Every now and then I play through older pieces that I never finished for one reason or another, and Ginny is one of these pieces. It was written to honor a close friend of Jerome, the financial client and friend I took care of in 2017 in what turned out to be his final illness. When I met Ginny I was very struck by her strength and determination, her stubbornness and out-front character, as well as her inner kindness and fortitude in taking care of her husband with his health issues. So I wanted her piece to capture all of this! Perhaps I set the bar too high?
The A section I wrote in 2017 came out beautifully, but while I had a basic germ of an idea for the B section, I couldn’t get it to come out right, and basically wore a groove in my brain with that part, such that I couldn’t hear a different part emerging from the A section. Oh no! I was in a composing rut!
Over the years since 2017, I’ve continued to tug at this puzzle in Ginny: what was wrong, and how to fix? I would sometimes be able to hear a new part in my head, a sort of direct download from the universe. I would play it successfully, but then when I went to go capture it on paper, perhaps trying to change the notation on the older version, that older version would re-assert itself in my brain, and I’d lose the new version! So I realized I needed to record myself playing the new idea. But then my iPhone would not be nearby, and I would try to keep the new version alive in my head while I went to get the phone, and lose it by the time I found my phone. Heavens.
But today, I had success! By chance, my phone was nearby when I tried playing Ginny, and I decided to record before I knew whether I would have success coming up with a new part or not. And it worked! What emerged was a way of having the form be AABA, with the B section leading back into the A section harmonically. I wasn’t set on using this structure; I was open to having the structure be AABB, but so far I am pleased with this structure, although satisfied is a better word perhaps, as I sense it in my belly.
I won’t know for sure until I play my new version a few more times, over the weeks ahead, and see if my belly still likes the piece, or if there are other changes to be made, but for now it makes me happy, like how I feel after ingesting the right nutrient for my body.