I’ve completed my first RPM Challenge track! It’s the flute improv/field-recording collage piece and it’s called Watching the streets of Zurich and Brussels. I’m mildly happy with it. It’s very serene but not, I suspect, hugely interesting for multiple listens. The ghastly word “pleasant” is springing to mind. But it’s done and I think it’s kind of OK. And it’s tackled a few things that needed tackling:
- Improv. I hate improvising. I have no confidence at it and never do it
- Getting something down that’s actually a reasonable length for a proper piece of music – this one’s 6’16” in length – about twice the length of most of my notated music. Good to be thinking in longer spans, actually, and working more broadly – thinking it might be a good exercise to work with this sort of collagey stuff every now and then to think more in terms of chunks of ideas instead of single notes.
- Identified and started to tackle my issue of continually going back and listening from the start.
- Quarter-tones: I’ve got a piece booked in to write for Carla Rees and her quarter-tone alto flute. I was a bit lost at the prospect of thinking about quarter-tones. Focusing on using them in the improv has helped quite a lot with this, I think
The other exciting thing is that today I decided to take RPM up a notch and make it more about the composition, so I launched a commission project: I’ll write pieces of less than a minute in duration for up to 9 people. For any instrument they want – all they have to do is to commit to sending me a recording of it before the end of the month. Want to be a part of it? As of now (7pm) there’s only 3 slots left! Find out more and sign up here.
1am update: Wow – I can’t believe how popular this commissioning project has been! There’s only one place left! And I seem to have reached the maximum number of guitar pieces I can take on – with electric, slide and bass guitar pieces, it’s going to be a challenge!