Posted tagged ‘theme’

Improvisation vs. Memorization

July 2, 2010

I had the pleasure last weekend to play the piano for a wedding reception at the Point Gray Golf and Country Club. I chose to play whatever came into my head, instead of planning it out ahead of time, or practicing some classic or pop pieces.  Over the years I have found this is what works best for me. I’ve never found memorization easy, whether it’s music, or History dates, or French verbs. If possible I like to create in the moment. For last Saturday it was judging the feeling in the room and playing to suit the scene, taking suggestions from listeners, and livening things up a bit when I felt the need for a little fun.

Why then, when improvisation is so fun, and can yield such fantastic creations, do I tend to shy away from it when I post songs publicly? Is there an unwritten law that states all published songs must be worked on for hours and polished to perfection? No, not that I know of.  When I had my week of reading deprivation I wrote a song in one hour. It was pretty good. But instead of posting that experiment I went and added to it. Now over a month later I still don’t consider it finished. When is a creation done? Probably never. But we must decide when to stop working with it and move on to our next art piece.

Instead of memorization I prefer themes. Take an idea, an emotion, and play to that instead of writing a song and playing the exact notes every time.  I like the excitement of improvisation. This week I recorded another improvisation. It took me by surprise one night. My brain was tired from writing art proposals and I didn’t want to think anymore, so I sat down at the piano and let my intellectual brain rest and got into my emotional creative side. I promise not to overwork it. It will be posted soon.

CBC Anthem Challenge

August 28, 2008

Last weekend I got together with my friend Zaiba to write a theme song for CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada. We would love for you to take a look at our entry on the CBC website. If you sign up, which is really easy, you can vote and comment on our entry as well as all the others. Please tell your friends. We thank you in advance for your support in helping us ‘score’!

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