My initial path into composition was improvisation, which began when I was about 9 years old after my teenaged piano teacher graduated from high school and left for college. My longtime piano teacher and first mentor, Mrs. Holly, taught me how to write music down, and the rest is history.
Still, improvisation is at the heart of what I do. In fact, I enjoy improvisation much more than composition, because the preoccupation (and ability) to edit simply does not exist. What happens happens, and one cannot erase, undo, or take any of it back. Improvisation can be, and truly is for me, an exercise that frees and liberates one from the shackles of editing.
Over the years, I’ve recorded my improvisations. Just the other day, I came across an improvisation that I made while a student at the SF Conservatory in either late 2004 or early 2005. I really like this improvisation, and I think it deserves an audience, so I’m sharing here for anyone who chooses to listen to it. Click “play” to listen:
These days, I improvise regularly while practicing the organ at St. Thomas. I’ve come up with some interesting stuff, and I will soon share recordings of those improvisations. This post serves as my first in a series of posts featuring my improvisations.