Happy November. Instead of going to the piano today, I went straight to the coffee. After that I went to the piano. Then I started making pencil marks on my paper. I remember I told you about the big paper that I accidentally ordered from the internet, or at least the part of the internet that traffics in manuscript paper. So this paper is very big. I’m starting to like it. The smaller staves force me to write smaller notes. So, I will write a big piece with small notes. I promised I would find the quote from poet Robert Creeley about the paper he uses. Here is is, from a transcribed conversation with Allen Ginsburg:
“When I first met William Carlos Williams, I remember he took me upstairs to show me where the bathroom was, and as we went by – I think the bedroom – he showed me the desk that had been in his office when he was in active practice; and he showed me his typewriter, which was a large old office machine, and the way it fitted under the desk; and he showed me the prescription pads he used to use. And again, Allen and I were thinking that the qualification of the size of the paper, for example, will often have an effect on what you’re writing, or whether you are using a pencil or a pen.” (From Contexts of Poetry: Interviews 1961-71, edited by Donald Allen.)
This is book is excellent, you can get it from Amazon. This is just an introduction of the idea. Creeley goes on to talk about minute details, like the sponginess of his favorite brand of typing paper, among other things. So, I’ve made a partial list of the contents of my studio at this minute:
- digital piano
- pencil, paper, eraser
- unsold cds. (Incidentally, these are available here. Ha!)
- cat, cat hair
- books: get-rich-quick-through-music books, lots of them.
Et cetera. I think that this particular conversation was the beginning of my interest in what people actually do and how they solve all the inherent issues of practicing their craft: how do you start? how do you finish? how do you keep going? There is no end to where this line questions can go, which is why it’s so interesting. Less interesting, to me anyway, are questions about the deeper meaning of art. These questions are very subjective, lead either to very esoteric or very personal answers that are therefore meaningless to most people, even though they can make for fun reading. Most importantly, we do what we do because its fun. Making money doing it is secondary judging from the bank accounts of most artists. (Here’s my platform: I wish more people could do things purely because they like to do them, and I’m against things that chain people up so they can’t. Detrick for president.)
That last part was beside the point. Anyway, the process itself is fun, mostly because its unpredictable and therefore takes effort to bring it to completion, and all the little stopping-offs for late night coffee on the highway of the creative process are what’s interesting to me, and what I will attempt to document here. To that end: I continued what I feel will become the first piece of the suite, I had a brief idea for the next piece, but it didn’t really stand up to further pounding on the piano, meaning that when I started to improvise with what I thought I heard, it didn’t sound quite as interesting as I thought. But, I did write 2 treble clefs and 2 bass clefs on the page, so that’s something. The score board:
Detrick: 1 (A for effort! Several noises were documented on my large score paper, so this is a success.)
This blog will be silent for about 1.5 weeks while I’m away from my computer. I know you’ll be fine without me.