Messing around in Notes

Improvisation. Why is it when I want to, I can’t, and when I do, it’s almost unexpected? I have been improvising all my musical life. It started by swinging the quavers in simple melodies in the very first piano books I was given to learn from, and continues to this day. I love to sit down for half an hour or so and just let rip.

Sometimes I fancy going round to my parents’ place and recording some stuff on the digital piano. I could (and have) record a whole record in less than two hours, get it home and treat it, then publish online. (The Burden, for example). I’ve taken to recording some of my improvisations even if they’re not “performance ready” so that I can even remember how they go.

Then I discovered that I am not alone.

I’m not even in the same league, but Steve Lawson (@solobasssteve) has an awful lot of music out there including Believe in Peace which (click through and read for yourself if you like) isn’t a million miles from the same thing. Apart from the instrument, context, venue, provenance and so forth.

Since I signed with Any And All Records this week, I’ve been thinking about this some more and I’ve reached no great conclusions, expect that far from being a fun but largely fruitless exercise to keep the fingers doing their job, this improvisation is the core of my creativity. Hardly a Genius leap, but possibly a thought that could shape where I go from here. Who knows.


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