Who or what inspired you to pursue a career in music?
James Newton Howard. I was only 18 years old when I had the amazing opportunity to fly over to Los Angeles for the very first time as a film maker for one company. We were shooting a short documentary about Hollywood studios, so we got to meet some really interesting people, and one them was a world-wide known film composer James Newton Howard, who worked on film projects such as King Kong, The Hunger Games, Pretty Woman etc… He gave us a studio tour and I was just shocked by his kind and humble personal attitude. It’s almost like you can hear his soul in his music, the persona seems to reflect in the works. He even invited us for a lunch at his home, where we got to meet his family. It was the main experience for me, that made me think about pursuing career in the music industry. I liked the idea of having my own studio and doing my own projects. Not being attached to anyone else.
Who or what have been the most important influences on your musical life and career?
I think it was my piano teacher. Since the age of six, I started attending piano classes on a regular basis in my hometown – Havirov, Czech Republic. I was studying in the musical school of Leos Janacek for seven long years, and to be honest, I wasn’t a huge fan of the piano back then. But my parents insisted. I didn’t want to go there, the idea of playing someone else’s ideas just seemed boring to me. I couldn’t get too creative and I was only six years old! All I wanted was to go outside and do crazy things with other kids from our neighbourhood. But my teacher was absolutely amazing. She is the most patient person I know. Even though I wouldn’t do my homework, she always tried to find a way to me. She always had a smile on her face and somehow, she made me feel very comfortable in her presence, even though I was saying to myself: “I will never need this in my life, so why am I learning this?”. Sometimes, we would just talk about things. I guess the classes were never really about the technique or mastering the craft. In my case, it was about building a relationship with the instrument. She was aware of the fact, that I might not find it useful while being a child, but maybe someday in the future, I would change my mind. Which is eventually exactly what happened. And I couldn’t be more grateful to her and my parents.
What have been the greatest challenges of your career so far?
The biggest challenge for me is how to make new music that sounds unique. Becoming better every day. Working on my skills and making sure each song I release is a tiny bit better than the last one which is already out there. Making progress, but still finding my own personal voice at the same time – being myself. Making sure my music is honest and good.
Which performances/recordings are you most proud of?
Great question. The work that I’m most proud of, is probably my upcoming release entitled thōughts, which is coming out on 1st November this year. It’s a 10 song record where I try to connect the sounds of modern classical music with simple, yet well arranged catchy melodies more typical of film scores and soundtracks. I worked on this album after I had a three-month summer vacation, so that certainly helped to sort out my thoughts, and I truly do believe that the album is going to be successful.
As a composer, how would you describe your compositional/musical language?
I always say, I’m the melody guy! Haha. I’m not exactly sure. I guess that’s something my listeners should be able to answer. But I really like working with melodies that sound as closest to your heart as possible. And I usually tend to make them very simple, yet powerful. My favorite instrument is piano. So, in combining all those little aspects together, I guess what we get is a style which is kind of my own language.
How do you work?
I found out that usually I produce new music only in certain periods of my life. Before I begin working on bigger projects, I’m always trying to take as much time off as possible. And just doing everything else but music. Being with friends and family, alone in nature, traveling, meeting new people etc.. And then, using these memories, experiences and feelings to come up with something new.
As a musician, what is your definition of success?
Being happy. I believe that is the very hardest part for every artist. In order to make progress, we always want everything to be perfect. And with our perfectionism and workaholism in most cases, it’s hardly impossible to make it perfect. There is always going to be “I wish I did things differently”. So, it’s important to learn to move on. Working on other projects. Letting the old ones go. Enjoying the presence, finding inspiration in beautiful places around us, whether it’s the forest near your house, or your loving family and friends. For me, the definition of success is doing what I love, being with people I love, and having enough money not to care about it. That’s all I need.
What do you consider to be the most important ideas and concepts to impart to aspiring musicians?
What I found most effective at the beginning was giving out my music for free. In instrumental music, there is always a potential client who could simply license your work for all different kinds of projects. I provided my work completely free of charge for anyone who wanted to use it non-commercially. And you’d be surprised how many emails I started getting from individuals, or even companies, who wanted to use my work commercially, willing to pay a fee for the license. And with this simple strategy, you get exposure along with a bit of money, which I believe is the best way to start. Other than that, I highly recommend before making any official releases, to take the time to work on your skills and knowledge, mainly when it comes to controlling the music production programms, digital audio workstations, plugins, sound libraries etc… But the most important piece of advice would be – never try to be someone, always try to be you.
Borrtex’s new instrumental album thōughts is released on 1 November 2019
Borrtex (real name Daniel Bordovsky) is a young soundtrack composer from Prague, Czech Republic