Memories of old musical times

April 11, 2006

Father_time_7765.jpgI spent much of today digitizing old cassette tapes of improvisations I made between 1974 and 1976. I’m not exactly sure why, I don’t want them released commerciallly as they have no commercial interest. I guess I’ll leave them with my musical sketches.

I am amazed at the energy of a 30 year younger version of myself pouncing around on the piano, discovering the world of the avant garde composer. I wanted to grow up to be Elliott Carter; no, Karlheinz Stockhausen. Aaron Copland was a hopeless sentimentalist, my entire youth spent playing folk, and rock, and country, and church music, was useless and beyond redemption. I was to be a MODERN COMPOSER! I was brimming with energy to do so. I was an avid improvisor. I wanted to compose all the time.

Listening to these 32 year old improvisations is an interesting experience, as it calls up old neurons that haven’t been fired up for a long time, but are still there. It’s like certain smells that bring up old memories.

What do I want to do with these? Use them for future music if I dry up? Unlikely. Release them as a CD? Forget it Roger, you know you’re only a half-assed pianist. No, it’s for the sake of stimulating those old neural pathways on days that I need to remember where I am.

Engraving: Father Time and Baby New Year from Frolic & Fun, 1897

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