Grass Whispers, Walls Sing and I write Music.
People have asked me about how I create music. “Do you start with a melody or a rhythm or a mood,” They ask. The answer is, it varies. It could be any or all of those things and especially when grass whispers or walls sing.
My music is inspired by nature, art and life experience. When I consider my composing experience, I notice that a number of my songs have written themselves in my head as I hike in the morning. I think that the hiking and the centering effects of being in nature produce a kind of walking meditation. In that kind of altered state I hear the sounds of grass and trees and rocks. I feel the rhythms. Often I write a complete piece when I get back to my home studio. My composition Morning Meadow wrote itself after a hike. My new piece Prairie Frost is a vivid example of nature speaking to me.
A similar change in consciousness occurs when I visit a gallery, stand before a painting and focus all my attention on the sound that painting is making. I can hear the slashes of color as notes and sometimes chords. I feel the rhythms of music that the shapes lead me to. I need to be patient when listening but if I am attentive and focused, eventually the walls sing with music. My recent composition Wednesday Blue was composed immediately after sitting with the painting Esspressivo by Suz Stovall for a quiet time.
Recently I have been composing pieces of music that come from a physical/emotional experience of life. Bela Bela was composed as I was reliving the experience of a Bela Fleck concert the morning after. What To Do? was written right after a morning walk when I was revisiting a vivid spiritual experience of the night before.
All of the original pieces that I will perform with the FluteDaddy quartet during The LifeJazz Show on May six originated in these kinds of experiences. All have interesting stories and I will are them with you. Join me?