Featured Music

Reflecting on the Inspiration to Compose

ReflectionsAbout 15 years ago, I wrote a number of piano solos for my kids when they were growing up.  Recently, I uploaded a number of old CD’s that I had collecting dust in my drawers and uploaded them to iTunes.

I didn’t realize how much music I had collected over the past 20 years!  In the genre of “New Age”, I had over 14 albums including Narada artists and other new age artists including Kostia and Alan Pasqua.

I was so impressed with Alan Pasqua’s “To Love Again”, I called him in California.  And, we actually talked about Jazz piano and composing.  If time had permitted, I would have been honored to sit in on one of his master classes.

Alan also shares a love of photography, see some of his photos here!

There are many influences in life that fuels the fire of inspiration.   For me, it’s a great melody that I may hear on the radio or a CD or even a movie.  I think every composer is influenced by other artists when they write.  Charles Caleb Colton once wrote, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”.

I started writing and composing music as a teen in the 70’s.  I was mainly playing classical piano then and always had a hard time reading music.  My forumla was simple; I wrote and practically memorized everything I played.

I never had any formal training in composing or piano, so I picked it up by memorizing pieces, having a good ear and persistence.  I did a lot of reading on music notation and had the help of my father when he was alive to read over my compositions.   My father was a great musician who sang for Dutch radio and could read music like you read the paper.

I even dove into writing music down on paper.  Here is a look at my first attempt at music writing when I wrote Reflections:

I wrote down Reflections on music paper by hand before using a computer program for music notation.

I wrote down Reflections on music paper by hand before using a computer program for music notation.

Soon after, I purchased a program called Finale to write down my compositions.  This is a really cool music notation program.   You can download the full song here (PDF).

When I wrote Reflections, I was actually watching the Movie A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) and heard one of the last melodies written by John Williams entitled “Where Dreams are Made”.  The solemn piano introduction was somewhat inspiring.  The song suddenly came to fruition.

Since then, I compiled a number of piano solos on my CD called Reflections. I’m working on trying to get them uploaded to iTunes soon, so stay tuned.

The following track is from the title song of the CD Reflections.  I recorded the piece on the Clavinova digital piano.  It’s now an ancient piano recorder still using floppy disks to record, but it works.  I’m sure one day, I’ll actually do some recording in a real piano studio.


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