Journal entries
Le Bon Journal


Bon Journal

Inertia and momentum

When I was contemplating how long I should stay in Taiwan, I considered the effect a prolonged trip would have on my composing, my writing, and my learning Dutch. In early April, I was on a roll, in terms of composing. And I knew that it would be difficult to find a piano, let alone the time and space, to compose.

The good news is that I was able to continue my writing by having my laptop with me. There is a certain inertia required to achieve good writing and good composing. It takes a long time to build up the momentum for churning out work that shows signs of continual improvement.

I am now trying very hard to get back into the swing of things. I sit at the piano totally uninspired. Composing is not easy, especially after a long lapse. Fits and starts don't make a composer, laborious dedication does. I tried a few exercises from a theory book to begin with and then got distracted by an emotional poem.

It's a poem written in Dutch, a language that has now become as opaque as the cocoon that envelopes me as I try to overcome the post-holiday blues. Two weeks of speaking only Chinese have nearly wiped out what little I know of Dutch.

I mistakenly thought it would be easy to fit a melody to the short Dutch poem. I deliberately chose a range for the tenor voice, in one octave of E in a key whose guitar chords I could play easily, namely, Am, G, C, F, E, Em, and Dm. Beginning with A minor, I modulated it to A major.

After struggling with it for two days, totally consumed by my desire to make it beautiful and perfect, I gave up. It's neither beautiful nor perfect. Worse, it's not even inspiring. What is missing?

Perhaps I should give up trying to do anything substantial and take baby steps instead. Rome was not built in a day. And neither is a masterpiece.

5 May 2004 Wednesday

Related links:
Rhythm and flow
Unaligned, uninspired
Learning Dutch
Like this entry?
Your comments to editor:
Your e-mail address:
Tell your friends about this Bon Journal entry:
Your name:
Your e-mail address:
Your friend(s): Be sure this field is filled and correct!
 (please separate additional addresses with commas)
Your message:

Anne Ku at Ilp in May 2001
Anne Ku

writes about her travels, conversations, thoughts, events, music, and anything else that is interesting enough to fill a web page.
Support the Bon Journal by keeping alive and free. Find out about Sponsorship.