Perspective: Paving Out Melodies | Northern public radio: WNIJ and WNIU

Something is happening that I never imagined doing. After four years of piano lessons with my exceptional teacher, I started to write music. I’m not talking about concertos or even full songs, but a few solos for the jazz pieces I’ve worked on. Solos that a jazz musician would improvise on the spot.

Improvisation is elusive to me. I’m starting to understand a little about the interrelated scales, chord progressions and varied melodies, and I consciously apply this theory to my compositions. It’s more like finding a mathematical equation, not improvisation – like Monk or Bill Evans or even my friend Missy, who can’t read music but pulls out my piano bench and starts playing melodic interludes. So far this has happened to me once.

One of the things I missed the most during the COVID shutdown was hearing live music. And not just to listen but to observe the musicians and the synergy between them and their instruments and their band mates. The head nods and the smiles they share as they play against each other, and as Bob Weir said of his partner Jerry Garcia, “Finish each other’s sentences. “

When I sit in front of my piano, I decided not to call it practice, but play. Usually it’s just for me and maybe my cat if she hasn’t run away. -ground. In fact, some days she jumps up next to me and brings out her own melodies.

I’m Paula Garrett and that’s my point of view.


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