Over the years I’ve often complained about how long it takes me to write a single piece of music. Last year, I came up with a fun activity to combat this apparent block. I started composing tiny micro-pieces on the piano and recording them in one sitting. There was only one rule: I was to record a complete take at the end of the session, post it online, and move on with my life. Tonight I made the tenth of these little “impromptus,” adding up to about 12 minutes of music, so I thought I’d finally announce it on here, though I’m nowhere near finished. I plan to continue adding to this project whenever I get the chance.
Each session (to conceive, to finalize, and to record) has taken about 2-3 hours, so the challenge has been to create long stretches of uninterrupted free time in my schedule. Usually I sit at the piano with no idea of what to do and pound some notes. Eventually, an idea begins to take shape. Some days it’s harder than others, but if I keep at it, I tend to come up with something I like. While each piece is a tiny microcosm on its own, with no relation to those around it, I like hearing how they go together as a set, too. I’m in the process of writing them down so that I can share the score with others someday (and remember what I did!).