Thursday, November 22, 2012

My composition process: from chicken scratch to finished notation

My new masterpiece. A quick 3/4 latin / flamenco tune inspired by Chick Corea's "La Fiesta". Lucy Goose is our nickname for our pet Lakeland terrier who likes to lie at my feet while I'm playing piano. It's a happy, playful song, just like our dog.

Here's the finished chart:

And here's a live performance of this piece with my band MPEG featuring John Nastos (sax), Damian Erskine (bass), Reinhardt Melz (drums), and Rafael Trujillo (percussion).

Now some background into the composition process for this piece and many of my other pieces. No one but me can make sense of my chicken scratch sketches until they get fleshed out into proper notation. It's my strange creative process at work. Almost every tune I write starts out like this.

For example: here's my original chicken scratch sketch of my new tune Lucy Goose.

And here's the final product -- the finished notation of my new tune Lucy Goose. Interesting to compare the finished product to the original illegible chicken scratch sketch.