So, it's been a long time mr. blog. sorry bout that.

Anyway, i'm not sure what to write about at the moment. how's about, talking about teaching. yeah! we'll do that.

Met with my mentee on friday. as always, it was a good experience. I treat this "relationship" not as a student/teacher relationship but as a "let's hang out and talk about music for awhile. and if you have questions or want some feedback, i'll speak my mind." i generally speak my mind though. heh.

Anyway, it was a good conversation. Love working with this guy because it's, well, "easy." lol. easy might not be the right word. He always has questions. Always wants to hear ideas. Usually, before i say anything, he's asking me "what about this section." or "i'm not really please with this. what would you do to make it better?" talk about a dream "student." LOL. I do my best to try and work within his style. he's in a "free tonality" phase of working, mainly. His interest is very much in modalities and other more far reaching tonal ideas, but still very much within functional harmony. absolutely nothing wrong with that at all, especially since he finds interesting ways of presenting the material.

In fact, he asked me about one section. he wasnt sure if the clarinet could pull this off, and wasn't sure what else to add. So we talked about the limitations of the instrument (running 16ths for, oh, 9 measures, is a bit long. they do need to breathe. might as well decide what notes will be lost. lol) and in talking about what to add, i did a lot of "well, what's most important? what's going on in the line?" we sketched out an "order of importance" map for the piece. (it was mainly about exploring harmonic relationships.) We then talked about ways that some of the lesser parts (timbre, for instance) could be used as ways to bring out the main part (orchestrational changes to help show a harmonic change, that kind of thing).

and he has a lot to say, musically speaking. Sometimes, almost too much. it seems like my job is more of "WHOA, hold up a bit!" than so many ideas. all over the place. he came to me with what appeared to be a 10 part form. for...a 2.5 minute piece. lol.

so, i mentioned that, first, let the piece be as long as it needed to be. if it's longer than 2.5 minutes, then you'll just get that much recorded (they are recording the pieces. which is awesome). secondly, you might want to step back and look at what you have. there is a TON here! and you've only done 3/10 of the piece! he then said "well, i know developing ideas is a weaker point for me. How do you develop ideas?"

Oh man, was i not ready for that one. i stopped for a minute and said "ok...this...is going to be a long conversation...let me use the bathroom first." LOL. well, after i told the computer to bring up Grooveshark. to listen to


No matter how much music i study, when i think of general development ideas, no one shows it off in such a clear way as Beethoven to me. so, we started up "what's music made of?" then into the specific terms "fragmentation, diminution, etc" all the while i'm popping up bits of Beethoven's 5th. we had a great conversation, i pulled in another passing DMA student to help me clarify the difference between "motive" and "melody" (always a tricky one for me but my friend put it quite well...and i won't misquote him right now, so you'll have to live in suspense.)

trying to sum up ways of development, and continuously saying "ya know, they normally do a bunch of these at once." and "these terms apply to multiple things...you can do diminution on all sorts of music ideas" and so on. took me back a bit to my first "formal" composition study, winter term '05 with James A. Beckel. and we worked on, mostly, development of ideas. basically a solid month, two meetings a week, for a couple hours at a time. it was a lot of fun. and, tonight, as i went through my external drive grabbing sound samples from my archive, i found that piece...and listened to it. and it was, most definitely, a study in development. with a horrible horrible melody. thankfully, i spent 8/10 of the piece developing it. lol.

it was a good conversation, but hard. there's a lot to development, and the art/craft of taking a melody and turning it into something else is quite difficult. I know that the professor has given them several assignments on it, and i help him with it as much as i can. but he has so many ideas...i remember those days

i heard music in my head this week. it's been...a long time. but, it was muted...very muted. it wasn't even the full parts. it was more like me singing it. and i could shut it off, just took me shouting, in my head, "stop, stop, stop" and then it did. It was some pop song, i can't even remember which. lame.

in other news, i went shopping. and there is ice cream. makes me happy.

and nothing seems to fix my audio monitors. makes me sad...tired of hearing the voices, especially on a clear night. blech. so freaking loud!!!

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