Monday, October 26, 2009


When I first started studying music I remember Nick Hein get really frustrated in class, saying all we are doing is cheap parlor tricks in order to make music sound good. He was talking about Secondary function and modulations. I remember agreeing with him. When He said that to Ike, Ike made a statement that has been pretty influential in my approach to writing music. He said “is the point of writing music to be creative, or is it to show people heaven?” Since I am a Christian I have wondered about this pretty intensely, I feel like I came to somewhat of an answer last spring when I saw the CCU choir perform “All My Heart” by Z Randall Stroope. I touched God in that song. I felt his presence come over me and I realized how lovely He is! I remember thinking for the first time that it didn’t matter what we did in heaven because we would be with Him. I am now in my first semester of Composition lessons and am totally frustrated but utterly challenged. My teacher has totally pushed me away from my comfort zone, so it has been quite a challenge. But the directions that he is pushing me makes me wonder if it is relevant. As a composer I want to write music that is relevant to people, but is also laced with my creativity and that of the Holy Spirit. I have been working in mostly atonal for a few weeks now and feel a great many things toward it. Apathetic. Excited. But I am still wondering if it is possible to make it relevant to people? Which kind of feels like a new challenge. My teacher has talked a lot about being a songwriter vs being a composer. A song writer is dependent on talent to write while a composer is dependent on talent and the mastery of their craft. He also challenged me dive myself into the modern music world and search for things that I like. I went to the library and checked out like 10 cd’s of modern composers I like some of it but I feel like the whole feel of it is so random that eventually the same types of ideas come about. Chromatic digressions moving downward really fast. Random notes on the piano that don’t really pull on the heart but are interesting to listen to. If as a composer stuff like that is all I become capable of writing I say no thanks. Part of me also worries that once I move that direction I won’t really be able to come back.

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