Dé Céadaoin, Iúil 07, 2010
'I'm afraid I can't come up with anything wonderfully witty and wise to say about my work, except to wish that it displayed a shade more wit or wisdom.
The truth is that I hardly ever read it, let alone theorise on it. I'm much less interested in what I've done, which almost certainly amounts to very little, than with what I might do which will almost certainly not amount to much more.
I'll keep trying, nonetheless.'
Dé Luain, Meitheamh 07, 2010
Dé Sathairn, Márta 20, 2010
Dé Céadaoin, Eanáir 28, 2009
'It is an amazing phenomenon that just the archaic features [of folk music] will admit of a much wider range of possibilities in harmonizing and treating melodies or themes of the pentatonic kind, than would be the case with the common major or minor scale melodies.'
In the Cambridge Companion to Bartók, Stephen Erdely writes of Kodály:
I'm very slowly discovering that a lot of the path I wish to tread or empathise with has already been travelled - not in any kind of 'burned out' manner but merely that it is possible to understand the spirit of folk music and not to feel some kind of injustice when marrying it with contemporary music. The hitherto conceived idea that there is no communication, or rather no possibility of communication between the two cultures, no longer has any substance. But yet I can't help but feel it...
What is my music?
Dé hAoine, Nollaig 05, 2008
Upon leaving, I overheard two old men conversing as they waddled. One of them said, "That modern work...what a waste of manuscript paper!"
It leads me to think - what exactly are we up against? Who will we ever please, or should we try to please, if it all?! Should I care if no-one understands the colours I use or why? Of course, everyone is individualistic to some extent - but what's the use in trying to communicate to people who don't open up to communication of this sort. So, essentially, we communicate to ourselves in the hope that someone will overhear and understand.
Dé Domhnaigh, Iúil 27, 2008
It's finished. I used to be a real advocate of dispensing with pen and paper to compose; now, I know that I'm not composing properly if I use only the computer.
I'm beginning to learn to use Sibelius properly - as a notational tool and not as a playback tool. The playback needs to be in your mind. The rest will simply flow out if it is.
I have also realised that I can't write descriptions of what I write very well. Below is part of the programme note for Sætre Brygge. I think I hide in the music. Is this a good thing? Should I be able to communicate what exactly I have done through music?
There's still a need to justify things to others it seems.
"It was once said to me that a composition is a postcard. Not merely a pictorial postcard, but also an emotional one – here a description of the emotions that I encountered on an entirely random trip through what seemed an untouched landscape at the end of a Scandinavian winter.
When I choose a postcard, I often find that it’s not representative of the place. I chose it because of how I felt there and then and what it meant to me there, much to the bewilderment of the recipients!
Still, windless, soft, solid, enveloping, comforting, penetrating, discomforting, caressing, silent…
The atemporal icescape is empty yet it fills you. With what is hard to say, but it slowly pulls you away, freezing your conscious thought, leading you to that subconscious flow which we fleetingly access from time to time.
My words never explain fully enough what I mean to write, which is why I write."
Dé Sathairn, Iúil 26, 2008
I think I've now started in earnest to develop things I've been gabbling about for years. I hope! Irish music has brought a lot to my life, in fact it has shaped a lot of what I produce in various ways. I now aim to use that toolkit to produce my own music, hopefully reproducing within it something of myself.
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