A friend on Facebook posted a Frank Zappa interview. It was just a short clip, with Frank talking about guitar solos: what he thought of recorded ones (not much), and how he did his own. He admitted to a good working knowledge of the guitar (maybe disputed by guitarists aspiring to his level!), and having an imagination, that allowed him to try something different every time, even though the solo was in a song he wrote that he may have played many times before. To perform the solo, he only needed the approximate length to fill, and to allow his imagination to fill in the void.
I don’t pretend to be at the level of Frank Zappa musically, but my method of composition is similar. I start with a title, press Record and invent. Often with my eyes shut (actually, most of the time). I’ve evolved this method as a way to try and break through some of my more mechanical limitations, to surprise my ears, and allow me to react to that surprise.
Imagination and time are among our greatest gifts as human beings, ones to use wisely and well.
In the spirit of the hope a New Year brings, here is a new series: