Antti Martikainen Interview with Trailer Music Vibe

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Meet a composer by the name of Antti Martikainen. He has composed a few trailer music albums thus far, one of which was Eternal Saga. He answered a few questions from TMV about his career as a composer and so on.

 Can you tell us about yourself and musical background?

I’m a Finnish guy, close to my 30’s. I have published music in my own name since late 2012, that’s about 1½ years now. I make epic, symphonic, folk, world, celtic, pirate, trailer, metal music etc. I started making music when I was about 14 years old, I bought a guitar and started making riffs. I recorded my first songs about ten years ago. They were mainly various types of metal songs, such as death, thrash and dark melodic metal and later symphonic metal. I didn’t like playing and recording stuff with guitar, so I made new songs very rarely. Then I found virtual instruments and sequencer programs and started playing around with them. I haven’t touched my guitars for a very long time and I’m making everything on computer these days. I have about 5 years of experience of FL studio and various virtual instrument libraries. I have no theoretical background in music, I just make stuff that sounds good to my ear.

What inspired you to become a composer?

I don’t really remember any specific moment, and becoming a composer is a long story. When I was younger I noticed that I have some good melodies playing in my head and that I needed some instrument to make them alive, so I chose the guitar. I always knew that I had some potential, but it took a long time to realize it.

What would you say your dream is as far as your musical career goes?

I don’t have big dreams, I’d just like to get a decent income from making music. My dreams actually lie somewhere else than in making music. At the moment, I can’t sustain myself with music only, but I’m still a bit surprised that I even make this much.

What are your musical inspirations?

I don’t listen to a lot of music, but Two Steps From Hell is the biggest single influence for my current musical direction. Then there are a lot of metal bands such as Ensiferum, Moonsorrow, Slayer, Children of Bodom and In Flames from where I got my inspiration in the early years.

I really like the fact that most of your tracks are over several minutes long. Is that a goal for you to try and stretch the compositions out or is it just how the work turns out?

Yeah, my newer songs are a bit long. I try to make my songs as “complete” as possible, and that means a lot of melodies, a lot of variation and a lot of movements. Usually that leads to long pieces. Of course the longer pieces require some planning, although most of the stuff just arises and evolves as I’m making the song. If I run out of imagination or it feels like there’s no use to continue the song any further, then I just finish it, or bury it. I still have some songs that are under 3 minutes long, and that’s just fine for more aggressive and fast pieces. But even the shorter pieces I make have multiple movements, melodies and some twists. I know I have a general trailer music vibe (pun intended) in my songs, but the aim is not to make easy listening music for trailers, but complete songs.

Are there any exciting projects in the pipelines that you can tell us about?

I have a lot of going on. Most of it isn’t related to music, as I’m studying game development and I have some game projects that I’m making, and that includes programming, 3D modeling, texture painting, all kinds of stuff. Concerning musical things, I’m soon releasing a bonus content album called Another Saga. It contains some stuff that was originally supposed to be a part of the Eternal Saga album, but because there’s over four hours of extra material it is wiser to release it as a stand-alone album. I’m also making a pirate-themed game soundtrack album. It will hopefully have about 20 tracks that are shorter and simpler than my usual tracks, but they’re supposed to be used in games, trailers and films. I’m doing it because I get a lot of queries about music for video games, but none of my songs really fit well to video games. And I have like ten of these soundtrack albums planned, so it’s exciting to see how many (if any) of them I will release. Then I have some new album stuff coming up, some huuuge songs exploring new exciting themes. And probably some commissions for games.

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