One of my favorite recipes to cook is Francis Lam’s Weapons-Grade Ratatouille. (He says it’s done when you take a taste and want to punch a wall. He’s not kidding.)
What makes his recipe tick, and leave you transformed, is the combination of really three important parts:
- Simple, quality ingredients
- Basic approaches
- Copious time for transformation
And I think that’s really true for music-making too.
For ensembles: take quality literature, treat it with respect and musicality, and then allow sufficient time for it to settle someplace lovely.
For choral composers: start with a quality text, set it with respect for its meaning and inherent musicality, and then give yourself sufficient time to discover the most parsimonious conclusions.
Take a minute and read Lam’s recipe – and then count down to August, when a trip to the farmer’s market will allow you to make his amazing product.