HOW I KEEP TRACK OF MY MUSIC-MAKING: IMPROBABLE SCORES AND MESSY TABS.

June 12, 2020 § Leave a comment

Doing things in spite of limitations is a theme I’ll come back to, as it’s been my modus operandi ever since I started making music on my own in the mid-90s, before the Colleen project was even born. My second tool for keeping track of my music-making is a case in point: I write what I call “improbable scores”, scores that have no purpose other than to serve as memory aids, and which lack the “correctness” that would turn them into real scores. Since I’m originally a guitarist, I also use tabs, which presents fewer problems, but of course I’ve only used these when I was using string instruments, which is not the case anymore.

I’m not classically trained, therefore my music-reading (and writing) skills are very limited. I can decipher for the purposes of playing, but only up to a certain point – I got better at that when I took viola da gamba lessons before my 3rd album Les ondes silencieuses, but my limitations were painfully obvious and problematic within that particular context. My 4th album The weighing of the heart is my most “orchestral” album and the one where I’ve used the widest variety of instruments (bass and treble viola da gamba, guitar, clarinet, piano, organ, toy gamelan, hand drums), so I’m attaching a very cleanly written (by my standards) score for “Moonlit sky”, and the very messy tab for “Geometría del universo”, which somehow, to my disbelief, became a kind of “hit” for me in the past few years: this was the first song for which I detuned and fingerpicked my treble viola da gamba, which later paved the way for the Captain of none album, and you can see that the song was born in fits, since the changes in pen colour correspond to nothing other than different work sessions!

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