Finding a new voice

I haven’t been composing much for a while. I’ve been telling myself that I don’t have enough space to set the studio up, that I don’t have enough time, that I’m more interested in software lately, but the honest truth is that I had gotten stuck.I’ve been toying around with a set of ambient tracks which are reasonably good, but I haven’t committed them to CD. I’ve not been satisfied with what I’ve been doing for a while now. I seem to be stuck in the same riff, the same chords, the same “you’ve heard this a thousand times” vaguely-new-age results.I’m not happy with this. The ambient stuff was an attempt to clear the decks and start off in a new direction, which partially succeeded, but didn’t move me to the new place I feel that I need to be.A couple of months ago, saw a sign for a local piano store. I looked in; looked good, and I decided to come back later. We hadn’t really decided that we were going to get a piano for sure, but we walked in and found a jewel of a piano.

It seems to be like the hundred-year bulb: all of the tiny little elements have al fallen into exactly the right place. It’s as warm and sensitive as any piano I’ve ever gotten to play, including a few Steinways. It feels like it’s been lovingly played for years, and has just gotten to that perfect place where it sounds as good as you could imagine.I’ve been playing it more and more; I lucked into a wonderful jazz piano book with a lot of extended harmony exercises. Since I’ve been playing them, my fingers are reaching for new things along with the old, and my playing is improving greatly; more right-brain than before, and my left hand is no longer just something to push buttons with while I play the keys with my right.I’m glad to have set aside the synths for a while. I don’t think I would have had this change to grow without first losing my voice and then finding it again. I feel like I can go back to my ambient tracks with fresh eyes and see what is there that I can really work with now.[formatting updated 9/29/06 - JM]

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