I generally begin a piece of music either on piano or guitar. I have owned a beautiful Yamaha C4 baby grand for the last ten years and I must admit, most of my composing comes from here.
But I am, more than anything I suppose, a guitarist - and many pieces, even though they may not end up featuring guitar on the final recording, begin on those six strings. My favourite guitar is a hand made Mirabook, built for me by Gary Albrecht. Although I do also favour a very special Takamine Sante Fe classical.
Inspiration grabs my heart and hands at any time, but most notably in the wee hours of the morning - 2, 3am. Seemingly from nowhere, I begin to hear/feel a melody and I simply cannot stop myself from sitting at the piano or picking up a guitar and trying to capture it....before it leaves.
Most composers are quick to claim ownership of their work - and well they should. However, for me anyway, creating music is an experience that I am witnessing, more than actually inventing. Imagine if I were to come to your house for dinner, and along the way I am driving across a hillside, and I witness a most beautiful sunset. I stop to enjoy such a natural, inspirational scene. When I arrive for dinner at your place, I can't wait to tell you about the sunset.....what the colours looked like, how the evening was creeping over the horizon, the change from gold, to pink, then to blue......I want to share an experience that I witnessed.
That's what writing music is like for me. I feel more like I am trying to describe some amazing event, share an emotion with you.....rather than actually inventing or producing that thing. And I use notes and sounds instead of words to describe it. I realise that I produce and arrange the notes, but the experience is not mine to own....it's something we all share.
So when you listen to my music, please know that I am not saying "hey, listen to this...look at me.See how I play? Hear what I did?"
I'm actually saying "Do you feel this way too?"
I will generally end up with most of the piece of music by the time I leave the instrument. Sometimes I will live with the piece for days, weeks or months.....adding to it, getting to know it better, what it wants to say. Most often however I will take it into the studio straight away and begin serious work on recording it.
I am asked so often, What Inspires You? Life inspires me.