27 July 2013

Onward some more

There was a good deal of rain this week. Which, as rain, needed for the water table and vegetation, I have no quarrel to. With that backdrop, though, O Gentle Reader, you may understand that when I stood waiting 20 minutes at a bus stop this morning, on a sunny sidewalk beneath blue skies, I took it not as any inconvenience, but as an oasis, a gift.

My spirit thus becalmed, while I was aboard the bus, the setting for the following portion of the Whitman text came to me readily:

Blow again, trumpeter! and for thy theme,
Take now the enclosing theme of all--the solvent and the setting;
Love, that is pulse of all--the sustenance and the pang;
The heart of man and woman all for love;
No other theme but love--knitting, enclosing, all-diffusing love.

This passage is a fresh contrast to that before, not only in tempo and rhythm, but in pitch material, which reaches back to a scale I discovered (though please note that I do not insist that I am at all the first to discover it; I joy to report only that I did not owe my discovery to any music other) while preparing to compose my doctoral thesis. More recently, I made use of it in the Viola Sonata; but of course, I am nowhere near having exhausted its usefulness, any more than centuries of composers have "exhausted" the usefulness of C Major.

Befitting the text, I want the music to have a character at once tender, and earnest, but nothing soft.

1 comment:

Cato said...

Like Michelangelo supposedly said about a block of marble containing a statue, which he "simply" needed to release from its covering, the composer (should?) can view a text in the same way.

The music is hidden in the words, and the composer releases the music to the naked ear.