A SYMPHONY BY DYNAMEDION CREATIVE DIRECTOR TILMAN SILLESCU
We’re proud to show you the new and very first symphony NACHTLICHTER by our creative director Tilman Sillescu.
As composer and creative director for Dynamedion, he has won many awards for his game scores, including compositions for the great ANNO series and Age of Empires 4. Now Tilman has composed his first symphony and is releasing it on Genuin. The Staatskapelle Weimar has recorded the large-scale work under the direction of Christian K. Frank with full musical sensuality. The symphony NACHTLICHTER (Nocturnal Lights) is composed in four thematically interwoven movements: It is not a crossover between film music and symphonic music, but a veritable, unique tonal painting in terms of its musical language and structure.
Tilman is one of the few soundtrack composers to have enjoyed a full classical education. His childhood in a musical household was formative – records with works by the great symphonists were usually played in everyday life, and his love of the orchestral sound continues to this day.
We sat down with Tilman and talked with him about the concept of his first symphony.
I have wanted to compose a large orchestral work for ages, but with my time-consuming work as Dynamedion’s creative director, I never had the time and, to be honest, leisure, until now. You can certainly imagine how clear an ambitious composer’s head is in the evening when he has already spent eight hours coming up with game or film music. However, I was highly motivated to finally use my classical training and love of symphonies for something more complex; and fortunately I succeeded, albeit with a lot of effort and energy.
My goal for NACHTLICHTER was to find a simple and accessible musical language, which allows the listener to feel emotions and see images without having these imposed on him. Music that comprises beauty, mysticism, irony and drama, and at the same time is able to stimulate the mind with its formal structure and harmonies. It has become a symphonic narration of the night with all of its fathomless beauty and wondrous, exhilarating lights and its, in part, terrifying secrets.
I like the general objective of moving the listener emotionally with music and creating images in the mind, at least that’s what I’ve always tried to do in my soundtracks. Nevertheless, in the genre of soundtracks there is always a certain limitation of form in that the musical form is always tied to the existing scenes and settings. There are usually only shorter, functional pieces of music and in addition the thematic material is often not interwoven or performed in larger contexts. With my symphony, I wanted to realize the aesthetics of soundtracks for once with large, symphonic structures.
What I wanted was to compose a classical, large-scale orchestral work that is clearly different from my soundtracks. There is certainly a bit of soundtrack aesthetic in it nonetheless; I simply like a very direct, emotional musical language. With NACHTLICHTER I wanted to create a composition that is not based on predetermined stories, but can create its own images in the listener’s mind.
I’ve never measured music so much by academic standards – for me, what was important was whether a piece of music touched me and was able to stimulate my mind. And that’s exactly what I also strive for with my music.
Of course there is nothing better for a composer than to have his own orchestral work recorded by a great orchestra. Since we at Dynamedion have been offering orchestra sessions as a service for years and have also recorded most of our own soundtracks with orchestras, I naturally took advantage of this opportunity. The orchestra of my choice was the Weimar Staatskapelle, which was then booked at my request.
As a recording team, we worked with the sound engineers of the Genuin Recording Group. We already have a “decade-long” friendly collaboration over countless soundtrack recordings, and I witnessed how Genuin has been able to enhance their already great qualities over all these years. It was a great pleasure to be able to record NACHTLICHTER together.
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