In breaking with my tradition of brand new snapshots, this photo of me waaaaay up in the air above the Santa Barbara Pacific, was taken over a year ago.
In keeping with my tradition of offering joy and beauty on this little bloglet, there’s a reason I’m posting it.

I’m over halfway through the new quartet for flute, violin, cello and piano (still maddeningly untitled), and it’s at the fun, creative puzzle-solving point that composers experience when they’ve written and largely developed the main material for the piece, and now need to find ways for various composed sections to flow organically and inevitably from one to the next.

Great joy, this part of the process is. I love strong form and motivic development; I must have been Beethoven’s chamber maid in a previous life. :-)

Often with pieces, I go through varying degrees of “gee, this is pretty ok… wow, this is very nice… yikes, this will be awful… ok, it’s not so bad… yes, it truly is a turd, and I will be shown for the fraud that I am… well, all right, it’s actually ok.” And so on. I know for a fact that I am not alone in this schizophrenic neurosis; the internal love/hate tug of war is a common affliction among composers.

But this blossoming piece, for whatever reason, is truly resonating with me. This of course portends absolutely nothing as to its overall worth and whether the musicians and audience will be enjoying as much as I. But it’s soaring, deeply emotional, unashamedly touching music that I am so happy to be immersed in. There’s a flying, elevating, calmly euphoric quality to it that has caused my mind to wander to past similar experiences, and para-gliding over the stunning coastline pictured here was certainly one of them. From hundreds of feet up I could hear the barking of the sea lions as clearly as when I’m on our sailboat, and the sight of their bodies flowing through the ocean was beautiful. The day was cloudless and the views of the mountains stretched beyond my imagination. These photos of me could not possibly capture the complete ecstasy that raced through my heart.

No music clip for posting today, because the notes that are racing through my head right now are even better than anything I could offer. At least, to me.


Coming in, reluctantly, for the landing….


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