Welcome to mad music mondays, where we explore how music is created! In this season of mad music mondays, I’m exploring what I shall term ‘practising’ music-making. Find last week’s episode here.
One of the challenges of having finished formal education is that all of the work we now do needs to be finished to a high standard, even if we are learning something new. So I’m giving myself small projects on a time limit, that I have to call finished by the end of the allotted time. The aim is to see what I am capable of, but also what I still need to learn.
In a music degree, it feels everything you write needs to be explained, deliberately chosen and an ‘interesting’ choice. So, the challenge for this week was to record harmonies, without planning them. Just go entirely by ear, which is a much more accurate description of how I work anyway.
Like a few other people I know, I hear music horizontally, not vertically. To explain what that means, I didn’t understand chords properly until I arrived at University. Because I heard the notes individually, how they traveled from one note to the next, rather than the effect they made together. Not that I wasn’t aware of it, and enjoyed it, it’s just not how I understand sound.
I really enjoyed making this short arrangement. I didn’t push myself to any soaring heights. I just made what I was comfortable making.
What I learned from this experiment, was that it is important to start with where you’re comfortable. After that, definitely push yourself to learn more. But if you start with what you know, you can give yourself a much more interesting canvas to build on.
Here it is. A very short taster of something I could turn into a full piece should I ever feel inspired!
Jena Ren, 2022
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