29 April 2013

By this hand

Puff the magic dragon

Lived by the sea,
And frolicked with Jackie Paper
Near the tomb of Annabel Lee . . . .

After a sustained period of sketching three measures one morning, and seven measures the afternoon of another day entirely, I am entirely within reach of finishing the Organ Sonata, Eritis sicut Deus, scientes bonum et malum.  The apparent fits and starts of the composition process do not appear to signify, as I look over the score;  in many ways, it is as snug a bit of writing as I’ve ever done.  Indeed, I have intuitively “felt” the ending to which the movement has trended, and only this morning realized that it is, in fact, an inversion of the first movement – which is entirely harmonious with the motto of the piece.  The movement will be briefer than I had quite been thinking, all this while – but that is all to the good, too.  It wound up becoming essentially a toccata, and (as I tend to right them) a gnarly toccata, too – so, the briefer the better.  And so much the better to serve either as (potentially) a vigorous postlude to a service, or the energetic close to a recital.

As I reflect on the recently complete scores – Misapprehension, Annabel Lee, the Organ Sonata – my sinews bristle with the awareness that I am at the top of my game.  And as Hamlet tells Horatio, The readiness is all.  And composition is the sort of game where there is not a decline from the top of one’s game, but only a vantage point from which to gain further heights.  I think this is about the right point at which to finish the setting of Whitman’s “The Mystic Trumpeter” for soprano and clarinet.  Not to sound like rationalizing the procrastination – but the piece now will be much better than I might have written before.

While I wrap that one up, I shall start mulling ideas for the clarinet/marimba duo, Grapefruits of Rage.

Separately – while I thought that this was exactly the phrase as related to me when a friend spoke (in an affectionately jokey manner, to be sure) of his favorite country songs . . . the only results on the Internet to show for “I Sure Could Learn to Miss You, Baby, If You’d Only Go Away” are posts which I made, myself.  What if I made that up?

What if I entirely made that up? [Well, it wouldn’t be entirely . . . there really was another person’s remark, back when . . . .]

No comments: