Week 2 – Haystack

This is a straight 8th, gospel influenced tune written recently for this project. Was thinking of something that would work with just piano and saxophone and keeping John’s sound and approach on his instrument in mind as well. His sound on this tune reminds me a little of Keith Jarrett’s European Quartet saxophonist, Jan Garbarek whom I have listened to quite a bit throughout the years.

It often seems that I often spend as much time thinking about song titles as the music itself. For me a good song title gives the listener clues to the songs intention or meaning, but leaves room for the listener to formulate their own ideas as well. For this tune I was thinking of the phrase, “like looking for a needle in a haystack.” I relate this to the big picture/small picture idea. It is completely natural to get caught up in the details of the “needle” while losing sight of the big picture, or “haystack” in this particular analogy. Also, was recently on the the Oregon coast and the ¬†sight of Haystack Rock always provides a reorientation, a fountainhead of sorts.

I was thinking of the main melodic figure that appears throughout the tune as the “hook.” ¬† There is a fine line when repeating a musical idea, to give it weight but not make it too predictable. Mozart’s general rule of repeating an idea three times came to mind here in this case.

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