Composing Confusion

Yesterday morning, 5:30A, I woke up with what I thought was the final melodic part for a piece on which I’ve been working. I didn’t get a chance to try it out in situ yesterday. But, this morning, the same music was once again in my ears awakening.

Despite the fact I heard this melodic bit surrounded by the music into which it must fit, when I played it this morning, it just didn’t sound as “right” for that spot as it did in my head. Sigh.

About 6 months after the release of “The Source”, this piece, “Blue Celt”, was the first idea I had for a follow-on album. It’s to be the opener, exciting but direct and accessible, employing two of the musical themes that I want to explore together: Celtic ideas and the African Diaspora musics that are my home base. The piece has morphed and shifted during the composition, though certain elements that were there at the beginning have remained solid.

About a year a go or so I recorded a version, thinking, “Ah, this one’s about completed”

But “Blue Celt” wasn’t yet ready for prime time. This was so clear from the recording. There were some strong ideas, but it didn’t have enough focus and the mid-section development lacked cohesion. Back to the wood shed.

For the last 6 months, the piece has been complete except for one or two musical bridges tieing the main sections together. Ugh! I have dozens of quick sketch recordings of ideas tried and tossed. And, it turns out, the mid-section, the development depends upon these two essential bridging areas; the mid-section can’t be completed without finalizing the melodic and harmonic bits that pull it all together.

So here are the creative process questions I want to pose:

What’s easy in your creative process?

What’s hard for you?

How do you decide that a work is complete?

I’m wondering to myself if I make this process a lot harder than it has to be?



One Response to “Composing Confusion”

  1. Music and musings from » Blog Archive » Responses to Composing Confusion Says:

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