Loituma!

The YouTube video of a performance by the Finnish vocal quartet Loituma was the immediate inspiration for this blog about a half an hour ago. I wanted to share this sparkling, unique performance, but it didn’t really fit my other blogs. I may or may not be using the inspiration of their performance, but in any case it’s great musical compost – something to combine with what I already know and which may then be part of a composition later when I want or need to compose a specific piece. Some facts about the group gleaned from Wikipedia: the group combines “Finnish vocal tradition with the sounds of the kantele” [a kind of zither]. They were named Ensemble of the Year at the 1997 Kaustinen Folk Music Festival.

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Compost heap. This is the amount that is produ...

My problem is that I’m interested in too many things. I already have two blogs (Horn Insights, Improv Insights) and a web site (U of Iowa Horn Studio), but I was inspired this morning to start another one about a subject interests me that doesn’t really fit any of the others: musical composition. Horn Insights is about the instrument and various aspects of music; Improv Insights is about creating your own spontaneous music as a classical musician; Composition Insights will be a collection of inspirations, reflections, procedures, stories, and general whatnot about writing music down. Composing is a long-range activity where you constantly learn more about the process, which will affect what you compose and how you compose it. As you listen to more kinds of music and take it apart and experiment, skills and tastes change. I am going to treat this space as a kind of musical compost (maybe the site should be called Composting Insights or Compostition Insights) heap to record my experiences, old and new, on the subject. I hope that it will attract the thoughts of others who will be inspired to share their experiences and thoughts as we go along.

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