September 10, 2015


I seem to have turned a corner on this project. A week ago it was looking like a disaster. But after trashing that first version and starting over from nearly scratch, the soundscape part of the piece seems to have come together. There are still a few little things to tweak in the mix, but it's basically there and sounds good. At least, it sounds as good as I can make it given my skills, gear, and the materials I have to work with right now. Today I sent it off to the musicians with a score, and I look forward to hearing what they will add to it when we start rehearsals in two weeks.

Soundscape score for Canções Profundas | Deep Songs (click image to enlarge)

Unlike most musical scores, this one doesn't tell anyone exactly what to play. It's more like a map that indicates when certain sounds are heard on the pre-recorded soundscape, a place to jot down ideas. How the musicians will approach it remains largely up to them. We'll work together in rehearsals to decide which parts they should play along with and when they should lay out, and we'll define some parameters for improvisation – the general kinds of things they might do in each section. I have a few ideas, but I know from experience that it's best to trust improvisers and not impose too much on them up front.

One thing I am encouraging them not to do is to imitate the sounds they hear. There may be some sections where that is appropriate, but in general that feels like a cliché that should be avoided. I'm very curious to hear what their alternatives to that might be, and trust in their collective genius to arrive at some elegant solutions. More info about me and my work here.