Author Topic: Not sure of an idea? Go bigger!  (Read 1836 times)

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Jamie Kowalski

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Not sure of an idea? Go bigger!
« on: May 21, 2013, 07:32:06 AM »
I write using a process of constant tinkering and revision, throwing random ideas down, seeing what works, then deleting or refining. A lot of times I've got a little idea in there that is a "maybe" and it sits for awhile. If I don't eventually have an inspired idea about how to make it work, it eventually gets phased out. Today it was an isolated accented eighth note played by muted trombone. I don't remember what the surrounding music was doing when that was originally put in there, but it was starting to feel completely out of place and I was set to delete it.

But then on a whim, I decided to exaggerate the idea to see what happened. It was sort of telling whatever subconscious part of my brain that wrote the note "put up or shut up." I added in the other trombones and tuba and turned the note into a big crunchy "smack" right there where it sat.

Hey, that was pretty interesting...

tbmartin

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Re: Not sure of an idea? Go bigger!
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2013, 08:47:10 AM »
Reminds me of the advice "If you're going to make a mistake, make it a BIG one!" The corollary is often if you play something right, but timidly, it SOUNDS like a mistake, even though it's right.

When composing, there's certainly nothing wrong with "going big." You got nothing to lose and it might just work.
Terence Martin

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Play: Saxophones (all, but tenor primary), Bass Clarinet, Piano (poorly)

Ron

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Re: Not sure of an idea? Go bigger!
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2013, 09:17:24 AM »
That reminds me: my mother was an excellent poker player who won a lot of money in Los Vegas. She once told me that if I made a mistake while playing cards to continue without pause as though that is what I had intended to to all along.
Ron
Rules? What rules?

tbmartin

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Re: Not sure of an idea? Go bigger!
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2013, 09:48:56 AM »
In music, when you make a mistake, the best thing to do is glare at your neighbor!  ;D
Terence Martin

Tools: Finale 2003 on Windows XP
Day job: Actuary
Composing/Arranging output: mostly sax quartets
http://bit.ly/TerenceMartinSaxArranger
Goal: Improve quantity and quality of concert band compositions.
Play: Saxophones (all, but tenor primary), Bass Clarinet, Piano (poorly)

gogreen

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Re: Not sure of an idea? Go bigger!
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2013, 02:24:14 PM »
A teacher once told me that if you compose a nice phrase or passage, be sure to repeat it! Worth considering.