A Quick, but Inspired Composition

Posted by Jake Small Category: Compositions, Jazz

I channeled my inner Pat Metheny in this super quick tune I wrote and (albeit hastily) recorded for one of my classes at Butler University this semester. Its sort of my first step into recording my own music and putting thought into composing with intent to record. A little bit about the tune; its a sixteen bar modal song with a melody I came up with on the spot. I’ve been trying out composing music with its focus on the chords and the feeling of the accompaniment instead of melody, and while its a bit unorthodox, I’m enjoying the results. I made a lot of really specific choices with the voicings of each chord, making sure that there was a high E in every transition to bring a bit of continuity to the listener and using open guitar strings to create a fuller, more colorful range of sounds. In the recording itself, I’m a little dissatisfied with the balance, I’d like to hear the chords more than the bass (perhaps a revision for another day), but I really enjoy the happy accident I made with the sound of the guitar itself. Despite a little buzzing here and there, the melody and accompaniment have just enough reverb and mid sounds to imitate a version of Metheney’s sounds.

I definitely had Pat Metheny’s album Bright Sized Life in mind when recording this. I have really come to appreciate the way the album invokes such a unique combination of intensity and wonder in each song. Bright Sized Life has perfectly captured the untold and beautiful moments living in the midwest can bring since its release in 1976. Especially in moments of tracks like “Sirabhorn” and “Midwestern Nights Dream” when the music incorporates big intervals of space and reflective periods of repetition in the tunes. What I ended up drawing from Bright Sized Life the most when writing this song was the way the group in the album can intuitively create a sense of motion by playing faster and louder at climactic moments. That along with the sound Metheny gets out of his instrument is what inspired the vibe of my short and hasty composition titled “The Empty Space, the Auburn Dream”.

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