Today my studio is officially back in working order after the extensive renovation I mentioned in my last post. Frankly, not a moment too soon. I pride myself on being able to make progress, compositionally speaking, under any circumstances, but it’s very, very nice to have my familiar ambience back again after several months of disarray.
I have four projects that I need to complete, so naturally I’ve been focused on another new idea that came out of the blue, so far off my usual plate of preoccupations that I’m afraid I couldn’t even stab it with a pitchfork. It’s a big piece, over 20 minutes of continuous music, and I’m finding myself in an unfamiliar position, weighing the overall picture vs. the details. I’ve realized that I need to squelch the desire to make decisions that are compositionally interesting to me, in order to let the purpose of the piece speak clearly. In other words, I am challenging myself not to challenge myself, to avoid doing things in the music that will make it more fun to compose.
I’m also working a whole lot more methodically than is my habit. I’m accustomed to finding a sound world for a piece and then teasing out that world’s implications via intuition, improvising with the materials to find my way. In this piece, though, I’m planning, mapping, diagramming, because the basic premise is so much a part of who I am that spontaneity isn’t an issue.
So I find myself, at the end of November, back in familiar haunts, but wrestling with fresh monsters. Ah, stability!
Someday I may learn what that means.