For the first time in ages, I've actually got around to sitting down and writing some music again. It has been slow to start; but it's exciting to hear how much my compositional language has changed over the years. Added to this is the fact that I'm also—for the first time ever—doing the composition from the vibes instead at my keyboard. I might even write parts for myself [heh]!
A number of factors have possibly caused the urge to write:
having a working improvised group
for which I mean the trio, which has been inspiring. Working with Dave and Josh has brought forth a feast of ideas, in terms of how we communicate as musicians; what it means to create music spontaneously; as well as feeding my own language. Before each gig on the tour, I'd sit on my own and scribble down some words and musical phrases. I'd never pass them on or use them in the gig; but I'd then use the gig we'd just done to build on the stuff I'd written down. Later, at home I'd sit at the piano and walk through them with no intent. But having looked at them over the past week, I'm very happy with the results so far...
My ginkgo biloba has started to produce leaves
If you're not certain what one is, find out. I've got one in a pot: I'm not sure how old it is now. But it's one of my most treasured things. By Winter it'll look like a stick; but over Spring and Summer it shows off its delicate green leaves, which gives it a certain elegance. I look at it, every so often and it makes me smile. Then I get back to scribbling stuff down.
I'm listening to things again
I think I started listening to things again after I got back from Macedonia. When I say "listening", I mean sitting down and giving some music my full attention. When I got back I think I'd received CDs from Alex Hawkins, Louis Moholo–Moholo and Greg Felton and Sean Carpio's band White Rocket, and it's been the first time in a while where I've thoroughly enjoyed each disc. I also realised that I had no real appreciation of John Coltrane [since I only own a live version of Love Supreme and the Ellington disc on Impulse], so I set to work on that. And then I fell back into a good habit; checking out things and giving them my full attention. I've even been listening to myself and enjoying it—which used to happen a lot less than it does currently.
There are more, but I think I'm going to stop there for now. Suffice to say that I'm feeling quite optimistic about my sound world, and am feeling happily creative.