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Six Strings with... George Kam

I think that George is going to have a strong career, cause he share a good deal of passion in his work and it is important to see his projects get done. I am glad I was able to chat with this up and coming composer, as I had said he is a talent waiting to be heard.
-Jeremy [Retro-Zombie]

-How did you get started in the field of music and how did that lead you to composing?
George Kam: Well, it’s a family thing I’d say. My father played the guitar in a band in the 70’s; he told me that my grandfather, whom I never met, as he died a long time ago, played the violin. I was amazed the first time I saw an electric guitar back in my early school days. I convinced my father to buy me a guitar as his was stolen a long time ago. He taught me the basic chords. I practiced often and was affected by the shred movement of the 80’s music I listened to. I used hip hop making software to write songs on my computer with my guitar. I started to write riffs and my ideas. I also watched a lot of great movies that had superb soundtracks and as the years passed I tried to make guitar music and had my adventures as a guitar player. 

All this time though I was worshiping soundtrack music and wanted to write something similar. One day a friend of mine brought me some midi plug-ins for the software I was using on my computer. It was time for me to embrace this new idea of song writing. In the beginning it was difficult to understand how to orchestrate - the guitar method is a lot easier because the harmony is controlled by 2 main organs, guitar and bass, and the beat by a rhythm section, the drums .But in order to make something that looked like a symphony or a soundtrack theme was very difficult. The orchestra has many instruments and you must find a way to harmonize your melody. So I started by using guitar ideas and riffs and transforming them into soundtrack music. It’s like they somehow found their lost identity. That helped me a lot to understand how to compose. It also developed those forgotten guitar riffs to something very unique and special. I have so many more options in writing this kind of music and many crazy ideas to fill in.

-If you work with other composers or music artists, whom do you work with and what is the best part of your contributions?
George Kam: Well I did a lot of projects with guitar music in cooperation with friend guitarists. I also helped fellow musicians and friends with mixing details and a few musical ideas. But my soundtrack concept is a solo project, not due to my dislike of cooperation, the right 2 or 3 brains can work better than 1, but up until now nobody has offered to contribute to this project. So I work alone on my home workstation usually at strange hours, due to my everyday schedule.

-Who inspires you musically and whom do you listen to [composers or music]?
George Kam: Heavy metal was definitely a big chapter in my live and guitar players such as, Marty Friedman, Yngwie Malmsteen, John Petrucci and Paul Gilbert, to name but few. I watch a lot of films and happen to be a retro fan of music and a fan of great composers such as Basil Poledouris, Alan Silvestri, John Williams, and Danny Elfman. I was shocked when I first carefully listened to Conan the Barbarian or the Predator theme. Star wars was immense. Wow was like I want to do that one day.

-How do you find your inspiration to make your music, what are your goals and challenges you might be facing?
George Kam: The inspiration might come from a guitar jam or sometimes I hear music in my head and try to actualize it. During this process a lot of information is lost, because in hearing many harmonies in your head is somewhat confusing. My goals are to make music be heard outside my head create something that will make up my day. There are many technical challenges. Sometimes my computer stops and restarts and I pray to God that I remembered to save the project. Some other times It depends on the kind of day you are having and your psychology. (Example) being sad helps me make emotional music. But it's important to have privacy while doing this and clear thoughts in your head.

-When recording a piece of music, how do you know when a piece is done... how do or would celebrate and what do you find yourself producing most [epic, horror, period, etc.]?
George Kam: I have only had that great feeling of success a few times so far. It’s important I believe to have continuity to your music and it's hard because you might spend 13 hours just for one track. I usually finish my tracks in a day because I think there is something special going on by not giving up. It is difficult to indulge myself and I have high standards after hearing high standard music. I train myself by doing this and looking forward to have many challenges and opportunities to master different levels of composition. As far as the genre is concerned I happen to like "dark" melodies and exotic scale movement inside the tracks. I believe horror and epic is my field so far.

-Walk us throughout a typical day or not so typical?
George Kam: Usually my day consists of a few activities. I wake up making my breakfast and get in some morning exercise. During the day I work in my studio producing ideas and writing small examples. I sometimes do private guitar lessons to children. In the afternoon I hang out with my girlfriend. At the end of the day i go to bed and watch movies until I fall asleep.

-Bonus: You can ask me a question or tell us something you would like us to know about you or anything you want?
George Kam: would like you to know that I am self-taught musician. I also want to thank you for giving me this interview and wish the best for you and the magazine. It was a pleasure doing this; hope to talk to you again in the future.

Bio:  George Kam was born on October 29th, 1987 and raised in Athens. George grew up listening to a lot of traditional Greek music and rock/jazz classics. During his early teens he became interested in learning the guitar.
In 2007 he graduated from Greece Collage O.E.E.K in the field of Computer technology and Networks. After finishing his military obligations he started writing soundtrack and movie scores in order to expand his music library. He is currently participating in the exceptional music group of Greek singer Theodosia Tsatsou, as a guitar player. George is now introducing, a motivating musical idea, in order to help him connect with people who are interested to his music. Feel free to contact George for any project or info. Stay tuned for more news!

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