Once a year Carmen and I take a break from our usual everyday life of teaching and performing. During our break we take advantage of our extra time to write some new music. Unlike our modern 21st century contemporaries we like to go back 100 years or so by renting a rustic cabin. This year we spent four weeks at two different cabins in Oregon. We ended up drafting eight pieces between the two of us! The piece that I wrote is about the life of a dragonfly and includes four movements; Aquatic, Molting, Flying, and Heart Dance. I was amazed to look at my notebook filled with forty pages of music, six hundred ninety six measures, and about twenty one minutes of music. We will look forward to the next part of the process of learning how to play the piece in 2020!
To have a successful rustic composing retreat all you need is a few things.
Andrew’s Composing Recipe
1 rustic cabin
1 picnic table
1 book of staff paper
1 large eraser
1 pot of green tea
1 pair of sunglasses
Step 1: Sit at the table and stare at the trees until you hear music.
Step 2: Try to sing and/or play your musical idea.
Step 3: Revise the idea until it is right and then write it down in the notebook.
Step 4: If you get stuck and are unsure of where the music goes, drink some tea and return to step 1.