Filed Under:

A Young Composer Steps Outside Of Himself (And Into Pop)

Play associated audio

In an era when an online single or leaked demo can make or break a band, a young New York composer is taking a chance on a full-blown concept album. Ellis Ludwig-Leone is the 24-year-old, classically trained leader of the group San Fermin, whose self-titled debut tells a 17-song love story.

"It's sort of based around the interaction between a male and a female character," Ludwig-Leone says. "The male character is a little more grandiose — sort of a manifestation of a lot of things that I was thinking about around the time when I was writing, when I was 22. ... I had just graduated from college, and it wasn't a given that I was going to be a musician or anything. Everything was sort of up in the air."

However much Ludwig-Leone identified with his fictional leading man, he says he was liberated by imagining the characters' lives as separate from his own.

"I think the big breakthrough for me was actually figuring out that I could write for characters," he says, "because then I could push these aspects of myself in very different ways and imagine these people as if they had made different decisions and explore a much larger range of emotions."

Ellis Ludwig-Leone recently spoke with NPR's Audie Cornish about the self-imposed mountain retreat where he wrote San Fermin and how pop compares to classical music when it comes to channeling emotions. Hear more of their conversation at the audio link.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Opulent And Apolitical: The Art Of The Met's Islamic Galleries

Navina Haidar, an Islamic art curator at the Met, says she isn't interested in ideology: "The only place where we allow ourselves any passion is in the artistic joy ... of something that's beautiful."
NPR

Tired Of The Seoul-Sucking Rat Race, Koreans Flock To Farming

More than 80 percent of people in South Korea live in cities. But in the past few years, there has been a shift. Tens of thousands of South Koreans are relocating to the countryside each year.
WAMU 88.5

Fannie Lou Hamer and the Fight for Voting Rights

Kojo explores the life and legacy of Fannie Lou Hamer, a poor Mississippi sharecropper who became an outspoken voice in the civil rights movement and the fight for voting rights.

WAMU 88.5

Computer Guys and Gal

Chrysler recalls cars to boost their cybersecurity. Microsoft debuts its new Windows 10 operating system. And navigation tech could bring us robotic lawn mowers. The Computer Guys and Gal explain.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.