– 18th of January 2022 –

Personal manifesto on music creation

1. Make your own presets in virtual / analog synthesizers and learn in the process.
Always give them priority over existing ones.
2. Use your own sample database, made out of your own recordings.
2b. Sampled instruments by sampling companies are an exception.
3. Whenever possible avoid synchronization with the tempo of the session.
Play all the parts to give them a human touch (timing, dynamics).
4. If there are vocals, leave them space.
5. Always write simple, memorable melodies.
6. When using riffs, make them dirty whenever possible.
7. Always make the beginning of each composition memorable and recognisable.
8. Don't over-listen to your compositions. If you don't have an idea at the moment of listening, switch to another tune or stop, then work on the former after having some silence.
9. Oppose harmonic progressions to dissonant sounds.
10. Keep track of used instruments and field recordings for each composition.
11. Make room for mistakes. Be attentive about them. Leave as many musical mistakes in the work as possible.

Viktor Benev (2020)



I wrote this manifesto in 2020 as a non-exclusive guide to my process of music creation. I felt it was necessary for me to define some guidelines, which are more constructive, than limiting, in order to advance musically in the direction, that felt right to me. I don't consider those eleven points as restrictions, but rather as frames that would eventually help me find my own voice and keep a sane method of working with a clearer mind. I'm in search for a way to associate hasard or chance, in the Cagean* sense, with a more defined composer's gesture in order to create works that are ideally personal and universal (close to Nature).

*John Cage has incorporated the use of the Chinese divination method I-Ching (Yi Jing) in his compositions in order to give them a certain divine character, which is devoid of ego and personality.

If I'm sharing this publicly today, it is, because of two reasons :
Firstly, because I think those guidelines could give some insight on my work.
Secondly, because some parts might be helpful to other composers who feel somewhat lost in the process of creation.

This is, of course, my humble vision and it is not to be considered as an absolute truth in how a composer should exercise his craft.