Old Sketches

I have a blank book full of sketches lying around in a box somewhere (hazard of moving). But one tendency I am noting myself is a tendency to lose interest in old material. I find myself completely unmotivated to dig up the book and enter those micro-compositions into the collection of snippets for the piece I actually wrote them for in the first place. Furthermore, I am not even sure that they belong in the piece anymore.
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Self Respect

As a trailing spouse, if I want to engage someone intellectually who is local, I have pretty limited choices. There are a few local musicians who do interesting stuff and are fun to talk to. Some of them are a little too far away to be convenient to interact with a lot but it’s great when we run into each other. Some of them have this problem with their head where they think it’s OK to wake up before the sun and that the most reasonable time to meet at a coffee shop and talk shop is when we all really ought to be in bed. Some of them I fruitfully interact with on a regular basis, but it’s not like we’re attached at the hip. So I hang out a lot with philosophers.

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Cultural Borrowing

I take a martial arts class a couple of times a week. One of the things we do in there is Kali. Most people use plain rattan sticks. Some people tape the ends so they wear out more slowly. One of the advanced students has one stick made out of a different material: maybe rubber or plastic? So most strikes sound similar but with timbral variability, then the one stick stands out when it strikes.

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Follow Through

Since falling out of academia, I’ve had trouble with follow through. I have great ideas, then I think, “Why bother? I have no means of getting my ideas out there.” It’s a huge problem for me. I’m sure it’s a huge problem for lots of people. But without audiences and deadlines and some sort of creative/intellectual exchange, how is it functionally different to just think through a musical idea rather than thinking through the idea and actually bothering to write it down? Continue reading