By the way, this technique can be applied to everyday writing. You don’t need to save it for when you’re completely bereft of ideas.
Who You Were Meant to Be
A Guide to Finding or Recovering Your Life’s Purpose
Lindsay C. Gibson, Psy.D
New Horizon Press
Far Hills, NJ
Copyright @2000 Lindsay C. Gibson
|You may wonder why I begin a blog about being a composer with a book about “Finding or Recovering Your Life’s Purpose.” First and foremost, you are a human. Somewhere down the line–nowhere near the top of the list–is a description of what you do, one of those things perhaps being composing. But way before the technical stuff comes the human stuff, including your purpose, your why. That’s what this book is about.
This book may be the most underlined and full of marginalia of any book I own. Something about this subject and her approach to it touches my soul deeply. She could easily have made each chapter a separate full book. I wish she’d do that. I would buy them all.
I can’t recommend this book highly enough to anyone who feels that one’s inner and outer life are not in sync, or simply doesn’t know what one should focus on, or simply want to better understand one’s choices.
She helped me in many ways and some of her suggestions I remember to this day and use. It’s an old book, and I doubt you’ll even find it for sale used, but if you do, snap it up. It’s the kind people don’t take to the thrift shop. I’m hanging on to mine!
Recently, there was a theme build-up over several Sundays at the church where I play (Lakewood UCC, St. Petersburg, FL) culminating on a fourth Sunday. The theme of the build-up was “O God, Our Help.” So, I wrote a different prelude based on the St. Anne tune for each of the 3 build-up Sundays, playing one each Sunday, then all on the fourth Sunday.
The order in which they were written was actually 2, 3, 1, but this arrangement (1, 2, 3) seemed the best if played as a group on a church recital or something.
Here’s link for SoundCloud album: https://soundcloud.com/hilton-kean-jones/sets/the-geography-of-dreams.
As part of this re-orchestration I also finally (!!!) got the score done. For free download go to https://hiltonkeanjones.com/PDFs/The_Geography_of_Dreams.pdf, right-click and “save as…”
I’m spending some time looking at my personal and professional priorities. Those change as time passes. It’s time for me to look at mine again and see what’s changed, what’s stayed the same, what’s become more important or less important.
In doing so, I’m looking at a lot of resources to help myself with this. I came across something called Paired Comparison Analysis. I was familiar with bubble sort from my dabbling in computer coding long ago. This is similar but with a couple extra features. The site where I learned about it–which has a handy, free, downloadable worksheet–is www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTED_02.htm.
I thought you might be interested in an application of this device in a creative person’s context. To understand how this analysis works, read the article linked to above and watch its very short video. No point in me re-explaining it. They do it better anyway.
Below is my analysis of the items I couldn’t really decide among. The results conform to what I sort of suspected, but nice to know there’s some data to back up my suspicion. The list is what to write next since I feel an urge to do them all (anthems, piano solos, short concerti for piano a la Mozart scope, orchestral music of which several pieces are already started, 4-hands piano pieces which can be fun to bang through with friends, or some more purely electronic music).
Now…don’t be fooled! The creative mind will have its own way. It may cooperate and do what this analysis suggests or it might not. More often than not, Kokopelli has other plans. As Woody Allen said, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.” Also, every time–and I’m pretty sure it’s EVERY DAMN TIME–I tell anyone what I’m going to write next…I never do. So, we’ll see. We’ll see.
Paired Comparison Analysis does seem like a useful tool as a helpful hint in decision making, though, even if it’s not an oracle.
PS: this was originally posted on my personal blog, hkjones.info.
It is so easy to get distracted in life, isn’t it?! My intention with this blog was to regularly call attention to past pieces I’ve written as well as new ones. It’s the “regularly” part of that intention that went astray. So, today, I’m trying to climb back on that wagon and see if I can stay on it.
Tales of the Laughing Wizards is a suite of pieces for electronic sound. Each piece within the suite is a different wizard with a name suggestive of the tone of that piece. I don’t write much electronic music any more, but at one point in my life that was “my thing” so to speak. Now, I prefer to write music that humans enjoy playing on acoustic instruments.
I wish I could find a way to make the sounds that are possible to make with electronics, but with an acoustic orchestra, but that’s beyond me. That’s ok… Getting older has taught me one’s limitations are best just accepted sometimes.
Here’s Tales of the Laughing Wizards!
There are some recent additions to my website in the Organ and Choir listing. If you get a chance, please listen, especially to the newer organ pieces. Of course, if you know any choir directors or organists who might be interesting in any of this, please forward them the link to this post. I’d love to get some performances.
NOTE: Choral recordings may differ slightly
from scores because of later editing. Both 4-part
and simpler 2-part versions are available for most anthems.
|O Loving Founder Of The Stars||(SATB)||MP3||SCORE||2015|
|I Look to Thee in Every Need||(2-part mixed)||MP3||SCORE||2014|
|The Brightest and Best of the Stars of the Morning||(Unison with EZ 4-part mixed)||MP3||SCORE||2014|
|The Lost||(2-part mixed)||MP3||SCORE||2014|
|The River’s Song||(2-part mixed)||MP3||SCORE||2013|
|All Bless the One||(2-part mixed)||MP3||SCORE||1993|
|Be Still And Know (Psalm 46)||SATB (or TTBB))||MP3||SCORE||1993|
|Have This Love||(SATB)||MP3||SCORE||1993|
|Bound by Love||(SATB)||MP3||SCORE||1993|
|Happy Are the Lowly Poor||(2-part mixed)||MP3||SCORE||1990|
|In You We Live||(SATB)||MP3||SCORE||1990|
|As A Doe Longs (Psalm 42-43)||SATB)||MP3||SCORE||1990|
|Psalm 40 (May We See Your Radiant Face)||2-part mixed)||MP3||SCORE||1990|
|Kol Mishp’chot Haahdamah||(SATB)||MP3||SCORE||1986|
|Beloved, Let Us Love||(SATB w/soprano & baritone solos)||MP3||SCORE||1980|
|Music for Eucharist; Rite II||(unison congregation)||MP3||SCORE||1980|
|Three Hymn Tune Anthems||(SATB)||MP3||SCORE||1968|
LYRIC RAGS — a sonata for violin and piano
Mov 1 – City Nights
Mov 2 – Silent Waltz
Mov 3 – Sky Highway
Composed in 1975, the 3rd movement is my favorite of the three, but I’m also fond of the 2nd movement. The first movement is a bit severe…more dissonant than I remember. The score is available at https://hiltonkeanjones.com/scores/Lyric_Rags.pdf.