Living in a sound world.
As I work on this orchestral commission for the Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra, I find I can describe my process like this.
A piece is a world I inhabit.
A theme is like a character I build and get to know. First, I must make sure it’s a character I like, that has the potential to go places and make a great story happen.
Then I play around with the character / theme / idea. I see where it leads, what potential it has and I make sure I explore as many avenues with it as possible.
Then the story starts to build and the world around it. I immerse myself in it so that I drive, wash dishes, take a shower, I am in that sound world, even if just subconsciously. That’s how I get those “a-ha!” moments.
That is why I find it hard, and even counter productive, to work on more than one thing at once. I need to live in the sound world I create so I can fully explore it and reach new places within it.