For their final concert of the semester, the University Symphony Orchestra performed several fantastic pieces. However, one piece that really stood out was Morphotropolis, composed specifically for the USO by Greg Mulyk.
Currently completing a Master’s degree in composition at the University of Alberta, Greg has already established himself as an innovative and talented new composer. Just last year Greg received the SOCAN Foundation’s Best Animated Film Score award for his work scoring the short film, Sophia.
Greg loves working on projects that help him grow as a composer. When USO conductor, Petar Dundjerski, began looking for a student composer to showcase, Greg immediately accepted the challenge.
Prior to this opportunity, Greg mainly composed for small chamber music ensembles and solo piano. Therefore, working with a group as large as the USO was challenging, but definitely rewarding. Because Greg is actively pursuing a career in film and videogame scoring, learning how to compose for an orchestra was an extremely valuable and applicable experience.
Create something from nothing can be an incredibly daunting task, especially you are creating an intense orchestral score. However, Greg approached this major project in the same way he would tackle any new composition: with the piano. Regardless of the project, Greg always begins by allowing himself time to improvise with the piano to help kick-start his creativity.
Greg titled his piece Morphotropolis because it’s a combination of metamorphosis and metropolis, which were words he found inspirational throughout the creation process. While composing this piece, Greg was inspired by a fictional scene of an airplane flying above a bustling and evolving city scape. He often approached the project as though he was creating a film score for this imagined urban space.
Greg feels having the time for improvisation is necessary for creating a unique sound. According to Greg, it’s exciting to draw inspiration from composers you admire, but nothing compares to what you can create from experimenting and pushing the limits of your creativity.
Greg would like to express a huge thank you Petar Dundjerski and the USO for all the time and energy they dedicated to bringing Morphotropolis to life. He couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to work with.
Here’s a sample of the film score composed by Greg for the short film, Sophia. This particular sound clip is from the film’s opening sequence.