Friday, April 15, 2011

I "recovered" my earliest lost manuscripts with Casio and Logic Express on the Mac

Recently, I keyed in the “lost manuscripts” of two of my earliest compositions into my Casio Digital Piano hooked up to my Apple Mac PowerBook through USB, using Logic 9 Express.  I “reconstructed” the four movements of an F Major Sonatina (age 13), and the first movement and Minuet of the A Major Sonata (Age 15).

Both pieces sound perfunctory, in a way that can be oddly effective. The A Major opens with a scale, in dotted rhythms, over an alberti bass; the scale then simply returns downward as an answer, as if a kind of dialogue (or maybe soliloquy).

A chum at William and Mary that fall of 1961 said “he knew” when he heard the A Major theme in a piano practice room over in the old Ewell Hall (at the time, to the left of the Wren Building).  He claimed he played it for friends, by ear, while home for Christmas in California. It’s funny how these tall tales stick.

I put the keyboard on a metal table, and the computer behind it. Haven’t assembled the kit yet.

One thing, though: Logic has a way of assuming everything is in 4/4 time, even a Minuet, and making it look like your music has a lot of “accidental” polytonality.  It doesn’t get the enharmonics right.  But maybe that’s a matter of steady playing.  I still think it was be pretty hard to play an Op. 111 well on a digital piano.

Good work last Sunday at the Trinity Presbyterian Church in Arlington for the Youth choral concert, joining forces with a group from Ardmore, PA. 

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