When do you stop creating and start orchestrating? (or putting it together)


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When do the dreams become reality?  In previous blogs I have discussed the creative cycle (see From Start to Finish on the 4th August 2013) but knowing where you are in the cycle is sometimes difficult to judge. 

The deadline, exhibition and gig often influence the production but is what is put together within a time limit really what you mean or just some of the parts made ready for the event?  The reason I have kept the ideas notebook and decided from the beginning not to look back until the time was right was to try and understand the changes in my creative process during the composition of a new musical work. 

Why has there been a change?  I cannot answer this directly but what has been happening is that the more recent ideas I have thought about are complete in musical ideas, the sounds to be used and how they flow from one to another.  In my mind the ideas have started to have a coherent instrumental texture that I have accepted as the ‘sound’ for the work.  Now that the sound has been set I have started to re-visit the notebook and find it much easier to imagine how the jottings can be orchestrated and if they are all suitable to be included in the composition.  

There are a number of pages in the notebook with multiple ideas, often written down a few weeks apart, that have similarities and by transposing these ideas to have the same or a related key I have incorporated them into one complete section of music.  There are other pages where there is little commonality between the ideas even when they have been noted down only a few days apart.  This is the time for artistic judgement as to how to use each idea, if they are to be used at all, could a few be linked, do I constrain myself to working each idea as an individual section within a longer composition or do I try to combine as many as possible? 

These are the decisions that are generally not made in a methodical way or to a prescribed pattern during composition, they are the choices that make the work distinct and recognisable, the individual artistic signature that defines the creator.  To become confident at analysing your own ideas, judging what to use and what to miss out, often takes time and experience to achieve, or at least to feel content with the final outcome.  Of course everyone has a view, often from their own experience, and finding a sympathetic mentor, sounding board or Svengali during your creative life can speed up the process of becoming a mature artists or one who is confident in what they produce. 

As all the Arts are open to comment, interpretation and subjective criticism by the audience, developing self-confidence is an important skill to be cultivated by an artist.  This, with a collaborative outlook to the process of performing or exhibiting work, will often lead to a long and fulfilling career as a creative individual within creative circles.  I will make Deranged Drums on Digital Vistas available for everyone to play with when the initial recordings are complete, giving everyone with internet access the chance to collaborate in creating their own version.  

There is still some work to do on transforming ideas and jottings into the final music and once that is done it will be recorded and shared.  In a few months all will be complete and then is the fun time with the music.  I have now started orchestrating but not stopped creating, this period gives an extra process to be creative with.

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About derangeddrums

Composer, percussionist, musical director, teacher and educator. My music has been written for audiences in palaces and in the street. Music is my vocation and my passion and I hope you enjoy it too.
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