Compositional Process, Pat Metheny

1993 by Gil Goldstein for The Jazz Composer's Companion, Advance Music
[English traslation, original is German]


see also: Compositional Process, Lyle Mays by the same author


The main reason I began composing was to develop a source of material which suited my conception of playing. At the time I started writing seriously I was working with Gary Burton and starting to do my own gigs. The tunes Gary played seemed to fit my guitar playing, but those tunes were much more keyboard oriented in other ways - like Mike Gibbs' and Carla Bley's tunes. Their music fit will with Gary's conception, which is obviously very keyboard oriented.

Some of the early music I wrote was a little more guitar like. For instance, a song like "Omaha Celebration" on the Bright Size Life recording, was written on the guitar and the changes are really guitar oriented. Many of the tunes I wrote in that period were designed to emphasize the unique features of my guitar playing style.

Actually, "April Joy" was the first song I ever wrote. It's typical of my tunes - the kind of chords that are in it and the weird accents. "Sea Song" is another early composition which was written the first time I ever saw the ocean. Being from Missouri, I didn't see the ocean until I was eighteen years old.

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