5-16-09: Epic Improvisation #2 (Dark Ostinato)

5-16-09: Epic Improvisation #2 (Dark Ostinato)

Proving that my ability to come up with clever, or at least fact-based subtitles pales in comparison to my ability to improvise compelling music, this piece is neither particularly epic, dark, nor even a true ostinato.  4:47 is not exactly epic; the theme is not so much dark as it is bold and insistent; and the two-note figure in the bass is not really substantial enough to qualify for ostinatohood. It’s really more of a two-note pedal point. In my defense, the boldness does lend the piece a certain epic potential that is, thankfully, not realized—it would have been too long.

Frankly, my frequent misses with regard to titles is beginning to make me doubt the premise of this enterprise. These titles, after all, are supposed to tell you something about the piece, but this clearly shows that I really can’t understand what I’ve just played—that I need some distance to make a judgement. (As I stated near the beginning of this volume, while the music selections and titles are in fact from the posted date, most of what I’ve written here comes well after the fact.)

So in the literary sense, this is not a diary at all, though it is very much so in the musical sense. Frankly, this written part is beginning to look more like a work of music criticism—of my own music. Like most artists, I’m most own worst critic. But the term “worst critic” can actually be interpreted two ways: does it mean that I’m a very poor judge of my own music, or that I’m too hard on myself?

I’m afraid it’s a case of worst of both worlds: like most artists I have a tendency to fall in love with certain things I’ve created, and can be blinded by that love to the point where I miss the obvious flaws. On the other hand, I can be remarkably mean spirited in my criticism about things that to almost anyone else appear to be just fine, or even great. Perhaps, in this latter case, it’s something in the music that makes me uncomfortable because it’s too revealing. In any case, time tends to ameliorate the excessive tendencies of both sides of one’s own worst critic. You come to realize that you’re not that great, but you’re really not so bad either.

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