Suite from Night Drift is available from American Composers Alliance (composers.com) and may be ordered here .
Program Notes with Score Video
This is a collection of four tracks from the album “Night Drift” which was recorded in the fall of 2009, and released in October 2016. I transcribed these four tracks in the summer of 2017. 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 simulates a leveL of concentration similar to that needed to create the music in the first place.
The album “Night Drift” is unusual for me in that it was recorded at night. I am very much a morning person, but I was on a roll during this session and came back at night and recorded these tracks. As a result, these tracks are a little dreamier than normal. I use “drift” as a pun to name most of the tracks. Since many of the original improvisations were quite long, I divided several of them when making the album. Movements 1 and 2 were recorded together, as were Movements 3 and 4. There is a natural pause between the first and second piece, but the third and fourth piece may be played attacca.