Recently, at the beginning of a practice session, I sat down to improvise a little as a warm-up. It’s something I got into the habit of doing a few years ago: at that time I would improvise for one hour to start the day off. One hour of continuous improvisation! And I would set myself different goals or challenges, like technique (octaves, thirds and other intervals, jumps, or dynamic control) or a theoretical task (modulations or counterpoint). It forced me to get creative or else I would bore myself to no end! Since then I have begun to develop something like my own style. On this particular day, I brought recording equipment with me. The last few weeks felt like a creative flatline for me, but this day was a little different. So, here goes nothing! I pushed “record”… and this is the result.

It slowly developed into a cover of a song that has meant a lot to me for a number of years: “Oceans” by Hillsong United. Before I knew it, I was also improvising on one of my favorite old folk melodies, one of those tunes that has been stuck in my head off and on for a number of years: “Black is the Color”.