A Conversation with Dad

Dear Diary,

aside from revisiting Beethoven AGAIN, and practicing more clarinet and warbling some notes on oboe, my dad asked me how the concerto was going. I actually wanted to give him an answer that actually explained myself as opposed to just saying it was going fine and I found myself talking about piecing together a long and organized piece of music.

To me, writing the idea was straightforward, my goodness we had it the first day I approached Cora with music. However, in my head, just writing musical concepts around this, turns in to a musical dumpster quite fast if you are not careful. The real voyage here, is figuring out the complex structures that will carry and evolve that melody throughout 4 movements and make it an enjoyable experience to listen to. In my brain, I’m keeping a running tally of structural ideas I’ve let the melody loose on in my imagination and I am slowly looking for the way through this maze of possibilities.

Over listening to all these masterful concertos and music, helps throw up structural concepts that I immediately start filtering my ideas though like sieves. the more I listen, the more I test and test.

Today, with Beethoven, I notice an interesting chord shift that always creates a texture I admire a lot in Beethoven and I finally decided to figure out what about it was so clever. He shifted from a G major chord to a Ab major chord rather dramatically, as we switched bars… what made it work was that the G was the dominant of the key we are in, and he mores with such confidence to the new chord that we just accept it as a new tonic of a new key and walk hand in hand with him dying to see what he throws up next… I’ve come accross some mad

Miles Davis performing at Birdland in New York...

"The Master of Jazz"

chords in there that caught my attention…. with 7ths or 9ths or both…. seriously? way back then?

It made me want to sit down and listen to Miles DavisKind of Blue” album, which I promptly did and loved the influence off……

Anyway, I think I realized yet again talking to my father, that this part of the creative process for me is very internal and I shouldn’t be afraid to dive further into the listening until I see the entire path opening up to me, as that is truly how I do this.  I was reminiscing telling him how I remember a short animation film that I scored a few years ago, where I wrote the entire 7 minute piece in my head in its entirely before sitting down and recording it in a few hours at the end.  It was honestly one of the best pieces of music I had written. When I think about it, I wrote another song on the way back from the studio to my work desk, with the car windows open listening to the radios of the other cars on the street wafting through the air and into my passenger seat as I was thinking.. I actually remember getting ideas from the beats, textures, lyrics and arrangements.

And on my last score, I was nervous about doing the opening titles because it was not clear what they needed, and so I left it until the very last night, when I had 5 hours to write the most important piece in some ways, and when the time arrived, it finally made sense, and it turned out to be one of the most musical and beautiful opening titles I’d ever done.

Its my process…. what can I say… figure out the way, then run down it full tilt with confidence. Maybe after listening to Mile a few more times I’ll decide to get some jazz in there! Thinking of Miles, always reminds me of my late business partner Pete who was a real life Forrest Gump to me, in the sense that he had a series of life experience that were beyond belief… with Miles…. he walked into a club in Cleveland, possibly in the 50’s or there abouts, when it was a ‘non- whites’ Jazz club and he was the odd one out by a mile… Miles was playing and he was a mad lover of quality music and he wanted to hear Miles play… Well, as he tells it, and I’ve no reason to have doubted him, he wandered up to Miles and asked if he could look over his shoulder at the charts and Miles said sure, so that is where he watched the show from! I wish I’d been there, but the best I can do now is to grin from ear to ear…..

I’ll sign off now and try catch some zzzz’s…..

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