The idea of a swing suite
The Nostalgic Suite refers to a period in which Alex Ruis gradually gained a better understanding of his own musical nature and personality. It was in the late 1970s, early 1980s. So in the early Mike Monitor period. While going along to discos with his friends, he became aware of what was holding him back in this. It wasn't just the music, but the vacuousness of it troubled him so much that he felt it necessary to create a "swing suite".
After his announcement of the creation of a "swing suite", he was asked several times by different people when it was going to be there. The answer became "sometime in the future".
First things first. Before composing a "swing suite" it is helpful to learn how to compose first. Since teaching yourself is Alex Ruis' nature, he then began a literature review. Meanwhile, there are several other things that require his attention. In fact, nothing comes of composing. Until, in 2017, he read in an article by a composer something like "reading about how to compose is good, but do not forget to do it (!)." Since then he has been composing on some days.
Why is this work called Nostalgic Suite?
In 2021 he realized that he had not yet composed any dance music. The old idea of the "swing suite" came back to his mind. What was that idea anyway?
The idea came from "youthful" bigotry. Youthful because it's not so bad then, often there is still time to get better. Alex Ruis thought that in discos in that period the music could be elaborated a bit more. The dances you heard there were of an exaggeratedly different quality than what old masters made in earlier days. Very pedantic in his current opinion. Besides, there was and still is a lot of music to be heard with less content. If someone wants to make it and/or listen to it, that is of course a matter of free will. Nowadays Alex Ruis is bothered by people who want to lecture others without being asked. A free will that does not burden others is sacred.
But how about swing? Swing is associated with jazz. Alex Ruis only wants to make music that does not resemble anything. This is probably impossible, but just like composing synchronous melodies, it is not about the perfect result, but about how close you get to the goal. He actually meant something just as danceable as what you could hear in discotheques at the time, but with a little more flowing through of motifs. So forget about swing.
What remains then is a series of danceable pieces of music with a noble character. Danceable for young people in around the 1980s. By the way, the pieces are also worth listening to. With reference to the previous story, the bit of nostalgia is all his, he presumes.
Prelude translates the above story into music.
Change Feet refers to the disco music of the late 1970s.
Free describes how young people hesitantly enter the dance floor and gradually become more and more loose.
Jollies from a century ago. Nice music, less pleasant time.
Going out of your mind is not always wrong.
A cornered cat makes strange leaps. This piece is not an attempt to insult cats, ridicule their threats or anything like that.
The resonance of the story is presented here as a waltz-like piece.
What about this version?
The piano performance is closest to how he plays this suite himself. The band version is a reconstruction of his sound ideal from his Mike Monitor period.