Much of Ethan's music is centered around the idea of "musical worldbuilding." In its essence, this is the craft of rendering a fictive world through music.
In this video essay, Ethan explores the idea of musical worldbuilding. Using his album, "Aurora," as a case study, he discusses using orchestration and music theory to render a fantasy world.
Ethan's worldbuilding efforts are centered around two primary IPs: "World of Aurelia," a fantasy worldbuilding project, and its science-fiction counterpoint, "Lumedar."
World of Aurelia
"World of Aurelia" is a world created for the purpose of telling a wide and diverse array of stories - stories which are told largely through music.
A Map of the "World of Aurelia."
This world is built around original characters and settings, taking influences from Greek and Chinese mythology, as well as from the fantasy worlds of children's cartoons and movies. Below are some of of Ethan's recent "World of Aurelia" projects.
"Aurora," Op. 7
"Aurora," Op. 7 tells the story of a pegasus filly named Aurora, and the adventures she has exploring her world. She accompanies her diplomat parents on their various missions to far-off lands. This album of symphonic music combines instruments from European and Chinese musical cultures to encapsulate the optimistic spirit of exploration as seen through the eyes of a child.
"The Aurelian Traveler," Op. 8
"The Aurelian Traveler," Op. 8 explores what kinds of folk music people in the "World of Aurelia" might create and perform. To do this, Ethan uses highly unusual combinations of instruments, and takes inspiration from elements of folk and pop music.
"Mare Nostrum," Op. 10
"Mare Nostrum," Op. 10 continues the story of "Aurora" and her adventures. This time, Aurora and her diplomat parents venture into the oceanic territories of Mare Nostrum. Here, they encounter the lively Hippocampi, the seclusive Hippogriffs, and the mystical Qilins. This album of orchestra music combines instruments from European, Chinese, and West African musical traditions to create a flavorful and fantastic musical experience.
"World of Aurelia" and "Lumedar" are ongoing, continuously evolving projects. A third album focusing on Aurora's story, "The Chronicles of an Odyssey," has already been composed and will be released at the start of 2022. Additional projects are in the works and are slated to continue for the coming years. To stay updated on Ethan's new releases, consider subscribing to his YouTube channel or following him on Bandcamp.