Visual Construction

I suppose this has been the case for quite a while, but it is becoming increasingly clear just how much I tend to craft my musical ideas, at least initially, from a visual and physical perspective.  As I’ve mentioned previously, this is not to say that this is something that is somehow unique to me, but rather, it is a useful observation of my own tendencies.  It could be a function of the abstract language in which I work, but, especially at the outset, I find that I am “seeing” ideas, and describing them in terms of physical shape and trajectory.  Musical considerations come in gradually — the dynamics or speed of a given idea — but the initial charge that fires the idea is typically the visual/physical.  An acquaintance of mine, the artist Michael Zheng (http://www.michaelzheng.org/) first pointed this tendency of mine out to me at the MacDowell Colony probably about ten years ago. His observation has stuck with me, and has helped me to think more clearly about my musical ideas at the procedural point at which they are often the most murky — the beginning!

john arrigo-nelson_composerglasses 1

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Visual Construction

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