Reflections on a Night of Composing…

Sunday night, I stayed up until 5:30AM to work on finishing a piece I have been working on the past four or so months for an alumni concert I was invited to be a part of by my old professor, Dr. Leonard V. Ball. I had been putting in a lot of hours over the past months to work on this piece, a lot of time contemplating, listening to it over and over, trying to understand the character of the piece, seeing what I wanted in it and where it wanted to go. (A couple times there were three week stretches between when I was able to move forward with the piece, and all that time was spent just listening and wondering what was to come next…) The past week the work on the piece really started to pick up as I began to have a better idea of it as a whole. This past weekend I set aside all of my free time for the piece, with Sunday night all of it really coming together.

The long night, accompanied with coffee and tea, reminded me of my times when composing in college, staying up in to the early hours of the morning, listening, contemplating, exhausted, focused. That type of exhaustion, when you don’t have the energy to entertain stray thoughts, I find can lead to certain level of focus. Working at that time of night that the rest of the world seems to be asleep always has a wonderful sense of peacefulness to it, a sense of there being all the time in the world to work and to allow things to happen rather than to force it due to time constraints. The experience of that time was wonderful, and the morning, though exhausted, I was exhilarated.

It’s been a long time since the last piece I wrote and this one… At times it’s been frustrating not to be working on music as much as I’d like, and then even when working on one to lose focus or interest. I think a lot of that has to do with exploring musical ideas that ultimately really weren’t me, but also just learning to balance out all of the responsibilities of the day. I’ve found the past months working on this composition though to be very different than the other years between, much more focused, and sense of connection again with the music I’m working on.

This new piece marks the beginning of a new period of actively composing in my life. The years that have passed between the last finished piece and this one were filled with many musical explorations as well as many life experiences. The time spent establishing a career as a programmer, experiencing the world’s events, and simply living life has been rich and rewarding. The exploration of musical ideas has provided many lessons from which I feel I am only now beginning to understand within the context of my own music.

It’s been an amazing journey to arrive at this piece, and I am looking forward to the music to come.

The new piece, entitled “On the Sensations of Tone”, will be released shortly. Please check back later for an announcement of it’s release.

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