I don’t know if everyone else has this, but when I’m setting aside time to compose I usually use the first hour or so, especially when it’s at the end of a day like right now, to zone out and let my mind go all shapeless. I guess it helps me sit back and see the wacky patterns that I wind up choosing from among to make my music.
While my brain does this, I’ve recently been watching a lot of cooking shows, and thinking about past experiences - especially trips abroad. I’m not sure why, maybe it helps to think of the biggest range of things I’ve seen that I can, like marching out of a pub in Stoke-Newington and going for a walk with my friend Ella in Hackney Marshes when I was in London last year. I’m about to write a scene from Midsummer, but I’m thinking about the river we walked by, what we talked about, and how we were basically doing speed-friendship since we only overlapped in the city by a day.
It’s like what an old composition teacher said to me, in our first lesson, “but when are you going to stare out a window and think weird thoughts?”