Bookmark and Share

Question and Answer

Question View

Login to Post
--- Mar 24 1999 Go to category
Subject: Do you "see
Category: Teaching
From: Brad  Williams (Memphis, TN)

This question might seem kind of "out-there" or open to interpretation, so please bear with me. First of all, I have been a guitar player since roughly age 11 or 12, and I got into jazz at about age 14 after I heard your work on Joshua Redman's "Wish" (thanks). I have been composing as well as listening quite a lot lately, and I noticed one thing about your compositions. To me, at least, the better ones seem to produce a "visual" mental picture of sorts just through the means of the sounds... "Quartet" stuff especially. Do you have an idea of what you want a song to feel like or what emotion or "picture" you want it to evoke when you begin composing, or does it just come out? Do you feel that space is more important than notes (sometimes)? And finally, do you ever find yourself falling into certain patterns with your composition, and if so, how do you break those cycles? Any input would be greatly appreciated by me, a young (18) jazz musician/composer.

Pat’s Answer:

hi brad,

honestly, no, i basically never leave the world of music when i am working on music. by that, i mean that i am mostly thinking in terms of the nuts and bolts of how to get from this chord to that chord or how to improve the harmonic rhythm here or there, not how it will play as a component of a later merger of sound and picture - in real time or not. on the other hand, as a listener, i also sense that some tunes really have the thing you are talking about - but it is always a surprise for me when they do.

yes, space is equal to not-space in value. they have to work together.

as far as keeping it fresh - it is basically very hard to do. i have to really work to try to force myself to get down deeper inside the music to keep dredging up (hopefully) new things. it is a struggle, but a good one.

one thing that no one mentions too often, music is really hard!

good luck with your music!!