hey smg,

thanks for the snapshot of what you're pouring your life efforts into of late.  you're clearly a lot more into composition than i am (or may ever be!), but it's very interesting to read about.  maybe you could offer up some snippets of one of the songs, or talk about the process you undergo in conceiving one, both for the sake of conversation and because i'm interested in the idiosyncracies of how each musician/composer goes about his craft.  do you tend to start with one track and write then fill in vertically?  or come up with a progression and then take another couple passes, filling out the skeleton each time?  or write horizontally (time being horizonal) hearing the whole orchestra as you go?   or another method?

while i'm focused in a jazz in my performing/improv practices, i am not really (yet) very interested in jazz composiiton.  i am more interested toward classical styles of composition (particularly romantic styles), but also all things twentieth century (by which i mean, the mostly academic styles of whatever was at one time during that century called "new" or "experimental").  

i already posted this last piece i wrote to the old ljp, but that was before we had a forum for discussion of composition.  i'll offer it up again if anyone else is interested in romantic styles:

sections of this piece are typical of how i go about music:  i usually start by finding (often by accident) a bar or two that i like, and that seems to "lead me somewhere" for a few bars.  i usually can expand that with no effort to a short section (like the a part of this aaba piece) with not much work.  that's the easy part(tm).  usually though, i reach a point where i am both satisfied/excited with what i've come up with so far, but also disappointed/frustrated by not being able to turn it into a work of a length/significance that makes me happy.  this piece was typical in that respect, i finished the a part, and then got stuck.  repeating an a section and adding variations, though, is the oldest trick in the book, but very infrequently my feeble compositional skills allow me to do it passably.

this piece was also atypical for me, insofar as the b section was composed almost by improvization, sort of like solving a maze.  i had no method, no higher-level plan, but made moment-to-moment decisions.  sometimes i had to back backtrack, but i think that's normal.  in the end, i think this makes the b section very contrasting to the a section, for better or for worse.  practicing jazz improv, i think, has changed me, and improved my ear, and it was exciting to be able to apply those skills to a new setting, like classical composition.

i'm even more interested in the "new" or "experimental" compositional styles of the 20th century, but i'll leave that discussion for later (and maybe elsewhere, depending on interest here...)
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