Archived entries for composing

the freedom to be, pt. 2

VCCA from afar VCCA from afar

Despite living in the country, I have neglected to go for many walks this summer. I resolved that one aspect of my short summer residency at the Virginia Center for Creative Arts would include getting outside. Walking in the Virginia heat, under tall & unfamiliar trees, while hearing cicadas and the rumble of distant trains has proved to be incredibly restorative.

When I return to my studio, I am eager to start exploring. I am at the beginning of a new project—some solo piano works—and I’m still looking for a direction. That is often the hardest part for me in creative work, finding that entry point. However, I feel that I am beginning to see some potential. Today I finished my first sketch. I am not sure yet if it will make it into the final collection, and it clearly needs some revisions. However, it does feel good to be putting ideas down on “paper” again.

Shortly I will head to dinner with fellow artists. There will be good conversation, and perhaps a reading. All I know is that I will return to my studio after dinner for more explorations. All in all, another great day!

the work in progress the work in progress

Experimental Music Notation

I recently came across this great resource. This site puts reading music into a whole other context. Western notation, though useful, has many limitations. “Lines” strives to be

“A gathering place for discussion about sound, process, and technology. To foster the exchange of ideas: an
in-depth response to a newly discovered album, or a possible solution to a common
programming/patching issue…”

This site also attempts to offer examples, resources, and discussions on differing ways of notating music.

I have experimented with graphic scores and non-standard notation with my high school students, and the results are always fascinating. In general, it tends to push them to play more creatively and with more freedom. I think that by simply removing the cultural baggage that comes with “reading” music, it allows them to express themselves more fully. I am very excited to dig into “Lines” more deeply!



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