15 February 2021

Whither Now the Heart?

Squid Pro Quo.
Postcards From Red Squirrel Trail

We inhabitants of the north feel differently. Life’s experiences touch us either not at all or sink deep into our souls. With us, it is either mad boisterousness or or bitter tears. Even love, that wondrous emotion which brightens the entire universe [Not Vulcan, corrects Mr Spock] is always bound up in us with a certain sadness. There is no doubt that our melancholy Russian songs are children from the north that we have, perhaps, taken over from the east. The songs of the orientals are just as melancholy, even in carefree Andalusia.
— Mikhail Glinka

A review I neglected to share here: Spektral Quartet plays into the juxtapositions with Experiments in Living.

Lieutenant Columbo appeared in my dream last night.  “Well, this is all interesting, Mr Henning, but since this is a dream of yours, it’s not going to be of much use in my case, I’m afraid. Thanks all the same.”  It did not occur to me until I had awakened, that he might perhaps have considered me a suspect.

In June of 2018, I finished the first movement, The Nerves of a Symphony for Band.  In November, I would suffer a severe stroke.  As I was in rehab, and mentally wishing to return to composing, I had a wisp of an idea for the second movement, The Heart.

In the spring of 2020, for a call for scores, I prepared a different scoring of The Nerves (no, my submission went nowhere—but then, the original scoring is specific to a local ensemble who have not acknowledged the piece in any way. so we might well say it has gone nowhere. period.)

That bootless arrangement done, I began composing The Heart, and yet in a way not at all reflecting my February 2019 thoughts. I have not yet resumed work, but am fixin’ to. My listening of late has included Rued Langgaard’s Sfærernes Musik, Hovhaness’ Symphony № 20, Op.223 « Three Journeys to a Holy Mountain » and Weinberg’s Symphony № 20, Op. 150. These have inspired me to return to The Heart, and indeed to take up properly my original musical idea.

As yet unknown is whether I keep my May 2020 material or jettison it.

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