Snow discovered in the Caribbean

In the course of some time spent this week with a visitor from Barbados, I heard a question I’ve been asked many times: “These songs you compose; where do they come from?” and while the answer to that is fairly complex, there are two fundamentals in play: One, fairly obvious, is that it is a gift a person is born with. Certainly, one can refine it and develop it by application and study, but the basic ability to compose music has to be there, in your genes; you came with it. The other essential is that one has to be an observer, someone who notices conditions or aspects in a society which form the basis of a composition (Bob Marley’s songs, for example, or Gabby’s) or a new way of conveying an emotion or a state (Cole Porter’s ‘In the Still of the Night’; Stephen Sondheim’s ‘Send in the Clowns’).

Qualities or styles will vary from one composer to the next, but the …to continue reading this article, please subscribe.  Already a subscriber ? Sign In.

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