Recently I’ve been playing lots of gigs at libraries in New England. They’re very interested in my 60 minute program that uses music, guitars, and lecture to discuss how the guitar has gone from parlors and homes to the largest concert stages on the planet as the world’s most popular instrument. At the CD table after each show I’ve been surprised to hear people notice that I’ve composed most, if not all, of the evening’s music. I keep forgetting that these folks are there for the information and to support their library not necessarily because they’re a fan of my music-most of my shows are ticketed events and the folks coming know who I am. The folks that come to see me at the libraries think of me as a guitarist/lecturer while I’ve always thought of myself as a composer who plays the guitar, and that got me thinking about why I compose music.
For as long as I can remember I’ve heard music in my head; I hear it pretty much non-stop from the time I wake until the time I go to sleep. It’s one of the reasons I rarely listen to music anymore as it’s akin to having two radios playing two different radio stations at the same time. This is especially true when I’m in ‘writing’ mode and have one or more pieces of music in active composition mode. When I was a kid I never told ANYONE I heard music in my head-I was a dumb kid but I wasn’t stupid enough to tell anyone I was hearing things that weren’t there. And I honestly thought the music was stuff I’d subconsciously picked up over the years; I had no idea the music was ‘mine’. (Still not sure about that). Continue reading