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Of Lines and Dots #1

The Unknown Beauty of Composing


When I look at a blank page, I can't help but wonder what will eventually fill that void space. Will it be simple, will it be complex? Will it shed light to understanding, or will it cause confusion and blindness with its existence? Will it change the life of the viewer, or be merely looked over as if it was irrelevant nonsense? The simple and yet unfathomable potential a blank space of nothing waiting to be filled always gives me a fiery urge to create. Maybe this is what causes me to awake at 2a.m. in a frantic and almost uncontrollable NEED to compose. My name is Bryan Grosbach, and I am a composer. The idea to write this blog was actually sparked by a friend of mine several years ago. Now with a website, it seems appropriate to start to at least jot down my thoughts, hopefully at the amusement of some, and as a sort of 'historical reference' for me. After all, it's always fun to look back on ideologies and opinions one had at some time, to find that the opposing side is the one now that you believe in, right?

Anyways, this friend (a fellow composer) told me that he thought it was interesting that we composers take an amazing, and thrilling journey while writing a piece; that is to say this process is often carefully approached; we add stuff, take stuff out, condense, expand, and do all the other millions of things we can to the music we write. We take this complicating, frustrating, and exhausting journey to finally arrive at a "finish" (He used this term carefully, since in our eyes, it's possible that a piece never truly feels finished). That product is then listened to by a group of people who have never heard the piece before. These people then decide whether they enjoyed it or not, without ever even knowing the secret and life-changing beauty of the process; the road-map of how we arrived there! Some here might point out that if we did our jobs as composers, the audience will have taken this journey too, since our music is reflective of ourselves and sometimes our process. To some degree I can hop aboard that line of thinking, but I still feel that there is a gap or naivety that can't ever be bridged. The beauty of the step-by-step process of writing that particular piece is never impressed on anyone but the composer. This sometimes breaks my heart. One of the goals for this blog I think will be to perhaps take you folks on the same journey I do in writing a piece of music. Writing down thoughts, events, lessons I have learned, steps I have taken, and decisions I have made -all whilst composing, reflecting, or even conversing with others -will help show you how beautiful the process of writing music is. But why is it important that you understand the process?

I am not so sure, but I know especially now that understanding one another is incredibly important, and music is the very language I think we can use to connect everyone in such a way. That being said, I hope I can accomplish this difficult task.

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