05 April 2020

The Grand Landmark

Very early in the 'life' of this blog, Gentle Reader, I disclosed that I had started, but was some distance from finishing White Nights. The happy business of today's post is the fruit of determination and patient application. Comprising 20 discrete numbers and two hours and a quarter of music, White Nights, a ballet in Four Nights and a Morning, is done!

A further thought

A virtual neighbor expressed interest in my thoughts on Thoreau in Concord Jail . . . so:

What I thought (and I understand that Thoreau was of a somewhat irascible character, so I realize that I engage in some emotional poetic license) was, here is a chap imprisoned out of principle, so he is there because he has reason, in which he is firm.  In a sense, a man comfortable in his own skin, so that although his body is confined, his soul is free, and he declines to regard the cell as a "punishment," and this spiritual liberty is indeed a victory over his captors.

I conceived of my piece as an exhalation from that plane of the unfettered spirit.

02 April 2020

Incredibly, at the threshold

Partly because it is a designedly brief number, and partly because, when I resumed work on White Nights in July of last year, I had a perfectly clear concept for the piece, I completed Intermezzo IV today.  19 of the 20 numbers of the ballet are therefore done, and only the 6-minute final Scene remains to be composed, and I already have it in clear view.

30 March 2020

Night the Fourth done

After a few days of pulling, pushing, and tweezing, I have now finished Scene 12b "Nastenka! Nastenka! It's you!" which runs not quite four minutes.

25 March 2020

Poised to go on.

Although I did not do any actual work on Scene 12b today, I did my "pre-work."  Even this nearly did itself, as I reviewed a great deal of the music already in the can, in preparing a soundfile which was requested of me in the service of an exciting possibility.

24 March 2020

Music in time of social distancing

With both my church choir and Triad on quite necessary hiatus, as well as the King's Chapel lunchtime concert series, I have taken the cosmic hint, and set to completing (yes, at long last) White Nights.  Today, I finished Scene 12a (call it four minutes).  Tomorrow, plunging right into Scene 12b.

Watch This Space

29 January 2020

One adaptation out, a different adaptation in

Although. as hinted here, I was indeed thinking of following a friend's suggestion, to adapt Snootful of Hooch for flute and piano (as, indeed, I adapted just what everyone was expecting for clarinet and piano) when I actually set out to do so, I was dissatisfied with the thinness of the piano line:  The fact is, I wrote it for the voice of the vibes, and if the piano sounds thin, to rewrite the part in order to do the piano justice, I should make the piece something untrue to itself.  Where I am enormously pleased with the Snootful as it is.  Brian and Ela are wonderfully preoccupied at present with the arrival of a newborn. I do hope they take to the piece, when time may serve.

Some years ago my friend Aaron Larget-Caplan inaugurated his New Lullaby Project, for which, it pleases me to find, my recent berceusePour la petite Jos├ęphine is an apt fit, so I shall adapt that for guitar solo.

Starting to think seriously about the April King's Chapel program.