Say Hello To The ICON, Eunike Tanzil

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There’s music, there’s storytelling, and there’s story telling through music. Eunike’s impressive mastery of music, storytelling and the skillful combination of both, is both applaudable and beautiful. This composer whose love for music started at a young age, is a recipient of several international awards, and her compositions are performed by orchestras around the world.

Join us on this special issue –
As Eunike shares a truckload of inspiration on what ignited her love for music, how the feeling of self doubt pushed her to be and do more, glimpses of her creative journey and everything in between.

You’re one highly inspirational Creative and this is most evident in the quality of works you produce as a composer and pianist. Can you please share a glimpse of how you began your creative journey?

At the age of 5, my parents enrolled me in piano lessons, and I spent a lot of my childhood performing in concerts and competitions. Around the time I was in 7th grade, I found myself improvising with the repertoire I was practicing on the piano and composing new melodies. I realized just how much I enjoy this process of composition. When my music teacher found out about my newly discovered interest, she introduced me to the music of legendary composer John Williams. Listening to his music not only sparked my dream of becoming a composer, but also inspired my love for films and storytelling.

What ignited your love for music?

I have an affinity to music that speaks to me at an emotional level. I was introduced to classical music from an early age, but that alone was not enough to make me fall in love with music just yet. It was John Wiliams’s 80th birthday album that ignited my love for music and films. Listening to his music helped me realize that I connect best with music that tells stories.

What does Art mean to you?

Art, I think, can be any created work that people can feel and appreciate. It’s a medium to express oneself freely. I think that art doesn’t necessarily have any inherent meaning on its own. The meaning of a work of art is very subjective and personal to the creator, and to the audience. Personally, I don’t feel a need to over intellectualize or understand and extrapolate the deepest meaning behind a particular work. Instead, I choose to focus on all the emotions the work makes me feel.

We are grateful to have you onboard this most tmely ISSUE with the theme Boundless. Have you ever held back your gifs at some point, perhaps through self doubt or stage fright? Have you ever felt it ‘boxed’ by someone else or an experience? If so, how were you able to scale through this phase?

When I first applied to Berklee College of Music for my undergraduate studies, I felt that I wasn’t good enough. Although I applied knowing for a fact that I wanted to study film scoring, I had never touched any music production software before that, and had zero music production skills. Up until then, I had studied and practiced composition on my own without the help of a teacher or mentor. This made me feel insufficiently prepared to get in and behind everyone else. Fortunately, I was able to turn this negative feeling into positive motivation to work even harder, being quicker to pick up all the skills necessary in becoming a media composer.

From gaining a full scholarship to winning several International awards and recognitions, among other things, these reflect the reward of your dedication and consistency to your passion. What would you consider most fulfilling right now in your journey as a composer?

The most fulfilling moments for me as a composer happen every time I hear my music being performed by an orchestra, whether it is a recording session for an upcoming film, or a live concert. It was my childhood dream to have my pieces performed by an orchestra, and I am extremely grateful for the awards and grants that have allowed this to happen. I would have never thought this to be possible, as I was raised in a small city where live orchestras weren’t accessible.

How was growing up like?

I was born and raised in Medan, the capital of North Sumatra, Indonesia. It’s a small city, but we are best known for our Sumatran coffee and diverse cuisine. Growing up there was fun, with its challenges! I am lucky enough to have friends and family who support my passion for music and continue to push me toward my goals.

Do you feel creatives in developed countries are at an advantage than those in developing countries?

Of course. Sometimes I ask myself what would have happened if I had graduated from an art-focused high school in the United States, perhaps I would have been more well-connected early on to the right mentors who could guide me to the right path to achieve my goals, or gain better access to professional musicians/student orchestras, which would have probably accelerated my early artistic development significantly.

Balancing work time and rest time is a struggle for many Creative. Please share a few tips on how you try to balance work time with rest time?

I don’t see “composing” my music or scoring films as a job, as I thoroughly enjoy the creative process. However, as a composer, I work alone at my desk everyday when I write, and it leaves me feeling fatigued and anti-social by the end of the day. I’ll share two things that have worked for me: First, I always make sure to hop on a call (could be from 15 minutes to an hour long) for some human interaction on days when I have to write for the whole day. Second, I always set aside some time for myself to do non-musical things such as working out, reading, or watching my favorite shows.

What does success mean to you?

To me, I have achieved success when I positively impact others, both as a human being and an artist, while having a balanced life between carving out time for myself, family and friends, and my work.

Please briefy tell us something we do not know about Eunike.

I only eat spicy food. I have an obsession with cayenne pepper and sambal (southeast asian chilli paste). I’ll only eat if I have either on my food.

Let’s go a little poetic: If poetry is a rainbow and you have a choice of one color in that pallet, what would that be and why?

I’d choose blue since to me, it reflects calmness. Whenever I read poetry, I always put on some blue mood lighting as it puts me in a calm state of mind!

Massive Love Eunike!

The ICONIC Team.

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