Monday, February 23, 2009


I took this on as an exercise in introspection. Eventually it became a simple meditation, a closed session with me on one side and me on the other side. Kind of like playing catch with myself. In reality I have very poor coordination. But dropping the ball can make for some interesting developments too.

I discovered my innate inability to throw or catch balls a long time ago. At first it appeared to be quite limiting. Like many things at the time, it seemed a critical life skill. Being inept at ball sports was awful. Around the same time my music teacher discovered I had perfect pitch. So, "pitch" in the baseball context was not meant to be. Moving on was important. I was composing by that time anyway. But after a while the solitary and introverted aspect of it became oppressive. That's when sharing music became essential.

The starting point is a feeling. Inner expression is externalized, providing an abstract result that says so much more, and in a way so much less, than words. And if you find it hard to express yourself in conventional ways, or don't want to, music can be a great emotive vehicle.

Music is about choices, and about taste. Every step of the way, decisions are made, sometimes consciously but mostly intuitively. From those decisions, and the accumulation of them, emerges something as unique as a fingerprint.

While I'm producing a piece, it always seems to be a step ahead of me, as if it wants to lead me somewhere. In the best of cases I gladly go. Resistance can be pretty futile. Or, I end up cleverly thinking that instead, I'm leading the piece somewhere, until suddenly it turns around and surprises me in a way I could not have imagined. When creation takes on a life of its own, it's magical, and yet it's also the most natural thing in the world.


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