24 May 2018

The Big Picture, 1H18

In late January and February, my energies (and time for composing) were much reduced by one or another of the various wintry ailments which were banging around at the time.  Compositionally, this meant that I felt it unfeasible, to try to bring Heart So White up to public-readiness for the April concert.

There was nothing B-grade about the Plan B (it was more The Other Plan A), which was out highly successful King’s Chapel program of 17 April.  One way in which the concert became something of a different experience for me, was that I played for the entire 25-minute program, which is (simply) more clarinet playing than I do, as a normal thing over the past several years.

There is the temptation to get a little “playing-the-clarinet-saved-me” sentimental.  True it is, that study of the clarinet was how I apprenticed into the Art of Music, and playing the clarinet has always been part of my musical life – yes, even in darkest Buffalo, where the then Chairman of the Music Department was virulently hostile to Performance.  (This is one of the most bizarre notions to share, here in a music blog, but it was the bizarre fact.)

Through whatever combination of being in restored health, having been playing a lot, and drawing to the end of my church choir’s season, the composition desk is purring:  the clarinet trio, Memory Almost Reliable;  the concertante piece for clarinet and string orchestra, Deep Breath;  and now, proceeding smoothly with The Nerves.  Oh, even the mad jeu d’esprit of the Tooth Fairy.

It feels like a return to form.


Jeffrey Smith said...

Was the Buffalo chairman named Umbridge?

Karl Henning said...

No, although it seems I am glad I didn't know this 'un . . . .