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What is your creative process?
 
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when i play guitar i always come upon new ideas and melody, riffs,etc. so there is always music ready and waiting. then when i feel the mood i write the lyircs and pick from the music I'v written what sounding music goes best with the lyrics. 


The night inspire me. I love it. 


That depends on what I'm trying to create!

If it's a studio session, for example, and I'm playing drums on someone's track, the process tends to be fairly loose and fluid, with a lot of improvisation and interpretation... (Although also, quick - because, of course, time in money!)

If I'm writing my own music, I spend a lot of time at the piano, and I tend to go for a "trial and error" approach...
 


Ideas come from the most unlikely of places, but tools and theory and continuing to experiment and learn how to do new things and play new instruments are the most important part of it for me. Trying to do something fresh with the same old formulas that others have used, it gets a little confusing sometimes even to me. But yeah, it's always a search for new inspiration, and I read voraciously so I definitely think that sort of thing helps as a writer. As they say, train hard, train long, then chuck all the rules out the window and just let it flow from some other part of your consciousness, let the machine take over. Some friends have called me a mad scientist or said that I do extraordinarily strange things sometimes that don't always make sense when they start but then when the plan comes together and they understand it then it always makes sense in retrospect. I guess sometimes I'm not really able to easily explain everything that I want to do at the start of a project and it's more about the journey than it is about the destination... 


The creative process - wow - for writing and composing it is fairly similar, but to actually nail it down, that is something that I have tried to do many times over the last 20 years. Essential, when I approach a composition I like to have an idea of where the piece is going to go - the form and structure of the piece, for example - before I begin composing. So, if I'm writing a piece for solo flute, for example (an upcoming commission that I'm working on), I will first make decisions as to the large framework so that anything that comes afterward can find its place within that frame. This piece will have a short arch form - it will be in three sections with the A section being somewhat related to its mirror on the other side of the central B section (though the piece is NOT an "ABA" because each section depicts a painting, so it will definitely be a truncated arch with the second A having its own themes with a return of some of the first section's ideas.

One thing that I use, and always keep handy, is a sketch book - I find it indispensable as a tool to my craft. Writing down musical ideas, melodic gestures, harmonic ideas, rhythmic ideas, anything like that for future use is so important if I'm not able to put the music down in the notation software that I use.

Until about a year ago I wrote all of my compositions out on paper - in ink - with only the occasional piece being directly composed into Finale, the notation software that I've been using for about 15 years (currently using Finale 2010). Lately, however, I've found that there are some advantages to composing directly into the program - working on my laptop rather than on paper. One great advantage is that Finale allows for instant playback of what has been entered into the program, providing the opportunity to hear the piece with the instrumentation. It doesn't sound exactly as it would if played by human performers, but the rendering is decent enough to provide a composer with an excellent idea of the direction they're headed in.

When I write on paper - something I still do when "doodling", or if my computer is not handy (or if using my sketchpad) I am able to tell what the music sounds like, so when using the playback from Finale it is only a confirmation of what has been entered - and to confirm that I haven't made any mistakes (such as leaving out any accidentals or things like that).

Other than that, the process is often unique for each piece that I'm working on. The inspiration that sets the piece going is what will define the process in many cases, but, for the most part ... I compose - I hear the music in my head and "transcribe it", trying to capture the essence of a sculpture in sound the best way I can.
 




Constantly in a state of flux 


This is very multi-faceted, as far as inspiration goes, for instance, for our first album, "Dismal-Land" was inspired by all the things we perceive need to be changed here in the USA. The second album, currently in progress, "The Witches of Pendle" was inspired by a true story. I create the music in the same way I paint, I leave a track looping continuously for hours and add something as the feeling to do so comes to me. 


I often draw inspiration from several experiences and situations that I go thru. I often find myself to be most creative early in the morning, so I like to try and listen to beats at those times while starting my day to see what comes to me. I like to have silence and no distractions sometimes when in the midst of the writing process. I will just sit in a room for hours and go over ideas and concepts. Sometimes I will sit in total darkness and just look out into the dark and clear my mind and allow fresh thoughts to come in. I have several ways that I can find my " zone ". 


Usually groove, play, record... 


It varies from my deepest thoughts to a light conversation that sparks a concept to a record.I let the instrumental take me there you know. 


Get inspired or create inspiration and take it from there! Always challenge myself, never stop experimenting or staying with the obvious. Always have fun, when that stops rest rinse repeat. 


I do one of two things. 1. Hear a melody in my head, find words that sound good over it, and construct into a song that makes sense. 2. I pick a topic worth expressing, find the words I want to use (as uniquely as possible), and create a melody from there. A lot of times, I'll catch ideas from looking at pictures, street signs, advertisements, listening to conversations or natural sounds. 


Pray, let God lead my hand, heart and mind. 


Its very random actually, but usually it starts with an idea that just hit me, go grab my blackberry to record it and make some notes. 


It is all about documenting my WORST ideas. Ideas can come from anywhere. It does not need to be a sloppy Guitar riff!

When documented, I have a database of what NOT to do, instead of what to do.

I know that it may sound strange, but is how I work.
 



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