After the typical near-obsessive urge to use the violin and guitar to compose music begins to give way, I found myself just noodling around in a purely physical way, much as one might twiddle their thumbs to pass the time.
I now have a real appreciation for the psychological effect of a “clean start.” Clean starts help us focus the boring, long-term discipline of maintaining any behavioral change into a single memorable moment, the memory itself often becoming an icon or totem to meditate on.
Germany, I think I’m falling for you.
It’s exactly the skill sets I was once encouraged not to cultivate that have proven most important to being a musician.
A very accomplished German composer confessed to me that he had never been able to enjoy the Berg Violin Concerto; he said it “lacked a strong theoretical consistency” and found it “lazy in its references to the past.” This exchange really hit home how strong some of the fundamental differences between American and European composers remain today.