Here is my latest musical composition, “When Darkness Closes In.”
Yesterday, Inauguration Day, I sat down at the piano and tried to open myself up to what I was feeling. I began to play, not knowing what notes would come next.
This pretty well sums it up. (Apologies for the big face.)
In February 1980, KET (Kentucky Educational Television) asked me to record three short videos to be used as fillers in between programs.
In those days, I made music — “composed” is too formal a word — by playing piano improvisations with a tape recorder running. I would listen to the recordings, and if I heard something I liked, I would refine it for a few weeks until I had something with which I was relatively satisfied.
Not a great system, I’ll admit. I realize now that I needed to work much harder at it to produce music that was really good. Still, there’s something to be said for music that just comes out naturally. This was one piece that didn’t change much after the first time I played it; it pretty much came out in this form, and just sort of meanders from one little melody to another.
By the way, the tux and ruffled cuffs were not my idea, or my style, but I was so happy to have the opportunity to do this that I went along with the producer’s suggestions. And he also asked me to take off my glasses, so any stumbles you hear happened because I couldn’t see the keys. At least, that’s my story.