1 down! Many to go!

I’ve completed my first RPM Challenge track! It’s the flute improv/field-recording collage piece and it’s called Watching the streets of Zurich and Brussels. I’m mildly happy with it. It’s very serene but not, I suspect, hugely interesting for multiple listens. The ghastly word “pleasant” is springing to mind. But it’s done and I think it’s kind of OK. And it’s tackled a few things that needed tackling:

  1. Improv. I hate improvising. I have no confidence at it and never do it
  2. Getting something down that’s actually a reasonable length for a proper piece of music – this one’s 6’16” in length – about twice the length of most of my notated music. Good to be thinking in longer spans, actually, and working more broadly – thinking it might be a good exercise to work with this sort of collagey stuff every now and then to think more in terms of chunks of ideas instead of single notes.
  3. Identified and started to tackle my issue of continually going back and listening from the start.
  4. Quarter-tones: I’ve got a piece booked in to write for Carla Rees and her quarter-tone alto flute. I was a bit lost at the prospect of thinking about quarter-tones. Focusing on using them in the improv has helped quite a lot with this, I think

The other exciting thing is that today I decided to take RPM up a notch and make it more about the composition, so I launched a commission project: I’ll write pieces of less than a minute in duration for up to 9 people. For any instrument they want – all they have to do is to commit to sending me a recording of it before the end of the month. Want to be a part of it? As of now (7pm) there’s only 3 slots left! Find out more and sign up here.

1am update: Wow – I can’t believe how popular this commissioning project has been! There’s only one place left! And I seem to have reached the maximum number of guitar pieces I can take on – with electric, slide and bass guitar pieces, it’s going to be a challenge!

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