The Dave Douglas Workshop took place at the Michiko Stage Room yesterday. Thanks to all who attended!
We had a nice balance of instruments and instrumentalists. We played through one of my pieces and 7 pieces that were brought by participants. Everything sounded great–each piece presented a different set of challenges and opportunities. We discussed in depth: different approaches to writing for improvisers, different approaches to rehearsal, and clarity of notation and communication between the composer and the player.
I learned a lot, as I always do in these situations. Clarity, above all, seems to be the key thing. Clarity, even if it is your intention to be unclear, do it with clarity! What is your idea, how is it expressed, and how do you communicate it to a community of players, all with their own differing backgrounds and expectations? How do you unite that community in order to express that idea? It’s funny that each piece presents its own responses to these questions. Each piece demands its own answers. And yet we seemed to always come back to clarity as a key to expression. How we feel, how we think, how we speak, all comes through in the music.
I’m grateful to be able to offer these independent workshops, and I am thankful to the musicians who show up and share their music and their thoughts. We plan another workshop some time in the spring. Stay tuned to this channel for more information.