I used to never delete anything that I had produced digitally, no matter the quality or stage of completion. However, this weekend I’m trawling through my compositions folder and deleting some crusty old works-in-progress. I’m even deleting a select few of my earliest finished leadsheets – saying farewell to the memories of some of my earliest attempts at jazz composition. I’m deleting with a capital D. Not archiving in a zip folder, not printing and binding for the ‘memories’ box, not leaving to stew in the Recycle Bin until I change my mind. Deleting.
As far as my own music is concerned, I no longer attribute value to a score that will clearly never be used in some way – whether in performance, rehearsal, recording, application or competition entry, in an educational setting, as the nucleus of some greater work, or whatever. Nor do I need an archive of twenty in-progress .sib files on hand to track the development of a single piece from start to finish. I’m trimming the dead and dying branches of my practice in order to promote new growth.