25 August 2022

A Day of impersonating a composer

Run your fingers through my soul, but wash your hands first.
Porridger’s Almanack (Breakfast of Ganglions)

I think I tend naturally to write about forms of transportation and women. It comes from growing up in Fresno.
— Phil Austin of the Firesign Theatre

The background: In September of last year as I actually reported here, I wrote a short Alleluia which, as it was meant for my church choir, was a failure. Why a failure? Although I meant for it to be easy to put together (I included a supportive piano reduction-plus, and kept the whole piece in the same time signature, to that end) at that time, it proved difficult for our altos to attend Thursday rehearsals. For all its keeping to 2/4, my piece is larded with my characteristic rhythmic tricks—and I may have mentioned here in this blog ere now, Gentle Reader, that not all my singers read notation well, so that learning new music takes a degree of demo and imitation—the upshot being that the piece was far too much of a chore for my faithful sopranos to try to learn, without having the alto line to interact with. The piece was, therefore, a monumental non-starter.

Today’s developments: For personal reasons, I have been slow to attend to any musical business, and certainly have done no composing. Yesterday was the day I nominated for tasks related to the October Henning Ensemble dates, and today was Triad Day, as we plan for our November concerts. It appears that to our historical challenge of populating a tenor section, we must add the challenge of populating an alto section. I had planned on having the group sing the Sanctus from my Mass, a piece which would prove rather rehearsal-intensive. That fact plus the uncertainty of our inner-voice situation has me looking for a Plan B, specifically secularizing the abovementioned Alleluia. So, insofar as I have been a composer today, it’s been a matter of re-texting. Mostly using the phrase How short will songs get? for which I have my friend JP to thank. The Opus 174 will now therefore be Rhetorical Question in E-flat.

Otherwise, there is nothing to report. I’ve not heard from the conductors to whom I sent various scores. Not sure why I should write anything more. Success and recognition? I’m nearing the past hoping stage.

No comments: