Friday, September 09, 2005

My Meeting with Andre

Haven't thought of My Dinner with Andre in years. I was so 1981 I took a bus by myself to Pasadena's Rialto Theater, one of those really stand alone old time theaters... it was raining and I got caught without an umbrella. (Who needs umbrellas in LA when you have a car... except when you don't have a car?) It was freezing, I was wet, the movie was boring and I snored through most of it. I went a long way for nap.

Anyhoo, had my first appointment with new composition prof, Andre (no accent on the "e") and I have to say, it's so refreshing to start anew. Had a lovely perspective on my Milonga piece and we talked about basics -- dynamics, phrasing, articulation, tempo. Nothing to do with notes -- more pressure relief.

Tell a story. Grab from nature. What's in your surroundings? How can you tell that story excluding pitch?

One of the assignments he gave his Comp II class was to do a study told solely with dynamics. Use the environment...things that are natural to all of us as humans. So interesting! I get to do it too -- it opens and frees me up to think beyond that damn key signature!

He said one of his professors called had said there are two questions you should as yourself as a composer:

1. What is you want to say?
2. Are you doing it?

So simple. And now, Prof Myers, I will always relate it to you saying it.

Relief. Inspiration.