Thursday, 23 September 2010

Counting on my fingers

Is there an moral obligation to increase our skilled performances? An obligation to do more than just count on our fingers.. to learn multiplication tables, standard integrals, etc? Does this relate to 'right action'?

I've been thinking about this with regard to technique in art and music. When I compose, I have tended to only count on my fingers. I never much liked the sort of mathematically abstract technical tricks that are taught to aspiring composers. I'd rather use my judgement at the keyboard. But I've always worried that this isn't that effective. So here's a piece where I've tried a very simple technique to get something down which moves away from simply improvising.

I created lots of irregular time signatures and filled them with a fairly arbitrary melody. The differences in the time signatures create some interest. I then filled in some accompaniment at the keyboard (which is what's going on in the video). I then realised that accompaniment patterns related to the time signatures and could be repeated with similar time signatures. All short-cuts. And it can all be changed, but certainly the technique appeared to be an increase in my skilled performance for getting stuff down on paper!