Inspiration is something that I think is commonly misunderstood. Many people think that music is written when a flood of ideas comes to the writer like a thunderbolt. Once in a great while this sort of thing may happen but the old adage about inspiration being more about perspiration holds true.

Personally I have to write four pieces of music which are discarded in order to come up with one “keeper.” My favorite composer Maurice Ravel spoke at length about this process. When you listen to the Adagio from the G Major Piano Concerto the music seems to flow from an endless stream of easy inspiration yet Ravel said he struggled with this movement and it “nearly killed him.”

I am glad that listeners are not aware of this aspect of the construction of music. It is all part of the illusion that makes for the occasional magic.