17 July 2019

I laid their daggers ready

Viz. A Heart So White . . . the first consideration is that the fixed media be of a duration suitable to the declamation of the scene, so we might say that I have already been working backwards, in having created the fixed media first. At some point (last year, I think) I timed myself in a reading of the scene (for fun, I should time the scene in the Orson Welles film) and in all this interval since, I have had the idea that 10-11 minutes is about right for the fixed media . . . and there is space both to allow the text its space and breath, and to allow the occasional "instrumental interlude"


Since the nature of the fixed media is such that the voices will not receive much pitch info pertinent to their lines therefrom, it seems to me that the live instruments will shoulder the supporting role of serving as pitch-reference, and I return to the necessity of creating the voice lines.
Prior to today's work, I have two PDFs, dated 15 Jan 2018 and 26 Mar 2019.


So, what I shall do is, just write— get some form of vocal setting onto the desk, and clean up later. I want to have the piece done so that I can get the music to all the participants by mid-August, so that they have a good sense of what kind of rehearsal regime we need in September.

I did make fair progress today, and maybe I'll chip away at
it some more after a bite of supper.


16 July 2019

Angling Towards Work on the Op 150

Bearing in mind the distinction between hardly any work and no work, I did hardly any actual work on A Heart So White today.

Most of my work today was in the way of housekeeping/file management: I packed away the Opus 163 folder; I confirmed that I had final wav files of the two several versions of the fixed media for Mistaken for the Sacred; and then packed away the Opus 141 folder; brought the Opus 150 folder out to the work desk;  created final wav and mp3 files of The Unquiet Castle, essentially as preparation for clearing away (later) the Audacity project and related files (only when the piece will have been finished.)

And, away from the computer, I found my hard copy of the text, and even MS. paper, for pencil scribbling.

All being now in a state of calm readiness, work shall be waded into, tomorrow.
Watch This Space.

15 July 2019

Op. 163a and beyond

This morning, I prepared the piano version (that is: fl/va/pf) of Bicycling Into the Sun (Feel the Burn).

Tomorrow (if I wait until tomorrow), shall I set to serious work on A Heart So White. The fixed media has been ready some little while, now.

14 July 2019

Trio Done

Gentle Reader, although I myself suggested here, that the sand dance which I wrote for that call long since, is a "bagatelle," that noun does the music an injustice. In fact, it has a wonderful intensity and gravity, so that (we might say) the music has waited for its proper environment, so that its new role as the Arrival Point of  Bicycling Into the Sun (Feel the Burn) is something of an artistic consummation.
Only yesterday, I posted that the trio should be done in a week, so, yes, I am a little surprised (and greatly pleased) that I muscled through, and wrapped it up today.

To recapitulate, I have written three pieces for Ensemble Aubade (fl/va/hp):

Oxygen Footprint, Op.138
Swiss Skis, Op.161
Bicycling Into the Sun, Op.163

I shall soon attend to the alternate version of the Op.163 (with piano)


13 July 2019

The Day's Work

I have brought Bicycling Into the Sun (Feel the Burn) to almost the two-minute mark, so I think the piece should be finished in a week, just by chipping away at it day by day.

And I have added the few slight percussion gestures to Scene 11 of White Nights, and I am now content that the Scene is done.

Now that I know exactly where I am with White Nights, my immediate plan is:

1. Finish Bicycling Into the Sun (Feel the Burn).
2. Finish A Heart So White, so that I can get the music to all the participants by the beginning of August.
And then:

3. Wrap up White Nights.




12 July 2019

To Take Stock Before the Home Stretch

Gentle Reader, as noted here, I have come to think of this recovery period in light of an opportunity to concentrate on finishing White Nights.

So, just where am I?

I reconstruct the grand outline thus:

White Nights Outline Rebuilt 12 July 2019

Overture Op75/1 10'30 10'30

Night the First, Scene 1 Op75/2 12'45 23'15
Night the First, Scene 2 Op75/3 06'00 29'15
Night the First, Scene 3a Op75/4 06'00 35'15
Night the First, Scene 3b Op75/5 08'00 43'15

Intermezzo I Op75/6 06'00 49'15

Night the Second, Scene 4 Op75/7 02'30 51'45
Night the Second, Scene 5 Op75/8 13'00 1h4'45
Night the Second, Scene 6 Op75/9 1'30 1h6'15
Night the Second, Scene 7 Op75/10 10'00 1h16'15
Night the Second, Scene 8 Op75/11 09'00 1h25'15
Night the Second, Scene 9 Op75/12 07'30 1h32'45
Night the Second, Scene 10 Op75/13 03'00 1h35'45

Intermezzo II Op75/14 06'15 1h42'00

Night the Third, Scene 11 Op75/15 06'15 1h48'15

Intermezzo III Op75/16 06'00 1h54'15

Night the Fourth, Scene 12a Op75/17 03'00 1h57'15
Night the Fourth, Scene 12b Op75/18 04'00 2h01'15

Intermezzo IV Op75/19 02'15 2h03'30

Morning, Scene 13 Op75/20 06'00 2h09'30


As noted here, Intermezzo III is complete.

Here, I talk about work on Scene 11, but I do not seem to note completing the Scene here on the blog: or did I, and I just haven't found that post.  I have just opened the Sibelius file for Scene 11, and I think it may indeed be done, perhaps I was waiting to export a sound file before making formal note on the blog. I shall take another day or so to reflect.

What have I changed, tonight from the outline as I had updated it in July of last year?
I have a specific idea for Intermezzo IV, and I trimmed its duration accordingly.
Also, I have decided that Scene 13 should be somewhat shorter than originally budgeted.  In general, I am feeling that much of the earlier part of the ballet has been sufficiently long-breathed, and that I want the final sequence not to dawdle.


11 July 2019

In the (figurative) bicycle saddle today

I have made a good start on Bicycling Into the Sun (Feel the Burn) am now at the 75-second mark (so, one-fourth done), the piece has assumed its own character,  and I am at a point where I consider just what turn I want to take for the next section.

One thought I have had turns upon two bagatelles I drew up for specific calls three years ago. I thought of the one-minute piece, Out From the Unattended Baggage, and I considered how I might, true to its title, draw it forth from oblivion.

I wondered, in fact, if it might be subsumed into Bicycling... but on reviewing the piece, its pitch-world is entirely alien to my present trio: it is a graft which would not take.

But both the material and the notion are worthy, so I have another destination in mind for Out From the U. B., about which, more later.

The pitch-world and vibe of the other of the two bagatelles, the Sand Dance for flute and harp, make it ideal for such a transplant, and so we have found the perfect home for a short patch of music of which I was always fond.