I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to interview brony music extraordinaire Thorinair the other day. Thorinair is known for his beautiful trance and orchestral such works as Spark of Magic (Original Mix), Deae Lunae (Thorinair Remix), and The Darkening. He has been featured on a number of MLP music sites multiple times, including Equestria Daily and our very own Lyra Heartstrings. We discuss everything from collabs to inspiration, and we’ve even got a discussion on who is best pony in there!
For you pony music-lovers and aspiring musicians, there’s quite a bit of valuable information in here, so take a look!
How did you get into ponies?
My friends, mostly, and my curiosity. Before ponies, I was an admin (and still am) of an Avatar (movie by James Cameron) forum, and people were constantly talking about ponies, changing their avatars, signatures etc. I got curious, so I asked around a bit and found out that it is a show. In the guild, in World of Warcraft, that I am a part of, there was also a lot of talk about ponies pretty much all the time. Considering I had “peer pressure” coming at me from all directions, I decided to check it out a bit. Naturally, I started with the very first episode. At first I kept it a secret for awhile that I have been watching it, but with time, I opened up. I didn’t enjoy the show much up until season 1, episode 4. That’s when the show got really fun for me. Slowly I got in to the community, and I called myself brony officially about one and a half year ago. Music is what mostly drew me into the fandom.
How did you get into music?
I got into music long before ponies. Ever since I was little, I enjoyed listening to classics like Robert Miles’ album “Dreamland”. I was experimenting a bit with eJay, which was silly back then. As I got a bit older, I started to appreciate a lot of different Trance AND orchestral music, mostly movie soundtracks. Naturally, I wanted to try making proper music myself, so I got a hold of FL Studio and through quite a few years, learned new tricks, figured out how to actually make something and finally made actual music. “Flutterdream” was the first pony song that I released, and the first song I made that I actually enjoyed. Sadly, I have noticed that today, as my ideas advance, my hardware limits me more and more.
What made you choose to combine ponies and music?
Well, honestly, I was never really sure. Ponies give me a huge dose of inspiration, more than anything else I have ever encountered. It just makes me… explode with ideas. Or at least it did. Lately, I have been feeling a bit uninspired. I am not exactly sure why, most likely because I am being overworked with college, and I have been having less and less time to enjoy ponies as much as I used to. I got in to ponies before I joined the college. Things were a bit different back then… Anyway, back on topic, what really got me to combine the two is not only the source of inspiration, but also the things that community is doing. I was extremely impressed (even shocked, in a good way), when I discovered how much music this fandom is making. I somehow felt a need to contribute to it all myself as well.
Earlier, you mentioned how some of your hardware is falling out of date. Do you find that you outgrow equipment often?
Well, I cannot really say that I outgrow it often, because I was never before in a position to outgrow it. Considering I have only recently started making a bit more quality productions, it was only recently that I started feeling a bit… limited with what I have. I have a quite old 5.1 surround system which is not meant for music production at all. It simply doesn’t have properties a professional studio system should have. Sadly, new monitor speakers I want to buy are far too expensive for me, as the only source of my money are donations.
What is your favorite part about making music?
I would say there are many favourite things, but one of the most favourite ones is the feeling of creating something new. Even though I make vectors in my spare time as well, making music feels so much different. Being able to create sounds which can shake your very soul, make you dance, cry and smile is absolutely amazing. The feeling of creating a new track and releasing it to everyone who listens to my music, or one day will listen, fills my heart with joy. But I also make music for my own pleasure as well. It is very fulfilling hearing a new track being formed.
Your least favorite part?
I am not really sure if I really do have a least favourite part. Only thing I could think of are artistic blocks which seem to be coming at me at an even higher rate than before. As I mentioned earlier, most likely due to college. At least I had a moment of inspiration just before this interview, as an idea came up during a lecture, so I wrote it down on a paper and created it in the studio once I returned home.
From where do you draw inspiration?
I draw inspiration, as mentioned earlier, mostly from ponies. I love basing my songs on certain characters or events in the show. For instance, my EP “The Darkening / The Redemption” was based on the Season 2 finale, as a continuation of the story. And right now, I have a dark track as a work in progress, inspired by King Sombra. But, there is more here than just ponies, I also draw a lot of inspiration from some of the commercial artists on the Trance scene, like Armin van Buuren, Andy Moor, Arty, Andy Blueman, Sean Tyas, and many, many more… Generally, I like to listen to some of the small tricks and ideas and then apply it to my productions. It helps a lot with figuring all kinds of tricks in music production.
Any advice for aspiring musicians?
Well, one of the biggest and most important things that I tell all new musicians is: experiment as much as you can! Most of the sounds and ideas that I made come from simply experimenting and trying out new stuff. It is also important to listen to quality commercial music and figure out the ideas of composition, sound design, etc. And when it comes to mastering the tracks, try not to do it yourself, rather have a second pair of ears do it for you! Your ears get tired from your own track as you re-listen to it over and over again. It can be very tiring and you lose the ability to use your own judgement for the final mix.
Why are you drawn to Trance music in particular and not another electronic genre? What attracts you to Orchestral work?
I love making and listening to both Trance and Orchestral music equally. I have noticed a LOT of co-relation between Trance and Orchestral in general. The two genres share many similar elements like composition ideas, complex chord progressions, and even instruments. Andy Blueman was the first commercial Trance artist that I have heard to successfully combine Trance and Orchestral in a way that I have never heard before. Ever since, it was my dream to make something like that as well. Today, almost every Trance track I make has a lot of Orchestral elements to it. Usually, the whole break is orchestrated with strings and piano, like in “The Darkening” and “The Redemption”. It gives a lot of soul to the music and allows emotions to flow even more freely. I am going a bit further with some of my upcoming work, so we will see what happens next! But, I don’t plan on staying on just these two genres. I have actually always been meaning to try my hoof at producing Hardstyle or Drum & Bass. Those two genres seem quite attractive.
What’s your favourite piece of work?
I would definitely say that my favourite tracks I have made are both “The Darkening” and “The Redemption”. Unlike my other tracks, which were made in 2-3 days each, both of these took multiple months to produce, and amount of work I put in to them is unlike any other I have made. A huge difference is also the more complex use of instruments and layers, Orchestral instruments and in general the composition. It simply feels much nicer to listen to and I somehow have more emotional connection with these two.
If you could do a collab with anyone, who would it be?
Well, I have already collabed with Silva Hound, and that was fun, but there are obviously more options. I wanted to collab with HMage for a while now, but the two of us cannot find the time to do it, and I also wanted to collab with Feather, as her vocals would be absolutely fantastic for Trance. I am sad that she went on the long break, but maybe I will ask her when she returns.
Who is best pony? And why?
I would say that Twilight is best pony, at least for me. I just love her so much… her personality is absolutely fantastic and slightly reminds me of myself. Quite nerdish, socially awkward and loves when everything goes how she planned. I also panic when I have to take some kind of an exam at college, which is also similar to her. I also have a Twily plushie. Also, unlike many, I actually approve of the Alicorn Twilight thing. I believe that she deserves it. Her studies have advanced rapidly, and it felt from the start that she will become one someday.
Any plans for the future?
I don’t know really. I will just continue what I have been doing so far, making music, most likely trying other genres, as I already mentioned and doing art stuff like vectors. I will try not to have too many artistic blocks, it feels uneasy when I have to leave people waiting for stuff… Hopefully, next track I will be releasing will be the King Sombra themed one “Blackened Empire”, as I am working on it right now. I’ll try to get it done as soon as possible, but without losing any quality of it in the process. It feels bad to leave people waiting, you know?
Anything else you want to share?
Well, I would like to thank all of my fans, or just people who have even listened to my music! It means alot to me, knowing that there are people out there who appreciate my work. So thank you! I would also like to mention that the track “Blackened Empire”, for which I have linked artwork a while ago on my Facebook page, is still in the works, and I have finally had some inspiration to continue working on it. I have also obtained stems for remixing Omnipony’s “Clouds”, so we will see what happens with that. Well, I guess that is all for me, I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did!
Sure did! Thank you!
Listen to Thorinair’s music and find more of his work at: