Saturday, May 3, 2014

Final Reflections on the Messiaen Project.

The Messiaen Project has come to an end.  It is ever so bittersweet.  On hand I am relieved.  This project was a lot of work.  I was bound, at times shackled, by Messiaen's techniques.  There were many times when I really wanted to compose freely, but I resisted.  I achieved my goal of 52 pieces, and that feels good.

On the other hand, I am sad to be leaving this project.  It has been an important part of my artistic output, and an important part of my week.  It was constantly on my mind throughout the past year.  Finishing these projects is kind of like moving to a new town or something.  On to bigger and better things, but I will always look back on this period with fondness.

Last night I played a solo concert of some of the pieces at the Bloomingdale School of Music.  It was a wonderful night.  I felt connected to the music and the audience.  Some audience members sent me kind emails afterward, which was nice.  It's nice to know that I'm connecting to people in some way.  Chen Chu took some nice photos of me sharing the whale story (See Majesty October 10, 2013):

I always start these projects with certain expectations, and they often end up going differently than I first imagined.  I envisioned that this past year would be a period of intense study of Messiaen's music and writing.  After reading The Technique of My Musical Language from cover to cover at the beginning, I rarely looked at it again.  In fact I listened to no more than five minutes of Messiaen's music this whole year!  As I wrote in a few posts, I think listening to Messiaen would have made his sound too strong of an influence, and if I had been trying to imitate his sound, my pieces certainly would have been pale in comparison.  Also, I take pride in the fact that most of my pieces are quite unlike Messiaen's.  There's a reasons for that: genius versus regular guy.  But it's also a testament to the idea that we are all unique individuals.   No matter how rigid we structure ourselves, we all still have important, unique voices.  With all that said, I'm happy to report that I did develop a strong relationship with most of the modes.  More and more as the project progressed, I was hearing my way through the scale rather than following notes.

The taste in my mouth is that of gratitude.  These projects have become a more and more important part of my artistic output.  Thank you listeners and readers.  I'm so happy to be able to include you into my process.  It's personal, it's messy, it leaves me vulnerable, but I am glad I'm doing it.  Little by little, ever so slowly, I am able to present more and more of my true self to the world.  Someday I will be fully open, and that will be special.

Along those lines of sharing, I've written a lot about the effect the internet has had on me and us in this project.  This is an amazing time of sharing, and I'm thankful for it.   I've needed to make some personal adjustments of attitude and lifestyle in order to keep my focus and intentions in the right place.  And I've of course needed to keep in mind that the very nature of this project is dependent on the internet, and I take pride in my use of it in this way.

Well, the question is posed.  What is next?  As usual, I've had many ideas for what could come next throughout the course of the Messiaen Project.  I've settled on something a little different.  The wonderful weekly schedule of this project has it's positives and negatives.  It's good for keeping me on my toes and keeping me moving forward.  But I've been desiring something on a longer time scale.  Something that would allow me to work the kinks out of the content.  So I'd like to introduce to my next project which I'll call 12 Films With Music.  I'm looking forward to it very much.

Once again, I'd like to thank all of you who have checked out the Messiaen Project.  Thanks to you who have listened to the recordings, read the posts, or asked me how it's going.  You rule.  I think I'll go listen to the Vignt Regards now.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome, in every respect. Congratulations, Jesse. :)