Sometimes I sit down and play away searching for ideas, just experimenting, improvising; at others I get an idea and let it run free, tweeking it here and there, adding this and that and cutting out stuff here and there. Sometimes things come along easily and at others I really go through labor pains. Sometimes it's the melody that pulls me along, at others the harmony or the rhythm. The thing is not to think about it too much, just let it flow and play the inner game of composing.
Hard work, combined with imagination, taste and fantasy.
Having spent many years at both "directed concentration" on intellectual permutations of the musical material and "fascination" (non-directed improvisation), I feel that "flow" occurs best for me when the two halves of my brain (intuitive and calculating) are equally matched to the task at hand. The "trigger" has often been the effort to musically recall the "ecstatic" feelings one has at "magical places"--where the spirit of man and the spirit of nature meet with mutual reverence. It took a lifetime to realize that my early fascination with such places was child-like wisdom, not childish sentimentality.
For myself, no creation is possible without the contact with nature.
I need this kind of inspiration to compose.
More concretely, I compose all the time. Some little pieces, just for trainning.
It's my way to be always "awake". I use to say that you can be inspirated by something or somebody, but writing music from that is another thing. If you don't USE to compose, you won't write anything.
Often, I write down just some themes I hear, a simple melodic phrase, or just some words describing an atmosphere I feel. It helps me very much.
Music making is all about logic and thinking - that`s how inspiration is born.
My ideas almost always come from introspective moments and inspiration from the Holy Spirit. Not to say everything I write or record is Holy or even Christian the energy to start and complete the project is certainly God-Inspired. I may get it wrong but thanks to God I am forgiven when I do. Occasionally I get an idea directly from another person who suggest we write a song based on an inspiration they have.
Allowing time for reflection and self criticism.
Some times a short piece of music will just come to me, and I find when this happens, I have to get it down on paper quickly, then I can use it when the time is right. I have lots of pieces of paper like this.
I like to think on what I want to write a song about, come up with a title, work out what is going to be the primary instrument, the secondary instruments, and so on. From there I work out the story of the song, not all songs have to have words, but they do have to have a story. Then it is the begining, the ending, and then the journey in between. When this is done, it is only a matter of refining it all then.
At the moment I'm using the computer a lot, making backing tracks from midi and sampled sounds. Then the idea is to record my voice, mix the track and put it online, but I'm very much a beginner as a sound engineer and am not happy with anything I've done so far. However, I'll keep going till I get something I like!
Almost all my Scripture songs were inspired while reading the word of God.
Sometimes it's like sculpting - cutting off the unnecessary. And sometimes it's like building - phrase by phrase... it depends on both the piece and me. One feature remains constant: I do not hurry to present the finished product until I strongly feel that it's ready.
This depends to some extent on the piece and the circumstances in which it is written. In broad terms, and given the time, I tend to reflect on a new piece before committing it to paper. This is difficult to describe, but often I only begin to actually compose when I can 'feel' or 'experience' the piece inside me. The task then is to find the structure, notes, harmony, rhythms etc.that will realize the experience. Of course, working to deadlines necessitates a compression of this process,
It is always going on - every minute.
My warped sense of humor, men always have sexual inunendos about everything the see and hear.
Well, there's a lot of junk food, temper tantrums, and iced tea. When I start a song, I don't stop playing until I finish it. There have been times that I'll literally play until my fingers bleed.