alpha waves & taking time to compose

I woke early and alternated between dozing in the dark and feeling pressed about stuff. One thing on my mind was my unfinished piano trio composition. On Monday morning I had in mind to try and have a version of it ready for today’s rehearsal. Then Tuesday morning when I was struggling with a section in it I received a phone call from the cellist saying she would have to leave early on the day I had scheduled to perform this piece. It was to have been a postlude. I immediately dropped working on it and turned my limited time and energy to other pressing tasks.

Then yesterday in the midst of a pretty busy day I received an email from the cellist saying she was wrong. She would not have to leave early. Unfortunately I had very few minutes to spare in my schedule yesterday so I put it out of my mind.

Sometimes when I’m working on a piece I actually begin work laying in the morning darkness before I get up.

This morning one of the pressing things in my mind was wondering if I could get together some kind of version for today’s rehearsal before leaving for my morning ballet class.

When I got up I decided not to work on the piece. Instead I followed my usual morning pattern of weighing myself, taking my blood pressure, making coffee and then sitting and reading poetry.

My blood pressure was low as it has been so I had not raised it with my thoughts in the dark. As I read poetry I could literally feel my mind and body relax. What I think of as Alpha waves washed over me.

Sometimes this feeling of well being comes to me unbidden as it did this morning.

I realized that I had done the right thing.  I easily have the discipline to get right to work first thing in the morning. But practically my reason for wanting to have a version of the composition done for today was courtesy to the other players.

The first section has the cello and violin playing the melody in long slow accent notes notes. Very very easy for them. The piano is madly playing an elaborate version of the melody in canon to them. In the second section I planned to reverse the roles of importance and give the melody to the piano and the interesting stuff to the strings.

The first draft was pretty elaborate and I wondered if they would have time to learn it. Hell, I wonder if I will have time to learn my part which is not all that easy. But I was dissatisfied with this draft. In the subsequent very different versions I came up with each one was a bit simpler for the strings than the one before.

Finally the way my thinking is at this point in the composing process this second section will probably be pretty easy for the strings. So I decided that not forcing the issue and making something for today is probably a wise thing. I need time to think creatively, to let my ideas gestate. This will give me some.


All together now: Montaigne and the art of co-operation | Books | The Guardian

“My premise about co-operation is that we frequently don’t understand what’s passing in the hearts and minds of people with whom we have to work. Yet just as Montaigne kept playing with his enigmatic cat, so too a lack of mutual understanding shouldn’t keep us from engaging with others; we want to get something done together”

I am quite fond of Montaigne’s essays.


AnDa Union

This group of young Mongolians musicians living in Hohhot, China continue to blow me away. They are on Spotify FWIW.


Dull Tool Dim Bulb

old time religion by Jim Linderman

Vintage Sleaze

Recently ran across these three collector blogs all made by a guy in Grand Haven (a city just north of here).

Jim Linderman Collects It All, Vintage Sleaze to Baptism Photos –


The money has gone, so make love our alternative currency | Life and style | The Guardian

I do admire Jeanette Winterson poet and author of this article.


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