Look at all them notes!

Yes folks, I feel that I’ve made a breakthrough of sorts. After writing several versions of a second movement, I finally finished one of them and feel very good that it moves the piece in a good direction. At this point I’ve settled more or less on a “theme” that I’ll use throughout the whole piece. It is a short melodic statement making use of a lot of perfect fourths and fifths. It also sticks pretty much in a diatonic field, meaning that it is pretty firmly in a key, though it has no third so it could go some different directions: minor, major, etc. I’ve been creating harmony by stacking different transpositions on top of each other, but usually the main idea of each piece comes from some sort of rhythmic or textural feeling, and then I work out the shape of the piece from there.

That was all fairly technical (even though it could be much worse!) and really the biggest deal is just that I feel like I’ve built up enough material, be they false starts, wasted time or pieces that will turn into something later, that I feel pretty confident about the direction I’ve taken so far. After this process of accumulation goes on for a while, I feel like I know the possibilities of what I’m working with, and I couldn’t have felt good about anything I had just written without any thought of the finished product for a couple weeks. At the top of the post is a picture of what I did today, or part of it anyway. My eraser also makes an appearance.

Ah, confidence. Its nice, but I could throw all of this out tomorrow. I don’t think I will, but I need to be open to the possibility. I’m off to play with Rana Santacruz’s band at Jalopy Theatre in Brooklyn.

The end of this post takes the form of a self-interview.

Me: So, about how many notes did you write today?

Also Me: Well, I think probably about 150. But, there is a lot of improvisation in there. And you know what that means.

Me: Could you be more specific?

Me Again: Oh you know, as soon as a musician sees empty space on the page its like someone gave him a bag full of bannanas!

Me: Bannanas?

Same Guy: Yes. You know what they say: if you give a monkey a bannana….

Me: Isn’t a cookie?

You know the drill: Whatever. It means I probably wrote as many notes as monkeys could have written if they were promised a bag of bannanas.

Me: Oh, I see.

Yup: Yeah. Its a lot. It was a saxophone solo.

Me: You probably could have just said that.

Mm-Hmmm: That would have been insulting to certain parties.

Me: Understood.

Clearly I won against music today:

Detrick: 1
Music: 0

One of these days I will get a little ticker thing to go on the homepage to keep track of the score. Until then you’ll have to go back and read the rest of the blog. I think I’m winning, but no guarantees!