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#1146864 - 05/21/07 11:11 PM Your Inspiration.  
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 60
Ian C. Williams Offline
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Ian C. Williams  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 60
HRM, NS, CND.
Assuming this place is for composers discussing, and not discussion of composers, I'd like to ask everyone a question!

For the last eight months, since I began by journey into music for the first time in my life (18), I have developed an odd way of inspiring myself. Through the power of cinema, cinematic music, and images in my brain, I am always inspired. A small picture of the inside of an old home from the 1840's will inspire me to write a nostalgic piece. The piece would not just be representative of the room, photo, and the feelings I had when I saw the picture, but it would literally be the soundtrack to my vision of the room.

My "daydreams", you could say, are immensely vivivd; and, whenever I see these sort of Mind's Eye visuals, music plays in my head. Not a schizophrenic "I hear music and it won't stop", but a general outline of sadness or happiness, depending on the visualization. It is so nigh impossible to describe.

What do you look for, or what comes to you, to inspire you to compose or play?


Liszt, Chopin, Rachmaninov, Satie, Debussy.. the names of the hallowed.
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#1146865 - 05/22/07 10:21 AM Re: Your Inspiration.  
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 308
Harmosis Offline
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Harmosis  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 308
California
Hi Ian,
What you are describing is not at all uncommon for composers. I think most composers would relate to that process in one way or another.

I get inspired by events (and their resulting emotions), ideas and concepts (musical or otherwise), poetry, etc.

It also depends on "why" I'm composing the music. If I'm writing music for someone (like a film score), then I must consider the purpose of the music, not just the artistic factors.

#1146866 - 05/22/07 10:25 AM Re: Your Inspiration.  
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 13,837
Kreisler Offline
Kreisler  Offline


Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 13,837
Iowa City, IA
Two things:

1) Magical forces during the shower.

2) "The publication deadline is June 4. Please have your contributions in by then."


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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#1146867 - 05/22/07 10:38 AM Re: Your Inspiration.  
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 128
Witold Offline
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Witold  Offline
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Joined: May 2007
Posts: 128
Quote
Originally posted by Kreisler:
2) "The publication deadline is June 4. Please have your contributions in by then."
I totally agree. "Three days until the orchestra has to have all parts" is usually very inspiring.

#1146868 - 05/22/07 10:59 AM Re: Your Inspiration.  
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Posts: 65
silla Offline
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silla  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 65
California
Quote
Originally posted by Witold:
Quote
Originally posted by Kreisler:
[b]2) "The publication deadline is June 4. Please have your contributions in by then."
I totally agree. "Three days until the orchestra has to have all parts" is usually very inspiring. [/b]
I am in no way, shape, or form a composer, but got a good laugh out of this -- reminds me of my favorite Calvin and Hobbes cartoon:

Hobbes: Do you have an idea for your story* yet?

Calvin: No, I'm waiting for inspiration. You can't just turn on creativity like a faucet. You have be in the right mood.

Hobbes: What mood is that?

Calvin: Last-minute panic.

laugh

*substitute as appropriate, e.g. thesis, paper, presentation, composition...


[Linked Image]
#1146869 - 05/22/07 01:09 PM Re: Your Inspiration.  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,124
rada Offline
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rada  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,124
pagosa springs,co
I am inspired by sound and the combination of sounds. Pick a key, I have an idea for a melody....and so it goes.

rada
www.pianopassions.com

#1146870 - 05/22/07 05:32 PM Re: Your Inspiration.  
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 790
Ted2 Offline
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Ted2  Offline
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Joined: May 2002
Posts: 790
Auckland, New Zealand
I think inspiration is now completely irrelevant to me because fixed extra-musical association is also irrelevant. Pure ideas just come flat out unconnected with anything except their own sound. Until approximately the last decade I would have answered that association, inspiration, emotion and so on were essential. Now they have all been replaced by a type of hypnotic, ecstatic, contemplative enjoyment of abstract sound. I find it next to impossible to give titles to things I create, assigning instead nonsense or Satiesque labels - only so I can find specific content on recordings.

I did, in fact, compose and write out a large heap of inspired stuff in my youth, and I still love it in much the same way as one loves an old friend. I can still enjoy the association I managed to capture. However, it represents an astigmatic glimpse into an old world now vanished. The same is true of classical music.

But then again, I am not a musician as the term is usually applied; that much is abundantly clear from my experience on forums.


"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law" - Aleister Crowley
#1146871 - 05/22/07 06:33 PM Re: Your Inspiration.  
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Harmosis Offline
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Harmosis  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 308
California
Quote
Pure ideas just come flat out unconnected with anything except their own sound.
I would challenge the possibility of that Ted2. Everything you've ever heard, felt, seen, thought about, or otherwise experienced is an influence on your composing, whether you acknowledge it or not. No one composes in a vacuum, ex nilo.

#1146872 - 05/22/07 09:18 PM Re: Your Inspiration.  
Joined: May 2002
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Ted2 Offline
500 Post Club Member
Ted2  Offline
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Joined: May 2002
Posts: 790
Auckland, New Zealand
Possibly. Perhaps I am just no longer sufficiently aware of it at the conscious level to understand what is going on. Good point.


"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law" - Aleister Crowley
#1146873 - 05/22/07 09:41 PM Re: Your Inspiration.  
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 13,837
Kreisler Offline
Kreisler  Offline


Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 13,837
Iowa City, IA
I believe everything is either influenced by something else or a reaction against it. It would be horribly limiting if it weren't so liberatingly flexible. laugh


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed
#1146874 - 05/23/07 03:21 AM Re: Your Inspiration.  
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,590
pianobuff Offline
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pianobuff  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,590
Pacific Northwest
Music goes to everything imaginable.

So there is always music in my head. A juke-box head full of original music.

Tell me what you want to hear and I can play it (somewhat). Make it jazzy or classical, sure thing although I can use some honing on this. I can definately hear it, sing it. Any genre. I love ALL music. Depending on the piece or vision.

My son is a filmaker. His vision inspires me currently to compose. But he wants it done quickly. I need more time to figure the technical side out with Finale. Which sometimes gets in the way of my creativity. But I'm learning.

What frustrates me is not being able to write it down fast enough.

Any advice? Or just practice I suppose.


Private Piano Teacher,
member MTNA and Piano Basics Foundation
#1146875 - 05/23/07 03:39 AM Re: Your Inspiration.  
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 128
Witold Offline
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Witold  Offline
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Joined: May 2007
Posts: 128
Quote
Originally posted by pianobuff:
What frustrates me is not being able to write it down fast enough.
This is a problem well known to any composer. The hardest part of the work is the journey from the head to the paper. I hate it when I can hear in my head exactly how it should go, with some complex harmonies that I cannot immediately write down, but have to first find them with the help of an instrument. While hitting wrong notes on the piano I'm certain to forget what I was hearing at first. To avoid this I usually write down some kind of graphical representation of what I hear before I start thinking about what notes are involved, to help me remember the idea. I also try to notate as much as I can straight from my head, like the base line and top voice I hear and any possible voices in between that I can figure out, before moving to the piano.

#1146876 - 05/24/07 01:45 AM Re: Your Inspiration.  
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 661
Johnny-Boy Offline
500 Post Club Member
Johnny-Boy  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 661
PA
Yes, Cal and I have been inspired by movies. Here's a song inspired from "Meet Joe Black" - particularly this father/daughter dance scene:
[Linked Image]

"Something In the Air"

http://www.artistcollaboration.com/~johnny-boy/Something%20Air.mp3


Stop analyzing; just compose the damn thing!
#1146877 - 05/24/07 02:35 AM Re: Your Inspiration.  
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,590
pianobuff Offline
1000 Post Club Member
pianobuff  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,590
Pacific Northwest
Johnny-Boy--

Is this yours?


Private Piano Teacher,
member MTNA and Piano Basics Foundation
#1146878 - 05/24/07 11:35 AM Re: Your Inspiration.  
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 661
Johnny-Boy Offline
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Johnny-Boy  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 661
PA
Yes, Cal DiFalco wrote the lyrics and I the music.


Stop analyzing; just compose the damn thing!

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