Thursday, July 26, 2012

Composer’s block

Man, I gotta write a new song.

I haven’t felt challenged musically in a couple of years now, and it’s not SJT’s fault.  I’ve been asked to play things at a ridiculously quiet volume, and I did that.  I was asked to play the Kulintang and I learned how to play that (ok, I'm still learning it, but it's a set part).  What I get put on, I deliver.  So the only way that I’m going to get pushed is if I actually write a bloody piece (that was for my British friends) and teach it to the group.

I’ve lamented about this before, the whole deal of writing new pieces.  Why can’t I get out something that I can take to completion?  If someone asks me, “do you have any new song ideas?” I would have three or four at any given time, some with melodies and movements and sequences.  I just can’t settle on one idea, one path to take.

Do I go with the body percussion-oriented piece?  I feel *I* need more instruction in the art before I start incorporating it.  Do I do with the karate-oriented piece?  None of our pieces should rely on any one person, so who would take my part if I wasn’t in it?  There’s the Heavy Metal piece that I’m still fond of doing something with, but how do I make it into a SJT piece?  Oh, and I can’t forget the left-hand-isolation piece that is a great concept ...but I can’t figure out how to evolve it.

And it continues this way, on and on.  I miss the days when writing a new piece was simply daunting – where to begin?  Now the beginning is never the problem, it’s the impetus I lack.  There’s also the issue of committing to a piece – I have eleventeen hundred ideas (no, that’s not a real number), so which one do I spend my time making happen?

So back to my original point, about not being challenged.  I struggle with knowing that the only real way I will grow as a taiko player at this point is to write new music, and yet writing new music is something I’m not able to do lately.  Hmph.

Stay tuned?

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