last week, a friend of mine posted to facebook about a book he’d just started reading. i did a double-take: the cover used my art. it’s even on the inside, too.
making art free to the public leads to some fun serendipity every now and again.
note: i have not read this book and don’t plan to—so don’t necessarily take this as an endorsement.
hunting for my next track
whenever i write a piece of music, i usually start with a really tight concept (usually in the form of a sentence or phrase) and then go hunting.
the hunt helps me build a mental collection of inspiring artifacts that make the end piece richer and more interesting. these artifacts could include an overheard conversation, an unusual scene, a strange drink … or even something as obvious as an artful chord change.
one of the ways i go hunting for the last of these is by sight reading a lot of piano music. i’ll pick a composer, buy a collection of their piano works, and play through the book cover to cover. i probably spend about five hours a week on this exercise.
lately i’m playing through beethoven’s collected sonatas, and the other day i found a chord change to collect. (for the music nerds: it’s just a I-IV change, but dang, beethoven. you made it special.)
i’ve been taking a basic improv class lately, and if there’s anything it’s taught me about the human brain, it’s that you can always force it to create more. i made up a drawing exercise inspired by improv, where i create small boxes on a page and just force myself to draw something in each one whether or not i’ve come up with an idea yet.
since the boxes are so small, it keeps from being too intimidating to just try something. it’s not hard to finish a 1.5-inch drawing, even if you don’t like where it’s going.
these are very similar to my organic form drawings in practice, but pretty different in outcome.
goodbye, old friend
jóhan jóhansson, one of my favorite musicians, passed away this week. he was only 48. until saturday, i took for granted that i’d get to enjoy more creations from him. i’m very grateful he left such beautiful things behind.
he’s probably most known for his film scores, but he composed and produced some gorgeous orchestral concept albums. fordlândia is my favorite of these.
i recommend that you make yourself a hot drink, turn this album on, and think about your life.