I have been writing tunes. This has been spurred on by going along to a class run by the wonderful organisation that is Scottish Culture and Traditions. On Wednesday evenings, I join a group of people who love playing music together (loosely described as traditional music) and we play. Not just our instruments, but with the tunes. All the tunes have been written by someone in the room. It's great. Tunes are heard for the first time. They dance off the page, or out of someone's head, via their instrument or voice, out into the shared space. The start is often tentative. We feel our way through the notes, finding how they string together. Over and over we play, dropping in and out, listening, adding in harmonies. And then something will often gel. The tune gathers momentum (not the same thing as speeding up, which does sometimes happen, it must be said) and it comes together. It can take a while, some tunes sit easier than others. Some go off in unexpected directions. There is something magical about the space of time in which it all comes together. It is transient, untouchable, but nonetheless there. A moment in time, filled with music.
Quite a number of years ago, I wrote a few tunes, which I had almost completely forgotten about. Until, that is, I received an email to say that one of my tunes (or maybe even two) are to be included in a SC&T tunebook, which is being launched at the May Festival hosted by the University of Aberdeen this weekend!
I'm looking forward to attending the launch of the book and also the event at which some of the tunes will be played. I find writing tunes fantastic fun and extremely satisfying. For me, it is a quick and productive process. As with my watercolour painting, I am a very impatient creative, so it suits me really well to work in this way. I'm finding inspiration in all sorts of things - from an unfortunate incident concerning a classmate's dog, to sounds heard on an evening stroll (The Blackbird and the Bumblebee, small extract shown above).
The tulips are simply shown for decorative effect. They were seen at Drum Castle the other weekend (in the walled garden).