Hello and welcome to MUSE ECHO, the Wednesday blog where I write about the creative process, compositions past or in progress, what I am or was thinking and so on!
Today I spent more hours on the March Mask of the mother and son (year long monthly) mask project, which I mentioned in last week's blog and once before that. This past week, I've been gardening, walking, hiking, spending more time outside with continued special attention to the day to day gist of this year's March, keeping this project in my consciousness.
This area and place certainly influences how I feel about March - deliberately so. I've been turning down the volume of social media and focus on just a few key people in my personal life.
During a hike down the mountain, through a valley and hiking up and around back to the mountain where I live, I could feel a strong invincible spirit of life, dormant energies waking up from winter, water flowing out beyond rock at the start of a mountain spring, cold rock interrupted with some warming surfaces of sun with fickle temperatures and fickle intensities of wind. I listened as always to the wind as it blows down this valley and up and around different mountains throughout the year. March has a special sound to it as the earth is most barren, most swept clean from the former winter storms. The vistas are most clear as it is after the last leaves and branches have come down and before the new leaves sprout. The air is not so humid or foggy in March and the wind is more generous so the visibility is better than average.
So, I bundle up these experiences and weave them (concisely) into the music for the mask as these masks are miniature works making every note and nuance in each measure count. The March mask was already mostly done, but I enjoyed tinkering with it time and again through out the day fussing with it after checking in to see how I felt about it. Mind you, last month's mask was a flash in the pan - BOOM - nailed it down in one morning. This month is much more complicated in terms of the visual mask, the weather, and the various emotional currents inherent within my life and also my son's life this month.
I love how incredibly moody and complicated March is, with it's delicate, persistent determination and it's expression of beauty.
Tomorrow, last day of March - will be another and probably final review of the mask and then I'll write out a legible final sketch of it. Once I feel certain I have the final version of a piece of music written, I like to give it breathing room and return to it with fresh ears and mental state to listen carefully to what it reveals so as to not project my feelings I'm working to imbue it with.
In the art of composing - I strive to imbue the writing with the emotional content - so in order to check I am successful with the choices I make technically, when I check my work, I must get out of the way emotionally and approach the music with a clear emotional slate in order to feel where the music itself takes me to see if I have achieved what I intended.
In this way, my composing is slow. I'm okay with that.
Thanks for your interest.