I don’t know about you, but when writer's block takes over, I like to remedy it by playing other composers' works. We’ve all been there, stuck for ideas and unsure where to go next with our creative flow.
I had an expectation of myself to establish a specific style of composition. Still, invariably other ideas start to take me off at a tangent and I am now beginning to yield to these inner messages by going with the flow. Am I afraid of some inconsistencies? No. In fact, I aim to steer away from one style. I have deemed it writer's block’s best friend.
My ‘Seven Pieces for Violin and Double Bass’ emerged in such a way. As I was preparing for a recital last November, I was working on some duos for Violin and Double Bass by Piazzolla, when the inspiration hit me, and I produced a work for the same combination of instruments. Before long, I was coming up with a new piece each day, and by the end of the week, I had a collection of seven pieces. Within two weeks we had rehearsed and performed them in the recital. If only it was usually that easy!
Having performed these works, I revisited them several times, and they began to yield even more ideas. I felt the music was begging to communicate more. I figured applying some improvisation to the music offered new angles to these pieces. This is the beauty of writing for your own instrument - you can physically explore your music and help it evolve. Mistakes happen, ideas are created and so on. So why are we afraid to make mistakes?
I’m off now to play around with more of my ideas, and I’ll check back in a month to let you know what I’ve conjured up from my next set of mistakes.