This is a collection of five tracks from the album “Floating Leaves” which was recorded sporadically during 2005-2006, and released in October 2013. I transcribed the first track in the summer of 2015, and the rest in the summer of 2016. Though the album was released as an album of “improvisation,” using that term tends to give the wrong impression about the music. There is nothing “jazz-like” about it, and any notion that it is casual or haphazard would completely miss the mark. The music was, indeed, spontaneously conceived and captured as MIDI files, however, they were edited and reworked until they were exactly the way I wanted them.
I feel that I am not only more original when I work spontaneously, but I am also able to take advantage of real-time expressive tools that are more difficult to work with when composing traditionally. However, because I conceive the music without respect to time or tempo, the transcription into notation becomes somewhat problematic. After literally years of trying different methods of transcription, I have settled on using a method that keeps the tempo shifts and rubato intact. I transcribe the music “against” a grid rather than following the metric suggestions of the music. Despite my original reservations, I have found this “illogical” transcription method to be the best and most accurate way to portray the original expressive content. It preserves the way in which I use different tempi at the same or nearly the same time. I have also found that this method stimulates a level of concentration similar to that needed to create the music in the first place.
Stylistically, “Floating Leaves” is somewhat transitional. Though my music is always spontaneous, my phrases were becoming more deliberately “linked” through different melodic gestures, or harmonic or textural references. I often think of my music as floating on the surface of a body of water. It rides on the waves of motion and emotion that propel the music forward. The titles of each of the movements should be prefaced by the phrase “floating leaves.” (i.e. – Floating Leaves “On a Reflecting Pool” or Floating Leaves “Flowing Past a Cathedral”)