This morning I discovered that I can benefit from cursing quietly in mumbles when I hit a sour note. This gives me a sense of humor about the process, and that helps a lot. If I get heaviness on the brain I can’t be creative. This is a pretty important thing to be directly aware of.
I’m working on the opening phrases “Do not stand at my grave and weep. I am not there I do not sleep.” I found that singing the tune, in whichever octave takes the least vocal effort, helps quite a bit also. I can’t sing/play a tune I like yet. The opening phrase is so critical that I have to make it invincible. I think that if I send it to a publisher, or put it in front of an audience, people can decide by my first cadence whether the piece is good or not.
Right now I”m singing some tunes away from my piano (in between sentences) and I have another brand new discovery – finding the tune in my head and voice is much better than doing it on the piano. I had a hunch.
I also realized that what I though was working for 6 minutes was actually more like 18. I’m composing for longer chunks of time than I realize. I don’t know how long these chunks should be, but I still feel like I am leaving the piano too soon. I think I’ll do more today but I’ll do it all in my head and voice and avoid the piano. Maybe this will work better. I don’t want to form a ridged way of composing, but I might find some rough guidelines, like dealing with the melody first and away from the piano or computer, that can help. And this also needs to be done with a degree of levity. So I”ll probably be cursing a lot today.