airship

(Photo: Lockheed-Martin experimental airship)

Sooner or later, every blogger apologizes for not writing sooner, even though it never occurred to anyone to have their feelings hurt. You never think you'll be that way yourself, but here were are.

In my own case, I've been working on a top-secret research-and-development project. Or not really -- I'm just trying to write some tunes. I'm up to my elbows in the composition process. I'm listening to hours of rough recordings, listening for "germs" of ideas that might become tunes.

It's a slow process, and it's just how I work. I've never been the type to say, "Let's write a song today." Instead, it comes about as a matter of slow accumulation, playing every day, and when an interesting rhythmic figure or chord progression or melodic line comes along, I record it and move on. In this way I accumulate many hours of recordings, and then, when I undertake the research-and-development phase, as I call it, I review it all. My tunes are pretty simple, but some of them, like "Balladeer" from the "Mood Lit" album, take years to get right. (To hear it, please click here.)

Sometimes I get lucky. The tune "Your White Raincoat," from the "Side One" album, came to me in my sleep, and I just woke up and recorded it. No kidding. (To hear it, please click here.)

As I'm listening, what counts most is the immediate gut reaction. I like it, or I don't care for it. It moves me, or it doesn't. As I listen with my ears wide open, in search of "germs" of musical compositions, the musical phrase or rhythmic figure or melodic figure has to move me physically or somehow engage me before I have a chance to think about it.

In a way, this is an anti-intellectual exercise, and that may be why I enjoy it so much. I ratchet myself down the evolutionary scale and go from being a highly developed ape to being a less-developed ape.  When I hear a tune or a part of a tune that has promise, I hop up and down and grunt for joy.

So far, I have had a few occasions to grunt. That must mean that I'm composing. As I delve through these many, many hours of recordings, I'm very close to my simian nature and can barely form words.

Only now, as I'm taking a break from this regressive process, can I manage to tell you why the updates have been so sporadic, and to tell you that I have not forgotten about you.

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Latest Release: "Pale Afternoon"

 The latest release  from Jim  Duffy is "Pale Afternoon," a  collection of 11  moody and bouncy  instrumental pop tunes. Buy CDs here.

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