18 April 2014


Rather unusually, per this blog post, Jai Jeffryes sent me a nice, brief e-mail message acknowledging receipt of my score.

He may or may not break the unfortunate trend this year, of regular rejection from every call to which I've submitted a score this year.  We shall see.

The temporary unattachment of 121

Op. 121, that is.  A few weeks ago, I began sketches for an unaccompanied clarinet piece for this slot.  While that work was yet in progress, I wrote (quickly, quite quickly . . . probably within a 24-hour period, stretching overnight) the trio for low brass, Le tombeau de W.A.G.  The following day or so, I arranged Le tombeau for a k a rl h e nn i ng Ensemble scoring of alto flute, clarinet, double-bass and frame drum;  and in that form we shall play the piece on the 6th and 7th of June.  These two scores are Op.122 and Op.122a, respectively.

As events have transpired, I have decided not to pursue the unaccompanied clarinet piece;  I may or may not use the material for another work.  Have not yet decided what next to write . . . maybe this, maybe that other.

I may begin by arranging an alternative scoring of Misapprehension, a piece which I had hoped would be be played this academic year.

17 April 2014

Morning memorandum

So to be clear (because even as a joke, you hardly "honor N.'s memory" with the crack "don't quit your day-job"), will you play the [piece] or not?

I have a group of different scoring who will play the piece in June; so while your comment indicates that, for whatever reason, YOU do not care for the piece, I have musical colleagues (whom I hold in even higher esteem than yourself) who perceive its musical merits.

As to your "joke" about the day-job: there is one person I've known here in the Boston area who, for nine years, impressed me as being probably the least tactful person on the planet. Your "joke" has let him off the hook completely.

Finally: let me do you the courtesy (for old time's sake) of taking your joke not as scorn, but at face value. No, I do not foresee quitting the day job, for which I am grateful, as it helps me to support my family, and allows me the freedom to write whatever music I please, for whatever reason I please (such as a memorial piece for N., which you refuse to play at the concert in N.'s honor). In our day, unless your name is John Adams or John Williams, a composer does have some other means of keeping alive.

But I'll tell you something: in 50 years, the music dictionaries will have an entry for the composer Karl Henning, and his substantial catalogue of original musical work. And in 50 years, no one will have heard of, or much care about, [name of group].

Thank you for taking the time to seriously consider my piece.

Best wishes,

16 April 2014

Too busy to blog

And that's been the good thing.

Yesterday's concert at King's Chapel went splendidly. More on that later.

Getting closer to clarification for the June event(s). More on that later.

Wrapped up an elegiac low-brass trio for the 4 May memorial concert, Le tombeau de W.A.G.  En effet, wrapped up not only that score, but a subsequent arrangement, as well, for alto flute, clarinet, double-bass & frame drum, for The k a rl h e nn i ng Ensemble.  And I have a funny story even about that.

For later.

10 April 2014

Looking ahead to May

... though I have much to do yet in April.

For the Bill Goodwin memorial concert, the brass will be able to take part!  The lower three-fifths of the quintet, anyway.  This morning I spoke with the quintet's liaison, and they are game for a trio from me;  and just now, I spoke with Geo. Bozeman (who is organizing the whole do, God bless him), and he knows to expect a brass trio in addition to the elegiac clarinet solo The Tower Room Is Empty (in memoriam Wm A. Goodwin).

I was thinking at first (the time being short) of adapting one of the trombone duo interludes from the Evening Service in D.  Maybe I shall still do that . . . or, since Leslie told me that the brass will not get together until next week, perhaps I shall write something entirely new.

09 April 2014

Piano man

Jai Jeffryes announces a call for piano solo scores.

08 April 2014

Brahms Mash-Up

You're looking at Act I, Scene 1 of a nightmare, intones the immortal Rod Serling at the outset of “Long Live Walter Jameson."  Chances are, he read that line without realizing its musical import, following as it does two phrases unnaturally hacked from Brahms's Academic Festival Overture, two non-consecutive phrases which were bizarrely conjoined — in The Twilight Zone.