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River – Musical Work in Progress

I’ve been working on a small piano project. Improvising to concepts, musical sketches which I’ve entitled River.

It’s peaceful work, cerebral and heartfelt. I like the technical restriction which is to only use pianos, although I do take some liberties with the special effects in First Breathe, but no other instruments, even though it’s tempting. I just love cellos, but not for this project.

The first one is Separation Birth, a sparse spacious track. A leaving behind of comfort perhaps, or turmoil. Who knows if there are thoughts or responses to being enwombed. Are some claustrophobic from conception? Becoming more and more constricted and panicky until at last they squeeze out into the world? Relief! Are some reluctant to leave?

I don’t answer the questions with the track, but I turn them over in my heart and mind as I play. First Breathe is a reminder to myself that the first survival act we take upon expulsion is to breathe. Before we do anything, First Breathe explores the body’s rhythm, the idea of survival, the importance of air.

I composed Learning today. It was more difficult than the others, which is amusingly ironic. Of course it is. People learn in stops and starts, action and rest, thinking and doing. We fumble, get nervous, try again or give up. We stumble around blind and frustrated until something clicks or works out or fails utterly.

The first versions were awful. I tried to finagle them anyway, but no. It just wasn’t working, so I scrapped it and started over holding a layered vision of what I wanted, and using the tech at my disposal in new ways to interact with the music differently. A combining of analysis and improvisation finally brought it home.

Still, it’s not an important work, or technically groundbreaking, and is mostly done for my amusement and enjoyment. Here’s the link though, if you’re interested.

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