely happy for their wins, it inspires me.
There was a time when I stopped writing music, had not touch an instrument for months. It was not a good time for me to be honest. I understood that I had deprived the happiness myself.
It’s great when you have friends that inspire you. I’m happy to have that kind of friends. I adore their spirit, I adore what they do even if they don’t know about it.