Hideous Genius

Spray-on hair in aerosol cans: This, my friends, is a genius idea. Pure genius. However, a diametrically different adjective is required to describe said product’s ultimate results: hideous. And believe it or not, this is the sort of dichotomy I try to encapsulate in composing music. Here are a few recent personal compositional trends I’m working through at the moment.

  • Embracing the hideousness of my own shortcomings

    I suck at sussing out whatever rhythms I might conceive in my head, especially when it come to putting them on the page. In fact, I usually avoid rhythm altogether. But now I’m purposely transcribing my mental complex grooves, albeit inaccurately, resulting in a beautifully blundered naïveté, devoid of proper subdividing and such. Making my lemons into sonic lemonade is so sweet.

  • Octaves effin’ rock!

    The little interval that isn’t, the lowly octave is now in the forefront of my mind these days. They don’t really do anything harmonically, melodically, but timbre and register are undoubtedly the octave’s domain. Being a rather pitch-centric composer, these beautiful, beautiful octaves are wonderfully noncommittal when it comes to implication and directionality. Throw in some octaves and write your ticket to versatility—they fit in everyplace, imply very little, and can end up going anywhere.

  • Titles aren’t as important as I thought they were

    Every day, a little death. But here I am, composing a new piece that I haven’t yet titled. This feels like a first. Previously, I had to have my overall concept down pat, not to mention labeled with a snappy little title, before a single notehead found its way to the staff line. Venturing onward without all of this stuff solidified beforehand is weird, but life is about change, and there’s no point in being a stick in the mud.

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