Dé hAoine, Nollaig 05, 2008


I was at a concert last night which had a predominantly Romantic programme, with one modern piece thrown in as the token Irish offering, all of which struggled under an unusually poorly voiced Steinway.

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

Sætre Brygge

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

Mise Éire

It's been well over six years since I last added anything to sibeliusmusic.com but today I've added my first proper composition. I wrote a bit when I was in my teens, as many musicians do, but on hindsight it was nothing but rubbish on a monumental scale. Why haven't I taken it off the site? I suppose as it meant something then - also a bit of a self-reassurance, hoping that I've progressed since then.

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.

Mise Éire score

Transcribing music

I never realised how much freedom a pen and paper could give you.

It's all a case of computer-says-no at the minute.

Today I have been largely procrastinating - doing anything to avoid work. Creating a blog, not a bad way to avoid work. I even bought a suit!