12 May 2010

Tough Decisions


Life is filled with some really tough decisions. This hot sauce choice has provided a recurring challenge in my life. Perhaps this is a dramatic understatement for life's legitimate trials, but days when a hot sauce choice is the most pressing conflict are made all the sweeter by the days with more complicated issues.

Seemingly small, irrelevant decisions like this face a composer every day (particularly when one draws the analogy, as I often do, between cooking and composing), but in reality they're actually not all that small and irrelevant. In honor of Andy's peculiar choice of hot sauces, I chose the dilemma between two different types of shakers. How does it sound? How does it behave when it's rolled? When it's struck? Is it better for smooth dynamic arcs or sharp percussive strikes? Does it have more of a hissing high-end feel, or wooden middle range feel? Does it create sound by moving lots of small beads or sand, or is it by the clanging of a few larger chunks? How loud does it get? How soft? How quickly does it speak (ie, is it quick and chirpy, or do you have to coax the sound out) ..... etc etc etc

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