Wednesday, September 04, 2013

My own progress as a composer: break the work into minatures; Yes, "it takes a long time"

I have recently recorded a number of “short pieces” or “miniatures” based on materials from earlier large works that I had composed or sketched out earlier in my adulthood. This posting continues earlier discussions here on June 29, April 18, and April 1. 

I’ve documented my “progress” on my own “” at this link

I’ve added a few new selections from the “choral cantata” that I sketched out in 1974.

These items are the following:

(1)    * A “Fanfare”, C Major, from the first movement, a motive that I have thought of using as a “doaskdotell” musical trademark.
(2)    * A setting of Psalm 133 (wavering between D-flat and C), near the end of the first movement.
(3)    * Two scherzo pieces, from the second movements, in E Major and F Major.  The E Major is supposed to e a spoof of a Haydn minuet, with the rhythms constantly imploding upon themselves.
(4)    *  Six pieces from the (third)  “Song Cycle” movement. These are “He Said to Me”, “Doubting Thomas”, “Rich Young Ruler”, “Drinking Song”, “Obsession: Upward Affiliation”, and “Losing It”. The words are on a hyperlink at the bottom of the page. 
(5)   *  Four “hymns”, from a fourth “slow movement”, in G, E-flat, A-flat, D-flat, and a “transition” in F Minor.
(6)    * Finale, triple time
(7)   *  My meandering “applause” theme, in F#, which becomes the code of the third Sonata (not symphony).  I admit that in playing the coda, the fourth and fifth fingers on my right hand lacked the strength that they needed to play the passages cleanly and get the right effect.  But the grand piano tone from the Casio is quite effective generally. 

With most of the pieces, I have put them through the Sibelius “renotation” process before creating the PDF’s of the scores.  This helps somewhat.

Among the pieces, a few could be “perfected” to the point of public performance, for example, as preludes in church services (on piano, possibly transcribed to organ).   Among these are the “B Major Chorale” (essentially a “hymn”) from the slow movement of the third sonata, the standalone “Polytonal Prelude” simultaneously in D and E; the G Major Hymn, and perhaps the “Losing It” song.  Most of these fit onto two or three pages.  I could re-enter the into Sibelius manually to get the measure spacing right, but this gets tedious and difficult if it goes on for much length. It would not be too difficult to write one or more of them out manually in ink (as we did in the 1950’s) and photocopy them into a PDF, and then load the PDF to the iPad for performance.

A few of the items on the file have mp3 files. 

Here’s a link on digital sheet music for me to look into.

To record the full sonatas, I would need the help of a studio (and maybe a pianist). As with the second, I can photocopy the original and make a PDF, with some more cleanup work (especially the finale; the opening toccata theme has been entered successfully into Sibelius manually, and sounds pretty effective, if automaton-like).   Photographing originals into Adobe (done at FedEx Kinkos) leads to very large files; I don’t know if that’s a problem loading to the iPad.   

It takes a long time to become a good composer.  Yes, it really does. One factor to remember.  Yes, I have turned 70 recently.  It's a good idea to leave conspicuous notes of where my music (and other stuff) is, so others could do something with.  In the afterlife, I won't be able to do anything about it.  But I will know if someone else does.

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