At a rehearsal last night I was reminded of why I wanted to Compose in the first place, why I went to University and completed a Composition degree, and why composition is such a close thing to my heart. As much as performing allows my innermost feelings to flow out, free composition documents how you are feeling and thinking at any one time, and you can recount this over and again, with haunting melodies, or uplifting tunes. The one thing I notice about everyone I meet is that music means something to them. No one can go through life without music affecting them or touching them in some way.

It’s like how I’m writing now, but instead of using words to show you how I’m feeling, I use my music, my melodies. What’s more, through performing and/or hearing the music, you can hopefully feel that too. I suppose what I’m trying to say is that the music I was singing last night didn’t move me at all. There were a few moments where I enjoyed the melodies, but the composition was so awkward and angular that all I kept thinking was it would be so much better orchestrated for instruments. You are never going to get the best out of what is running through your head if your performers cannot connect with the emotion and story in your music – essentially you have to compose for your performers as well.

My composition teacher would be proud I finally came to that conclusion. In my experimental days, my compositions were just as awkward and ‘shocking’ it’s like being a teenager – how much can you push the boundaries? I remember him now saying ‘how do you expect people to sing/play that? Where’s the flow?’ And I now get it. However strange a melody might be conjured up, there still has to be a flow, and phrasing, an enjoyment to the performance of the work. The same as writing for this blog.

So the upshot of all these revelations is I have set myself some projects. My first one is to explore my newly found love of writing. I am going to write a book. Not fact, but pure fiction. Totally let my imagination run wild. Further to this I am going to write a libretto for a choral work which I will then compose. I might take a look at my ‘Random’ poems and see if I can do something with them – but, it’s not a quick process, this is something I want to take my time over, get it right. I have the luxury of experience now, and of course it’s not my job, so there is no hurry to produce the goods for money. I’ll no doubt document my thoughts and struggles and successes here, and as always I’m always grateful for any comments.

Since I decided these projects I feel like I have a direction and a happy distraction for when I need a diversion from troubling and over-exuberant thoughts alike. A purpose for all that I have experienced so far in my life.