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Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by tzadik, Oct 8, 2005.
Any other composers out there? Whatcha workin on?
Edit: Looking back on my post, here, I realize it didn't come off in the cheerful, witty way I had intended. Stupid Internet. Here's what I meant to say:
"Hey, tzadik, why don't you tell us what you're working on? No need to be coy."
Because I am interested, after all. I wish there was a "composers forum" half as cool as TalkBass. Especially one that wasn't centered around academic and concert-music-type composition. I didn't mean to make such a jerky sounding post about it.
Anyway, I continue to work on my solo guitar pieces. That's an eternal project. I write two or three a year at top speed -- I have always hoped that I would figure out a way to compose more efficiently, but not so far.
Besides that, I have a zillion structures for loose improvisation. Those I find easy to write. Back when I had my band they served as ways to make our "tunes" differ from one another, and it ended up being pretty cool -- I'm quite attached to several of the pieces. I've been trying to get another improvising ensemble going again (with me as either bassist or guitarist) but it's been slow. Superbassman2000 lives up here, and I'm sure he could do the job, but I have yet to meet a Sunny Murray up here in Duluth to go with him (I had one when I was in Winona...). I think I'm going to start scouting in the Twin Cities for a bassist and drummer and see if it can work as a trio -- there's lots of venues for that sort of thing there.
I generally write with a specific group of players in mind.
One of my idols, Frank Zappa, did this alot. The theory behind it is very good. To write for the strengths of the players you plan to use.
You can check out a two of my originals at
I'd welcome any feedback.
I've been toying with the idea of writing a bass sonata, as well as some chamber music for bass, violin, and viola.
I have a website with all my completed stuff on it. I used to be more interested in composition than I am now. Just kind of a hobby.
Heya Xar. I'll respond here although we've already covered some of this by email.
I write, when I can, because:
a) If I didn't write I would be playing other peoples' music exclusively;
b) It brings me into contact with other people who are interested in writing and playing so-called "original" music (although I never use that word to describe my songs);
c) I learn when I do it; and
d) Some of the songs turn out to be worth playing, which is pretty cool.
A long time ago I decided not to wait until I was "as good a writer as" Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Steve Grover or my other writing hereoes. I just plug ahead.
My big project to date was a suite of nine jazz songs drawn from Kahlil Gibran's book The Prophet. The first song was written in 1994 and the last one came this summer. Some of the songs are found on that ode to unbridled ego, my (cough) website. I worry sometimes that me and Don Zeb are the only people in the entire world who dearly love melodic modern jazz and 20th century Arab-English mystic poetry. Ultimately, though, I dug Gibran's book so much that it is lots less important whether other people do.
The suite is done now and I'm working (at my typical glacial pace) on other stuff, with no particular theme beyond "modern jazz." I hope to write more stuff with lyrics -- Chris Humphrey, who sang the Gibran stuff, is a gas to work with and the whole notion of "hey, lyrics!" led to some interesting, unforeseen, positive musical places.
Here's some of those jazz structures I mentioned earlier, as played by my then band, the Endtime Quartet. The tunes are better than our renditions of them, I think. I'm not the bassist -- that's Keith Boyles of Minneapolis, MN, on DB. (Should anyone want the charts, I'd be happy to send them. I'm interested in getting tunes played, after all. They're usually only a couple dozen bars, then it's just open after that, so there isn't much to them. I have about 40, I think.)
(That last tune wasn't composed. It was just a once off free improv.)
* I am seriously looking for a bassist and drummer to make this happen again if anyone knows any Twin Cities/Duluth area musicians who'd be into it. I've even managed to improve my guitar playing in the meantime.