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My first music album, Impetus - new beginnings and explorations

My first album, Impetus, aims to capture my reflections on life experiences relating to relationships, travels and dreams. I have just finished university and began employment. There was an incredible amount of learning that I had to do, not just related to work but also outside of work, where I moved out of home, started to travel more often, and just tried to generally find myself.

Shirley Ly's 'Impetus' - A Symphony of Nature, Love, and Magic, London classical music composer, UK female composer, British composer, British female composer, female classical composer, UK's classical composer

One of my first trips abroad was to Berlin, just following the end of university. The city had definitely made a huge impression on me. I particularly love the alternative art and music scenes there – dark, raw and unhindered. This was the place which made me enjoy techno music. The city is incredibly emotional too. Walking through the city, I felt that brutalism is prevalent reflective of historical events, and I feel a lot of emotion. There are many striking museums and memorials which provide details of the victims who have suffered during World War 2 – I can sense the deep remorse for what had happened. So my trip to Berlin has inspired me to write Dawn in Berlin, where I tried to encapsulate my wonder and emotions when travelling in the city.

Nature is a key theme which runs through my album, Impetus. I love watching birds fly over in London, a constant reminder to me that nature continues to run its course. In my composition Swallows Silhouette, I try to depict swallows journeying to their clay nests, where they pass through wind and rain. Swallows are so beautiful and delicate, with dark blue backs, red throats and can often be seen in the countrysides in the UK. They are very agile birds and spend a lot of their time in the air travelling. In Twilight Dance, I aimed to capture the beauty of seeing warm colours of the sun fading, and deeper, purple colours of twilight fading into the night.

Spring is definitely my favourite time of year where all around, signs of life appear e.g. cherry and plum blossoms growing in the trees, trees becoming less sparse, daffodils appearing on the grass, calls of various birds etc. My composition, Spring Fantasy is my first tribute to Spring, and aims to showcase the sensations felt in this season. The light and airy passages followed by more denser passages signals growth of life in all forms. Amber Leaves is another tribute to the seasons, this time Autumn. The composition features a lot of 'damp' chords and chromaticism as I want the composition to feel deep, rich and colourful, reflective of yellowing and browning leaves on trees and covering the ground.

The rest of the compositions are related to love. Sweet Reverie describes the pain of a romantic relationship breakdown and the relief felt during recovery, same as Erase from Memories. Love Letter Part 1 and Love Letter Part 2 aims to capture the sadness felt when loved ones are lost - seeing people and animals being lost constantly in the news is saddening.

Impetus is my first album, I was completely new to recording compositions etc. I hope you enjoy it and feel free to download the album below.


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