It is Sunday morning in Guerneville after a night of celebration of the 30th birthdays of my dear friends Alex and Julie. I had retired earlier than the rest last night being a bit exhausted from being sick this past week, and consequently I have woken up earlier than everyone. The sun is quite bright this morning, lighting up the fantastic view brilliantly. I sat outside briefly looking out at it all, listening to the sounds of insects all around, watching the bees visiting the beautiful flowers nearby and thinking how lovely it all is.
Inside everyone else is still asleep, so I took out the book Lutoslawski on Music by Zbigniew Skowron, a book Lisa was kind enough to check out for me from the university library. Only 20 or so pages in, having read the introduction and first essay of notes on large-scale form, I am already deeply drawn to Lutoslawski’s thoughts and considerations and have the expectation that this may very well be one of the most important texts I may read about composition and music.
This book is the first full collection of Lutoslawski’s writings and I am excited to be reading it now. In the past there have been a number of occasions where I have come across a book that seemed to have come at exactly the right time and addressed exactly concerns of mine. It has been some time since I had such a feeling but I am struck by this book now in this way.
My mind for composition has felt quite blocked for some time, both in regards to my general view on music and composition and in particular in regards to the concerns of large-scale form of the piece I have been working on, off and on, for the past couple of years. I believe this was in large part a result of the circumstances of our previous apartment, as already in the week since moving to the new apartment I have felt a great joy in being able to really listen to music again. Having mostly settled in to the new place, I have begun to collect myself to work once again on this piece, though I have been feeling a bit slow to engage again with the material and the form.
Reading and thinking about Lutoslawski’s words this morning has my mind racing and feeling a degree of activeness towards music that is exhilarating and refreshing. Recently I have been reflecting quite a bit on my life, about time passing, and composing in general, and many other things. Perhaps too with my friends entering their 30’s–a milestone I will be observing myself at the end of this year–I have been looking at areas of my life that may be taking up too much time and others that may be neglected. This morning, sitting here in the quiet house, I am filled with thoughts on music and composing and am glad to be spending my time on this. I am looking quite forward to reading more of this wonderful book and seeing where all of these thoughts will take me ahead.