Tuesday, January 31, 2012

30 Songs In 30 Days

I've been giving some thought to my compositional output as of late. In recent years I typically crank out two or three large-scale works for big band each year. I don't know how this compares to others in my field and maybe I shouldn't care.  It's what I can manage currently, without completely losing balance. But, when I completed my last academic year-end report and wrote "3" in the little box next to "compositions written", I thought "hmm...that sure looks insignificant for someone who bills himself as a jazz composer.

So... here's what I plan to do to remedy the situation:  For the month of February (plus March 1st), I am committing myself to writing a blues head every day, and will post it on this blog.  At the end of this time I'll have 30 new tunes and hopefully will have explored some new musical territory as I tinker with this common 12-bar form.  Plus, writing in this way should serve as a nice, daily compositional warm-up for my other projects.

I expect that some pieces will be better than others, but I will write with the intent that they could all be performed without any public embarrassment. For each piece I'll try to include a few sentences about what I tried to achieve, the methods I employed, etc.  Who knows?!  Maybe this endeavor will help to spark the imaginations of students and other musicians.  

Rather than fighting the winter blues, I'm embracing them.

(Perhaps my favorite album cover.)

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