My compositional practice

I often draw on visual methods for sketching and scoring. and this lends itself well to simply 'getting something down on paper' at the ideas stage, especially if you are struggling to get started. Sometimes I use drawing as a way of doodling to see whether any interesting shapes or motifs appear as my subconscious drives my hand. At other times, I take a line for a walk with a specific instrument in mind to see how it would interact with another instrument, or to get an overview of structure and duration, without the complication of deciding 'which note' or for 'how long?' which can sometimes interrupt or stall the creative flow of ideas. It's a bit like shorthand. In this respect, I compose from the outside-in and add detail when necessary. It is this approach I employ in my teaching. This does not exclude the use of conventional staff notation but, rather, demands a very real questioning about what role the notation has in determining the required outcome.