Saturday, July 9, 2011

Starting a new piece

Sometimes, I just hate starting a new piece.

For me, every piece evolves differently. Some pieces come out quickly, others gestate for a long time. I often write in spurts: bursts of activity followed by quieter periods. I'm okay with that.

But starting a piece is always difficult! There is always this time where the new piece is this amorphous blob, and I'm not able to bring it into focus. And that's where I'm at right now.

The piece in question is a new piece for piano, percussion, and electronics. Okay, I've written for those instruments before, in many different contexts. I've even written a piece for piano, percussion, and electronics, back in the 1980s. Serigraphs was written in 1986, and played at a new music festival at the time. There were some live electronics (programmed by Charlie Baker, since those were the days long before Max), and some tape as well.

Ever since then, I've wanted to write another piece for the combination. Heck, I've wanted to do that since I first heard Kontakte!

And, here I am, starting it. So far, I have a general outline, and am starting to jot down ideas. And, I'm starting to toy with Max objects. Writing for Max is a lot like writing for percussion: there are an endless supply of objects and techniques, so it can be daunting.

I'm sure this anxiety will pass in a week or so...

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