Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Studying Beginnings


This is now.  Now is,
all there is.  Don't wait for Then;
                                        strike the spark, 
                                           light the fire.

I found the above words in a draft from many months ago, which made me think of  Robert Henri and his wonderful book, The Art Spirit.  In a letter to a class he stressed the value of studying beginnings of drawing.  This notion has intrigued me.  Tonight I was unclear how to begin my practice. Thinking of Henri I decided that perhaps I could make my own study of beginning a piece.  Then I thought I could begin three pieces.

I took my copy of Slonimsky's Thesaurus of Scales and Melodic Patterns and began flipping through the pages.  Just as I was prepared to put this down, I saw Scale 21 C D E F F# G# A# B C.  No idea what to do with this.  I ran through the scale a few times in one octave, and then found a chord based on C in fourths and was off and running.  I worked with this for 40 minutes and took a break.  During this time  I decided that this scale could be my "model" for the coming days, and I would create two beginnings. Then as Henri suggested to his students, I will alternate between the two 'pieces' and see how they develop.  Letting go of the idea of three pieces and focusing on working in a different way.

Something about this challenge is thrilling and also frightening.  Let the fun begin.  Now ...

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