Marcelo Quinonez is the Los Angeles based composer, songwriter, and father who takes his twenty years of experience amidst everything sound and sonics and shapes multifarious instrumental excitements into vast aural landscapes that evoke deep-felt emotions. His latest sensory specula utilize that same stratagem, swan-diving into the pool of introspection that populates "Hearts In Motion," like a man committing to his most creative intuitions.
It's a hounding alt-rock song dissecting the concept of the mind vs. the heart, the human capacity to commit the crucial choices we make, and the realities of those life-changing decisions. Marcelo Quinonez tries to distinguish if the heart has any authority over his purposes on this planet with a rambunctious spread of vocal synth effects, melodic organs, southern-tinged guitars. He dichotomizes the mind and heart in, slowly digesting how the two navigate the inner-directed roads of life, gathering together an amalgamation of alternative-rock soaring riffs and forward-pressing vocals for a wall-of-sound dive into anthemic choruses and elegist-like verses that never deviate too far off course.
Marcelo Quinonez buzzes over the understanding that the heart will take you where it wants, "you can't stop a heart set in motion, feelings fall and crash, waves of emotion," and that you might as well let it happen: "we might as well enjoy the path our hearts wants to take." The multi backgrounded composer holds onto that feeling of lighter-swaying, stadium-conquering rock music with a crooning vibrato-centered voice and an array of harmonies that tickle the edges of his jam-pack mix that arrives festooned with hot-blooded authenticity.
There's no avoiding the articulate force behind Marcelo Quinonez's instrumental orchestrations, and how they recreate infectious vibes while still granting the inner-looking disposition of his lyrics shine brilliant and candid.
What sorts of emotions were the most powerful in steering you towards the narratives you push forward over 'Hearts In Motion'?
With Hearts In Motion, I was mainly motivated by the feelings of doubt making life decisions and how feeling grateful and appreciating what I have and the decisions I've made in the past is a powerful tool and can really change the perception of events that have happened in my life. For me, this song was about accepting what my heart wanted and diving into those things with both feet. I feel like this approach has helped deal with anxiety and fear around what is happening currently as well. Trying my hardest to appreciate moments for what they are, good or bad, and trying to just fully experience them when they happen.
How did you first conceptualize 'Hearts In Motion' from a production standpoint? Was it a melody with MIDI notes, a riff on a guitar, and few lyrics that sparked the creative process?
Conceptually it started with the Words Hearts In Motion and a guitar, which is how I sketch out most of my songs. It's different than when I am writing commissioned music for visual media which usually starts with MIDI notes. With songs, I really start with a phrase and a melody and then I sketch in some chord progressions with my guitar and work it out as a song before recording. Again this is very different from my workflow for composing scores.
How did you make sure your lyrics, and the profound anecdote behind 'Hearts In Motion,' didn't get lost within your heavy bolstering instrumentals?
Wow, great question! The demo of this song had a ton of strings and piano arrangements, but after laying down the final vocals I felt like it needed something different. Especially with the amazing drum tracks that drummer Eric Hastings gave me I felt like it needed something a little different in the bridge and verse sections. Luckily I know a great organ player (and comedy writer for Jimmy Kimmel) named Bryan Cook down in L.A. and he did me a favor of laying down a ton of awesome organ parts which I whittled down to what you hear in the final arrangement. The main motivation was I wanted the choruses to be like waves of sound crashing around the main themes of the song. I feel like it worked pretty well and the choruses wash over you like "waves of emotion". It took a lot of stripping away parts to finally find the right balance.
If you could say a few words that would prefix the emotional experience behind 'Hearts In Motion,' what would you say, and why?
I would say the words that best describe how to interpret the song is... Despite everything, follow your heart. I say this because if anyone is like me, I let my brain get in the way a lot of times especially when I am trying to make a decision on where to focus my energy.
This year has been extremely difficult for the music industry. What has been your biggest source of inspiration while creating new music, this year?
I have been extremely lucky during all this because I have been working on some animated TV shows that didn't really stop working when this whole pandemic thing happened. I have been writing a ton of music for these shows over the past 6 months. Because of that and the fact that my wife has been home more often, I have been spending more time than usual writing music in the studio. This extra time I have been using to just write and finish a lot of projects that I had put on the back burner before being quarantined. It has allowed me a lot of time to sit in the studio and write. It has also allowed me even more time to spend with my son who is constantly inspiring me to look at the world with fresh eyes. That time I have had to spend with him has really given me a new perspective on the world and the things I choose to focus on.