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first movement here:
What is "sonata"?
It is one of teh oldest forms of songwriting in European history, dating back four centuries. Strictly speaking, it is songwriting born out of instrument instead of voice.

My use of sonata reflects its tradition. But thus far, I have centred my work on keyboard, electric guitar and bass. My first instrument, the acoustic guitar, I have only this year written for as well as the first instrument I am known for in my community, the drum set and percussion.

Sonata is intended to report, in musical form mind you - not words, what is going on in the world from the ears of the songwriter. Make no mistake. Though sonata may not seem as prominant as lyric verse, its affect on the music of western civilization is far more pronounced than even folk music or rock and roll. But I feel the form needs reinventing as the music establishment is pretty much permanently stuck in the pre-1950's.

My approach, then, is not so traditional. Sonata is not about musical instruments being the but rather the imagination involved in creating song built on the ancient past of lyric, as with the Book Of Psalms. Were traditional songwriting rests with hands-on creativity alone, I take those scraps of riffs and melodies and turn arounds and that are simply the product of modern writing of music for many generations now and find a way to make it into a "movement".

A sonata tends to have three or more movements, often seperated by tempo: a moderate movement (by way of introduction; warm-up) followed by a fast piece (like yourself playing with the skill of a soloist), and ending somewhere inbetween - a fast dance or a moderate solo. Timewise, for what it is worth, the first is long, the middle is short, and the end is, again, normalized. Do not think of a movement is being like a song were the sonata would then be like a "mini-album" of instrumentals. Sonata is almost always written chronologically, thus telling a story in order of composition. Again, rules applying were they may.

Another way I think of it is that sonata is a form of journalism in musical form. The strength of a sonata is, thus, mistaken in modern music, bent on securing "songs" according to sales of individual pieces (believe it or not, that is precisely how "good music" has been defined since the Fifties). In this way, the listener of music today is often acting out of a lack of knowledge of music. I often find that the most up-to-date modernistic techno pop songs are little more than ancient ritual set to electronic devices, thus called "hip" and considered progressive, Modern. Yet, again, it is more accurately and precisely Ancient.

In this way, too, modern afficianados of music, which is a high porportion of the population, takes a movement out of context of its sonata because it 'sounds like a great song'. In fact, it is more like taking a chuck out of a song and calling it a great song. There are many factors here to consider, like copyright law and cultural industry. But that would be too much to get into here.

The better I can listen and pay attention to what is going on in the world of music, the more my sonata - should I make one (I am very, very slow to doing this, spending years working towards a single sonata) - takes into account more and more of the globe the better it reflects what is going on the more powerful I find the sonata to be the more I play and play it or come back to it at key points in my life.

I guess the point here is that people veer away from words like, sonata, lumping it with words like, classical. But there too the public remains uninformed. Seems the signature of our time? Classical is not a Genre, like rock or rap or grunge, but a Period in History. To say I am a classical musician? ... I might just as well say the same for a John Lennon or Elvis Presley, the two post-Fifties bookend standards by which all musicians are expected to earn their keep to this day, to the exceptionary exclusion of the keyboard instrument.

Proly just kidding on that last point.

Change does not come through revolution. It comes by finding out what the Present is. And then it comes about by living in that present and contending with the mountains of problems that arise from a nacent public expecting to be entertained. They will pay just about any ridiculous price for it, too. We are communities of slaves who wish to fool ourselves into believing we are not slave.

My second sonata for keyboard is essentially built out of blues guitar and is entitled, Playlist (approx. 1997 to 2001).

The title of my present new sonata, still germinating, on keyboard is now, "Discography". I continue work here on my drumset, second movement.

POSTSCRIPT Being creatively insane, my hope this year will be to create a sonata for my sixth and last instrument, for voice itself. Maybe something like Speech-To-Text for a title?

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