21 October 2009


A brass fanfare at the start notwithstanding, the opening is rather quiet and specific. Even on these few opening pages I am having fun with the process (already well broken-in) of writing some material on the bus, knowing that I will want to ‘enhance’ here or there, and generating those enhancements on the fly while I am folding the MS. into the Sibelius software environment.

Thus, the following material is all on paper from the bus-ride:

1. The tp/hn/tn fanfare of m. 1
2. hp/cl/bsn of m. 2
3. fl/ta of m. 3
4. strings + contrabassoon of mm. 4-6

The clarinet duet of m. 7 I had in my head from ‘pillow-composing’ Monday night.

But, the following additions I added spontaneously last night:

1. The English horn elision from m. 1 to 2
2. The vibraphone ‘rattle’ from m. 2 to 3
3. The little ‘Stravinsky imitation’ in the violins, mm. 2-4 (Why start with the seconds? Sort of on Tallis’ model . . . here the alto enters before the soprano. Also, they’ll be a little extra-alert . . . seconds are so accustomed to riding along with others.)
4. The harp ‘plink’, m. 5

More recent ‘history’ which is making this piece quite easy to write, is that I have been listening not only to Martinů, but to
Agon. Neither of them completely new to me, of course, which is another removal of pressure.

Anyway . . . I am very pleased with this start. Had to make a start last night, as today and tomorrow are long days. I can now do more sketching at the odd free moment, and my work is a bit easier (or, continues easy) because I got my first sketches folded into Sibelius. Partly, I find it a help to have hard copy (even if it is not necessarily the most recent hard copy – though in this case it is) on the side as I continue sketching. Last night’s spade-work means that work can continue even today and tomorrow . . . I’ve got my pen and MS. paper.

Discreet Erasures ticker: 8mm / 025 at 12:00 AM Wednesday, 21 October

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