Late summer ’10, writing music

Imagine you have had one singe task to complete all day, and no matter how much you plan ahead, or how hard you work you cannot get it done.  This is how I have felt for the past few weeks.  As my recording session approaches, I was yet to compose all of the pieces for the date.  For example I am planning on recording Nick Drake’s Things Behind the Sun. The verse and chorus worked fine for the tune, but I was hearing newer harmonic ideas for the solo section.  It took me about a week to figure out what I chords I really wanted.  All of a sudden after playing a few progressions on the piano (very slowly, and with atrocious voicings), a set of changes appeared out of nowhere along with the concept of the whole piece.  It is interesting how a creative idea can take so long to complete itself in your head.  It seems as if this tune completed itself subconsciously and then once it was completed it presented itself to me in its entirety.

Enjoy the flowers^

It is a wonderful feeling to be content with a new batch of tunes.  I have solved a musical puzzle for each tune; each piece had a different challenge.  Some tunes were complete ideas, others were fragments that I had to work out for weeks.  The more that I compose, the more complete my ideas become.

When composing  (singing to myself, hopefully out of the public’s earshot/ sitting at a piano trying to plunk out some semblance of a progression) I still debate the strength of a phrase melodically, or what kind of groove I want.  Each piece I write is like a time capsule of what I am hearing at that period of my life.  Whatever musicians I am checking out affect what I am writing very clearly.  The more music I find, the better armed I feel to compose.  By taking my favorite music and putting it in a blender (in my head), my compositions are just small kernels of each tune rearranged my own way.  My goal is to write original music with this method in my mind.  My uniqueness and originality will always be rooted in my favorite music.

Recent Books/Movies/Recordings I recommend:

The Old Man and the Sea-Earnest Hemingway, Punch Drunk Love-Paul Thomas Anderson/ John Brion ( I loved how they used silence to accent sounds),Mocking Jay-Suzanne Collins, Sigh No More-Mumford and Sons, Five Leaves Left-Nick Drake, OK Computer– Radiohead, Soul Station-Hank Mobley.

Also, I wan to encourage everyone to check these two excellent piano players who I will be recording with: Chris Ziemba & Angelo Di Loreto


About danwhitemusic

Dan White is and artist whose music has two distinct, yet interwoven concepts: This logic is clearly displayed in Between The Lines (March 2011). White has a deep respect for acoustic Jazz, but he is also is driven to explore uncharted territory: Playing music that cannot be defined or pigeonholed. Both sides of his music create a synergy effect: the tradition of America's classical music helps build the foundation from which he explores and experiments, while the experimentation gives way to more individuality. Music has played a large part in Dan's life since he was young. The saxophonist comes from a musical family: his grandfather a jazz bassist and music teacher, his uncle a music teacher, and four of his cousins are currently studying music. He grew up just north of Buffalo, New York, where he started playing piano at age eight, and saxophone at age nine. A few years later he got his first real taste of improvisation and composition. After hearing Joshua Redman in concert with his father, White was instantly hooked on the link between composition and improvisation. White states, "My music is an extension of my personality. I am influenced by many, and my goal is to merge these influences into refreshing and creative music that acknowledges the tradition that came before and progresses the art form."
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