Now You Can Have Custom Music Composed for Your Funeral

August 30, 2015
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Are requiems going to catch on? An increasing number of people want to be in full control of the soundtrack to their funeral. A German composer from the fairy-tale town of Buxtehude has made it his mission to revive the trend of biographical funeral music.

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Alexander Paprotny (29) is spearheading the revival of composing music for end of life celebrations by providing the world with a different type of funeral arrangement. “In the US it is pretty common to request individually composed music for special occasions such as weddings, birthdays or anniversaries. It’s normal for those kind of events, so why not offer it for funerals as well? Modern sound recording techniques allow for fast and high quality composing of impressive and realistic orchestras. And everyone appreciates the requiems by Mozart or Brahms!“ And that appreciation for the masters has inspired Paprotny to create customized musical arrangements for the individual.

The composer personally meets with each potential client getting to know them in order to capture their unique life story. “A life can be flowing smoothly like a calm stream. This can be most accurately expressed with a triangle or bells, or be pressing with urgency like a wild mountain river, for this I would make use of strings. Unexpected turns in life are best emphasized through a timpano.”

“When composing for movies or games, I can go a bit over the top. The musical language for funeral music is a bit gentler“, Alexander adds. “A funeral is a peculiar event that does not leave room for overstatements. Unless of course the client explicitly asks for the funeral to be extravagant“, he adds.

In 2014, Alexander and his fiancée moved from Berlin to Alex’s home town of Buxtehude to care for his ailing grandparents who now greatly depend upon his help. Numerous visits to the hospital to support his severely ill grandmother raised the awareness in Alexander that death is always present in life. “When the life of a loved one is in danger and you walk along the long hallways in the hospital, you immediately remember all the joyful moments you had together. To capture those memories, good and bad, and to make people’s memories immortal has been my duty ever since.“

From the early age of 12, the former engineer, has been composing music. He continued with this passion and completed his composing studies in March 2015. “I admire grand compositions that set the stage for all those amazing Hollywood blockbusters and epic computer games.” Alexander has great admiration for composers like John Williams and Hans Zimmer. “So why not go out with a blast at your own funeral?“ he asks.

Creating the company of Timbre and Texture has been a dream come true for Alex. “I have been playing the guitar since I was six years old and have been dreaming about being able to live off my passion for making music.“ he says with pride.

Alexander and his team offer their individually composed funeral music under the name Your Requiem.

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