Gotta love Moleskine. They do two sizes of music manuscript notebooks; a really small one that genuinely fits into a pocket, and a bigger one that alternates manuscript and blank pages. They are so cool. Nearly as covetable as the Sigur Ros hand-painted Moleskine notebooks. Except you have to write in these yourself.
For me, I find that I’m not great at writing tunes at the computer. There’s something about sitting in front of Logic that makes me go into arranging/programming/faffing about mode. So for most projects, I’ll try and get some time in front of a piano with a pencil and a little notebook, and work out the musical material for a score away from the screen.
These little notebooks become almost totemic items, so it was a bit weird having one get all washed up in a domestic leaky roof incident. The photo above is from the large Leuchtturm1917 manuscript book that I did all the sketches for Entanglement and Tender Symmetry in. It also has red wine stains, and is much treasured.
When I’m mapping cues out, sometimes I’ll use a big A3 pad of manuscript. You can usually get 100 or so bars a page for sketching purposes, and it’s often much easier to see the shape of a cue on paper than it is on screen.
These days I seem to buy more notebooks than I fill, but there are worse vices.