Hello, good morning, and welcome to the Saturday Morning News Post!
Readers, what a week! I’m writing today’s smnp on my iPhone because my computer was stolen yesterday. That’s right someone is clearly jealous enough of my hot tune writing abilities that they resorted to breaking into my place and stealing my laptop!
Well joke’s on you burglar man!! The hotness ain’t on that 7-year old MacBook pro, it’s in my mind!
… it’s also on my external backup hard drive, which you forgot to nab. So nice try jackass, but you can’t stop hotness.
Moving on. Composing tunes was going slow enough BEFORE I got robbed, so this extra obstacle is making a life a bit more stressful these days as I try to complete new material for THE HUMMINGBIRD BRIGADE show at PAT’s PUB (403 E. Hastings) Saturday, April 28th. (doors at 7:30, show at 9, tix $10)
It should come as no surprise to most of you that it takes me a long time to compose music, just as it takes me a long time to make coffee, get dressed, write blogs or just generally come to a conclusion on any given subject.
These last couple of weeks have seen me spending a lot of time sitting in a dimly lit room staring at a pad of manuscript paper full of music scribbles, crossed out directions, crossed out titles and a few hot licks. Occasionally, I’ll walk around the house in a stupor, or wash dishes in a stupor or take a little stupor-ous walk around the block all the while trying to “hear” a new composition in my head, trying to imagine the shape of the piece. Should the first melody be 10 bars or 12?… How long should the intro be?… It’s too empty, what kind of counter-melody could I put in there?… etc., etc. It’s not just thinking, it’s extreme thinking, and it’s kind of exhausting. Even for an extreme thinker such as myself.
But I’ve learned that the trick is to do this before I sit down with the laptop and toy around with ideas in music notation programs. Not that the toying part isn’t fun, actually it’s too fun, and I can easily get sucked into countless hours of toying because it’s sort of entertaining to let the computer play ideas back to you and continue trying out different directions. There’s nothing wrong with this way of composing of course, it’s just that I want to feel like the true “Author” of my songs, not the guy who put a bunch of building blocks together until it just kinda happened to work out. That, and I thought it would help me write faster; which,… it doesn’t at first, but in the long run it helps to avoid quite so many revisions. Maybe.
In the words of Jan Jarczyk, “Composing music is a game of imagination. You have to trust your inner ear.”
And with that, I’m going to tap out of this long-winded SMNP.
Thanks for reading (lock your freakin’ doors at night) and have a great week everyone!