Posts in Sound Ideas
Write the most directly communicative melody that you can. Don’t worry about it being cheesy. Don’t worry about it being obvious. It will be. Or it won’t be.
Imagine you’re at a new music concert. The artist or ensemble performing is really great, but they open with a few pieces that don’t speak to you. Everything seems grey. You drift into a dull torpor, hardly paying attention. But then, suddenly…
Composing is an identity forming ritual. It also teaches us to identify sounds we love and to commit to them in a form. I like to think that each of us has a melody that can stand for us long after we are gone.
In 1960 La Monte Young prompted us: “Draw a straight line and follow it.” The reverberations of this radically simple directive have been vast and profound. But aside from those that we humans create, there are few if any straight lines in nature. So, fifty-two years later, I’d like to propose Variations on A Theme by La Monte Young.
Next week we’re starting an experiment here at NewMusicBox we’re calling “Sound Ideas.” The concept is this: We’re going to ask you—yes you, sitting there, reading this post—to create music and share it. And the “we” isn’t just anyone, either. It’s John Luther Adams, Sarah Kirkland Snider, Sxip Shirey, and Ken Ueno.