13 August 2013

Progress report

On my lunch hour yesterday, I immured myself to set the entirety of the remaining text;  from the morning’s work, the gyroscope in my musical mind was still humming with a sense of the character I want the singer to create for the piece’s conclusion.
Last night, I relaxed . . . this morning on the train, the work was not generative.  Though it may not seem the task one would choose to do on a moving train, I started a fresh copy of the voice-line of the final stanza, leaving a blank staff beneath for the clarinet.  Yesterday’s burst of text-setting work yielded some 61 measures (including a couple of written-in breathers for the soprano).  The (slightly) earlier sketch of clarinet music is some 32 measures;  and although I drew that up with a certain arc to it, I knew what I did not know (at the time) – that is, how much space the text would actually require.
. . . which in fact was space enough, that a diversion to a different pitch-center in the middle was called for, so that (and I was morally prepared for this from the outset, anyway) the clarinet sketch could not in any case rest intact, but would serve as a source.
I am repeatedly reviewing the score so far, and between (a) the voice-line, with which I remain largely content, (b) the clarinet sketch, and (c) the evergreen prospect of referring to earlier material, I have all the musical goods I need to compose out to the end of the piece.  The act of writing out the voice afresh, longhand, will of itself set the necessary sparks off.
For that middle section, I am thinking not merely of changing the pitch center, but of a tension between different pitch centers for the two lines;  no harsh tension . . . more a gentle stress . . . .
The great practical question which I have thus far disregarded entirely is:  will I have page-turns?  (I mean, I have some;  will I have all that a clarinetist requires?  Tune in our next episode . . . .)

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