so far so good


Image result for it's working it's working illustration

I put in another four hours composing today. I now have two complete first drafts of two movements and some hopeful beginnings to three or four movements. I just printed off the two first drafts to take with me to church tomorrow. Tomorrow is a work day but I’m hoping to find a few minutes to try out these two pieces. I am resisting going over to the church right now. I think this is enough on this for today.

Related image

I’m not dazzled by what I have yet. Often when working on a piece there will come a moment when I feel very confident and happy about what I’m putting into it. It’s sort of the “flow” moment. I haven’t had too many of these yet. But I’m operating on the working assumption that if I try to put down compositions that are along the lines of my improvisation, it’s likely that lightning might strike in the process. If not, i don’t have to submit anything at all if i’m not happy with it.

Image result for space cadet painting

It’s hard to know much at this stage since I need to sit down and play through the pieces on the organ. Even though I can play them on my piano or synth or have Finale play it for me, there is no substitution for trying it live on the organ.

I can see that years of working with music notation software has affected my process. I am likely to cut and paste like I sometimes do when writing prose. As it is, when composing I move back and forth between the computer, an instrument, and just pondering what I’m doing. It probably takes all three for me these days.

Related image

I also think that these decades of playing organ music has helped me think more clearly about idiomatic organ writing. My last organ piece was “Mental Floss.” I like it quite a bit. But I think it represents my general tendency to think differently than the usual church organ composer techniques.

Image result for space cadet painting

I am open to learning from  my colleagues. But first I want to have the pieces solidly composed so it will be more likely to make sense to other composers.

Nick was kind enough to ask me about my piece Sunday when I told him I was taking time off this week to work on it. He said that he is planning to submit a choir and organ piece and had chosen to not base it on a hymn tune for a change. He asked me if what I was doing was a partita. I told him that AGOers would probably think of it that way but for me it was more about writing little dances for the organ, very much the way suites used to be but not following any sort of tradition suite dance movements particularly. I mentioned that I wanted one  of my movements to be a tango. The tango is still in the “hopeful” category as in “I am hopeful I can come up with some more good ideas for a tango.”

Related image

I actually spent some of my composing time playing some tangos today. I have written  a piano tango for my daughter-in-law, Cynthia Jenkins. I played through it. Eileen said she liked it. I guess I wouldn’t go that far but it was helpful to look at. I also played through some others. They basically helped me understand what i will have to come up with if i can put together an organ tango.

So I feel like my two days off have given me what I needed for this project. I hope Thursday and Friday will be as productive or even more productive.

Image result for space cadet painting

It’s unusual for me to write about my composing while I’m in the midst of it. I have found that this can short circuit the process if I’m not careful. But that might just be superstition on my part. I feel like it’s silly not  to write about what’s on my mind here since that’s one of the reasons I blog.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.