Ken Vandermark: Creative Process and Work Ethic

“Time will be spent today transcribing material to rehearse Friday with Marker, three new pieces and a rewrite of ‘M1,’ which will bring the book of material to eight compositions in total (each piece belongs to a subset: Melodic, Tableaux, Game; all components are designed to be edited cinematically: cross-cuts, jump cuts, depth of field, fades, flash backs and forward, parallel action, montage). The initial rehearsal process, which was not possible with the complete group and focused on a ‘scratch piece’ to test ideas, helped me understand that my first aesthetic conception for Marker was too close to a combination of the compositional ideas created for ‘Made To Break’ and my contributions to ‘Shelter.’

“When the full ensemble got together in December (with Andrew Clinkman, Steve Marquette, Macie Stewart, and Phil Sudderberg), I had formalized a new approach to the writing, described above, which quickly resulted in six compositions. That rehearsal process showed the flaws in ‘M1,’ which I rearranged for the sessions coming up to prepare for the band’s concert on Saturday, January 21st, at Elastic, for Tim Daisy’s ‘Hit The Ground Running’ fundraiser for Planned Parenthood. I love the process of rehearsing for this very reason- the acceleration of understanding and development of the music. When applied in conjunction to a regular performing schedule the amount that can be accomplished in a short amount is extraordinary.”


(Reproduced here by kind permission.)

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