21 May 2014

Six of the nine ears, and White Nights

Yesterday's 9th Ear rehearsal was excellent. I see people walking about like trees sounds as if we had been playing it the day before, rather than a month ago; in fact, it was the best we have played it yet, so come June, it will be bristling.

We played through Le tombeau de W.A.G. twice, and it already sounds very good . . . and again, we've started rehearsal early, so, ever upward.

How to Tell, which is a lot of living in 11 minutes, is still in a process of gradual refinement (and we are already at a substantially good stage). We played it through, and it was mostly roughly-as-good-as-we've-ever-done; and we went back to clarify a couple of passages.

Afterwards, having only a dollop of reserve energy, I puttered with White Nights, adding some highlighting to a ten-measure stretch of Scene 1. This is the way, I think: take my time with adjustments, get it just so . . . and at the last, it will be better than if I had had the time back then to finish it.

In Arranging News, I will toss off a string arrangement (2 vn & va) of Le tombeau de W.A.G. And recast These unlikely events for clarinet in B-flat and alto clarinet in E-flat.

It is years since I saw the Finale files of White Nights . . . and I wish I had had the presence of mind to generate PDFs of them all. (The fact that I have PDFs of the Overture, Night the First, and Intermezzo I is probably the result of my herding them together to show a conductor or two.) A fellow composer (from out of state) has graciously assisted by converting the files I have, to PDFs . . . and now I am wishing I had "optimized" them (in Finale parlance). As it is, I have huge systems of full orchestra, with many empty staves, and tiny, tiny notes. Still, A. I am glad to have hard copy (and in all events, grateful for Nicole's help, bien sûr); and B. anything that I cannot quite make out unaided, will yield to a magnifier.

As a result, I have a clearer sight of "my desk" (viz. White Nights), in fact, the clearest sight I have had in some six years.

I: Music finished: one hour and 17 minutes' worth. Though the first order of business is, getting all of this "live" again, as Sibelius files. If I can manage that by Independence Day, I shall consider it the Eighth Wonder of the Modern World.

II: Numbers in some substantial state of progress: will amount to about 20 minutes when finished. I may not wait for the outright accomplishment of I. to proceed here.

III: Music remaining to be composed: 34 minutes, according to the present state of my grand schema.

Understanding that this is a general notion, and not a binding commitment . . . Completion (at last) by the end of 2014 is possible.

No comments: