30 October 2014

Derned if I recall

Once (not terribly long ago) I had a conversation with someone, and there was potential opportunity for a euphonium-&-piano piece, for a crack player on the brasswind.

Not that I am at liberty to address such a piece right at present but . . . I do wish I recalled who it was . . . .

29 October 2014


Took a nap.  Modified the marimba notation in just what everyone was expecting.  Back to sleep.


Many and various tasks want doing ... a sense of being a little out-of-breath, partly because a new exigency in the form of an ad hoc task flies in at the transom then I am quite ready for it.  The violin-&-handbell piece still wants finishing, I need a version of O Holy Night with clarinet, I need to get the urgent tasks off my desk so that I can return to The Mysterious Fruit.

Good (and timely, necessary) communal work organizing the 12 Nov concert. And, with an eye on the calendar, since Olivia has asked for a slightly modified part, that readily becomes the first priority. 

28 October 2014

Springing Thoreau

My most scandalous work (to date, anyway) may have a future.

27 October 2014


Yesterday morning, our choir's anthem (Lord of the Dance as arranged by John Ferguson, plus handbells arranged by myself) was quite a good hit. I have yet to check the audio. Should be a good addition to the 14 December Christmas concert.

The Choir of First Parish in Wayland sang Love is the Spirit as part of the Installation service for their new Minister late yesterday afternoon. I was touched by the fact that so many of the choristers made a point of thanking me for the piece; and their director, Pauline, tells me that they will sing the piece as part of a regular service sometime. I've also sent Pauline the Kremser & Wie lieblich est tp/org pieces, as well as the same arrangement of The Snow Lay on the Ground which we are presently preparing at Holy Trinity.

One side benefit from singing along from the Lux Nova imprint: I've found a couple of typos, not in the music proper, but in the text at the head of the first page. Nothing so coarse as any misspelling (which of course we should have caught before ever going to press), just a couple of errant characters, which one would need to look at that part of the page closely even to note.

The pedal obbligato I had written for the hymntune Slane, I cannot seem to scare up anywhere. I feel the inevitable pang of regret at the work "lost"; but, honestly, I think I should probably do just as well taking part of this evening and just writing it afresh . . . the result will not be lesser than whatever I had written earlier.

Very encouraged by a fellow composer's thoroughly positive reaction to Thoreau in Concord Jail.

25 October 2014

The most trivial blog post this month, and that is a promise

If you needed to summarize Wagner in two words, you could hardly aspire to do better than “mostly loud.”
When I put the DVD of The Last Samurai in the player’s tray, the disc would not play.  I tried repeatedly to clean the disc’s playing surface (which, actually, was pristine), but NBG.

I am posting this in gratitude because I’ve never had this experience before, and I am grateful it happened with a movie in which I was not particularly invested.

24 October 2014

Above the flood

Choir worked hard at last night's rehearsal. There is a fair deal of work for each rehearsal, as we gear up for the 14 December concert (and, of course, keep atop of the week-to-week service requirements). Sometimes I feel that the gains are not more than incremental, but I think that all the same there is fundamental progress being made.

Insofar as I have free listening time, this week I have been spending more time with the Shostakovich Op.87, as played by Muza Rubackyté, Aleksandr Melnikov, and Konstantin Shcherbakov.

This weekend is time for my inaugural listen to Vaughan Williams's setting of J.M. Synge's Riders to the Sea, a short opera I have been itching to hear for decades.

Busy weekend, too, all in good ways.