Next in line: the compositional process or wasting paper; and the publication of Three Handbooks: Harmony, Arranging, Songwriting
Well, between pieces again. I finished string quartet number 38 and, not surprisingly, more ideas for quartets are in mind. I've also been holding the idea for a multi piano piece, a piece for men's choir, and orchestral work. So now the unsettling time of choosing.
Mostly this consists of scribbling on paper, writing down guidelines and matters, trying pitch combinations spacings and permutations. I used to refer to it as wasting paper. Actually I still refer to it as wasting paper but said with affection. I actually like the physical activity of putting ink on paper. I love to see the contrast of that black ink against this beautiful cream paper that I use. And I love the actual physical feel writing. There's a feedback that you get from the paper as the pinpoint glides over there the surface. And I always use fountain pen. Although in the past I might change the writing utensil between pieces, changing between different pens, changing between wood pencils or mechanical pencils. Always very soft glad though. Not so much anymore. I have a couple of go-to's and I tell seldom stray.
I also used to think of this time as writer's block. It would drive me insane. In fact you would drive me to anger frustration. Now I've learned that what it really is is the time of wandering, trying different doors to see what's behind them. You find the one you want and you're immersed for who knows how long. Sometimes it takes quite a while, especially when you've written out an idea. That means there's nothing left for you to do in there you're just repeating yourself. Then you have to find some new way to frame either the process, the materials, the system, the procedure. I'll be writing about all of this you can a collection of essays on the compositional process.
And to make matters worse there are so many other things to accomplish. There's the day today stuff. I'm afraid to say that I often think of that as the death of the mind. Going to the grocery store, paying the bills, filling out this application, making that deposit, balancing finances. Especially when you have no finances. But of course that stuff needs to be done. I just don't see that it has to be done by me. Or at least not right now. I'll put it off. There's also the books to write I've got so many already done that I have to get out there. Some ready to publish press the button and they're ready. Others need to be proofed. Still others need to be completed. The most recent one will be reissuing three handbooks, Harmony, songwriting, and arranging. Or maybe I used to do it in a different order. That's coming right up. I hopefully I'll be able to stay a little bit more engaged with the blog. These are a lot more casual entries and so easier to post.
Get in touch let me know what you think, what you're thinking and what's next for you.
Not long after posting this I went back to the page and started wasting more of that paper and, as often happens, I find that if I just extend an idea a little bit it starts showing me how to write it. So with any luck the next piece may have begun.