This song got me thinking of how your state of mind affects the act of composition, specifically this one:
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Longmire is a great western series on Netflix, that I am hooked on at the moment. Scenery is beautiful. The setting is Wyoming, ranch land and log cabins. Foggy mornings, sunlight, acres and acres of grasslands stretching out to the mountains in the distance. There is lots of rough and tumble to keep you engaged, but my jaw keeps dropping at the scenery.
Back to this state of mind thing. It does affect me, when I sit down to compose and improvise, in ways I am not entirely conscious of. The title popped into my brain, and it does have, to me, a western, turn of the century, mining town vibe. When I thought of an image to go with it, I glanced up from my keyboard to an old black and white photograph of my grandmother, at around age 25 (in 1925). She was a very independent woman: a teacher and the principal of the Glace Bay High School at about that time. She travelled alone to Europe and stayed for a year. When she came back, she decided to head west, and again, travelled by herself on the train to Central Alberta.
When I listen to the piece, I don’t necessarily feel all that is wrapped up inside it, but it was the jumping off point.