The last 6 months have been hard for me creatively. You could say it was a mental block, and I tried so hard to escape it without much luck until halfway through writing my piece. The CoDi Sound programme was a key experience which I needed to grow compositionally and to be inspired by the other composers, the ensemble and an electronic view on composition.
Having this creative crisis before the first CoDi sound Workshop, I saw this as an opportunity to gain some inspiration in a genre which I had not ventured towards before. Maybe this was the push I needed to get the creative cogs turning again? Before the workshop, we all prepared sketches which combined both electronics and notation together. This was a useful tool as creating these small musical cells sparked more and more ideas which were then tried and tested in the workshop. Through this process, I was able to see what would work technology-wise, as that was what I was the most nervous about.
Through this initial workshop, I was able to see the technological capabilities before me and set out creating patches using Max MSP. I also extended and developed my notational material with the knowledge provided by the UPROAR ensemble about musical technique, and what would be the clearest way to write the electronics on the score.
After the first workshop, I went to the second with a little more confidence in myself and my music. However, I realised I needed to go back to the drawing board and possibly rethink some patch designs and overall combination ideas. I decided to pursue a combination of live electronics and notation as I wanted the live playing to be supported and manipulated by the electronics. I realised this was the catalyst to have the electronics as a developmental tool instead of a music making tool.
After the 2nd creative workshop, it was time to elaborate on the sketches we had created and formulate an entire piece during December. As an undergraduate, I, like many students, went home for the holidays and I was able to eat great food, be warm and covered in blankets whilst composing for a good month. However, this didn’t make it any easier. I had to develop previous ideas and create new motifs as I had restarted my idea by the second workshop. At this moment in time, I still needed an opening theme and was not happy with what I was composing. I took to gaming soundtracks for some inspiration, and the one that stood out to me was the soundtrack from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. I loved the feeling of freedom the piano melody brought, almost like a breath of fresh air and that was exactly what I needed. (Next stage in part 2)