SansZone Demystified

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Where in heaven’s name did I get this title, you might rightly ask!

After finishing the sorting process, and posting what I considered the cream of the crop from those five years, it’s time to shake things up a bit (myself, that is!).

I firmly believe that you progress, when you are jolted, or jolt yourself, out of the stasis we crave in life. I don’t mean by harmful means, but the “out of the box”, “out of the comfort zone” and into the light journey. This presupposes you have already done your homework: i.e., those thousands of hours that popular wisdom (and possibly a pseudo-scientific article) cites as what it takes to become good at anything.

Pushing boundaries. So, my comfort zone is composing on an ancient midi keyboard, my beloved A80, using Logic software. When my elderly (5 years in the tooth) computer, showed signs of age and crashed at the least amount of effort (like booting up Logic X), I knew I needed something to take the place of this so comfortable process. I placed my Yamaha portable keyboard on top of the A80, ready for action, while I completed the sorting. A couple of magic things have happened. I unplugged the midi out from the A80 and put it in the Yamaha, stuck the pedal cord in. And…Woops, getting ahead of myself. Worried about the state of my laptop, after backing everything up, I decided to roll the dice and re-insert the operating system as a last resort at solving the crashing at inconvenient times syndrome. Couldn’t find the original OS, so installed El Capitan, which is a free download. Crossed my fingers while I booted Logic X (after installing drivers for my midi interface), and low and behold, it is stable, and works well!

So I’m back in action. I’ve used the Yamaha for two new compositions, and the feel is just fine.

Here, then, is a new series, dedicated to getting out of that old comfort zone:

A Present From The Past

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Some milestones in life seem to be forever just out of reach, or so long term you forget about them. Whatever started you on this path? Has it changed? Maybe you’ve forgotten all about it!

After composing by improvising for more than five years, I’ve finally caught up in my sorting of these compositions. All I can say is that, as usual, it has been a real learning experience, and I’ve changed in the time it has taken to achieve my goal. If everything I ever recorded was perfect, there would be no need for sorting. Alas, I am far from perfect!

What you have in this series and the previous two, is the results of that sorting process. In the meantime, after I started using the latest version of my Logic audio software for recording, this process has changed and I hope I’ll never have to resort to working through years and years of compositions.

But I may as well celebrate!

Hope you enjoy this one:

You’re Floating on an Emerald Isle

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So take the time to smile:>)

This morning a gem from Netflix: Introducing Seymour. It was an intimate portrait produced by the actor Ethan Hawke, of the pianist/composer/teacher Seymour Bernstein. Music as a vehicle for communicating emotion. Words can spin in many ways, from outright lies to truth. There is no real way to mask the power of music, except to silence it.

Here is a little series on elves:

The Sorting Hat

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For years I have been composing, often three times a day. Until I got a SoundCloud account, and this website, those compositions piled up, spilled over, crept into underground streams, and generally grew exponentially. I’ve used a variety of methods to try to sort out what I liked from what was best left alone: colour coding, and finally adding “a”s after the file name, to indicated “auditionable” (a great suggestion from a friend, Mike Taylor, at work).

When I finally had a website, the process was easier. I needed songs “up there”, and made relatively quick decisions on what to upload. I’ve now completed the process of sorting out thousands of these previous pieces. I’m left with about 20 I’m quite happy with. I’ll post these in small batches, but to start off, here is the first series, Still Life: