Likely I shall quit for the day, for I cannot do it all in one day, and I should probably be pleased with all that I have managed to do.
The connecting theme with the two pieces is (not to make it seem particularly melodramatic) disappointment. Not with my work: I think them both cracking compositions. Both pieces were written for fine ensembles, great musicians and nice people, but . . . things happen in life, no blame to anyone, the result though is, no audience for two pieces which I am particularly pleased to have written, and which I had high hopes of presentation to an audience.
Philosophically, no matter: the pieces now exist, and even if they do not receive a public performance until after the composer is dead, they will reflect well on him.
The one piece (and the first to be written, some eight years ago) was for brass quintet; but, to be brief, the quintet had no, nor have any, use for the piece. They play beautifully, tour, give clinics, but the type of piece which they present routinely, and the type of piece which I wrote, were apparently incompatible. The dedication to that quintet thus had to be removed; and (again, to specify) no blame to them, it isn't at all the kind of piece they can use; and when the composer writes music in the way that he fancies, without regard for external variables, he perforce assumes an artistic risk. The burden rests with him to find musicians who might actually want the piece.
There is no particular reason, I shouldn't think, why the thought was so slow in coming to me, that the piece would work well arranged for flute choir . . . the thought did at last reach me, at some point while in the thick of Christmas preparations. And so today I have at last acted on that thought, and Moonrise now exists in a version for flute choir. Still no guarantee that any group on the planet, to whom I might have access, will actually undertake to perform it. But at the least, there are more possibilities.
The other piece I've worked on today was a duet, and the good news is that the musicians for whom I wrote the piece actually did perform it on a tour of the west coast in 2010. The matter of a recording of the piece has not been simple. And as I am myself a musician with my creative attentions drawn in myriad directions, and under obligation to pursue other lines of work in order to earn my bread, I sympathize only, and in no way condemn.
Still, I have here a piece, and (I think) a very good piece, and as yet no way of sharing it with a broad listenership.
There is a call for scores for a quartet, of whose instrumentation my duet is an exact subset; and so I have decided to take Angular Whimsies and expand it . . . not duration-wise, but texture-wise. Here, too, the work has gone well, I am perhaps half done . . . and I think it well to rest, to do something else with my brain for the remainder of the day, and to leave the completion of the task until tomorrow.