Tag Archives: composition

Eight Ideas for Arrangers

25 May

I’m finishing up the arrangements for the concert at the Israeli Opera next week.

I’m certainly looking forward to sharing the stage with the wonderful Ralph Alessi, Marty Ehrlich, Drew Gress and Roberto Dani – all incredible artists.

During the process of arranging some of my favorite Israeli songs, I thought I’ll share some of my ideas about arranging.

1. New chords are not always more beautiful.

2. What do you especially like about the song? Express that in your arrangement.

3. What would be completely inappropriate on the song you’re arranging? Try it.

4. Is there a style of music that you absolutely love, but the composer might have been indifferent to? It might be useful in creating an original arrangement.

5. Nothing changes a song more than changing its proportions.

6. Sometimes you can use a song as a jumping point for writing a new song of your own. Test the limits of the term “arrangement”.

7. If you arrange for specific players, have them in mind.

8. Adding information to the song is obvious. Try reducing!


The Riddle

2 Jun

The act of creating something new.

Sometimes it feels like you’re inventing a riddle to which you yourself don’t know the solution.  You look for it for a while, then hopefully you find it.

This is something that might as well have been said by myself, including the exact age:

“Since age seven, I’ve been composing and have never stopped composing, yet, the creative process is as elusive to me as it has ever been.” – Lukas Foss

This happened to me twice last week:

“The last thing one discovers in composing a work is what to put first.” 

– T. S. Eliot

Sometimes you just have to keep working, and the work eventually brings the inspiration:

“An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come.” — Victor Hugo

And this is by the persian poet Rumi, whom I mentioned the other day:

Birdsong brings relief

to my longing.

I am just as ecstatic as they are,

but with nothing to say!

Please, universal soul, practice

some song, or something, through me!

New music on its way to you.