Rhonda and her son, Isaac, made this video of a piece I wrote last year. It’s very flatter to me that they took the time and trouble to do this.
I have been remiss on updating, I know. But I have been putting in hours on my composition and also have been in a weird space. Who isn’t? What an odd time in America. I’ll try to update a bit more often. In the meantime, a rather dreary description of my recent compositional trials follows.
I think I now have an idea how the second movement to my trumpet/organ piece is going to go. It has been through multiple revisions and has been a bit of a struggle for me. But, I think I can hear the shape of it now and can envision being satisfied with working it out.
So I started with the first version without thinking about using the harmon mute on the trumpet. Then I decided to dedicate this movement to Miles Davis. The harmon mute is a slight nod in his direction. But Lord knows I wasn’t trying to match his genius or even show musical influence or do a tribute.
So the second version, included a B section using the mute. Then I decided the new material was incongruous with the old. This included a carefully worked out four part harmonization of the melody, Lord I want to be a Christian. I cut everything but the muted section and made a third version.
Then I decided the muted section would need a B section of its own. The fourth version of the piece included a fairly worked out organ accompaniment. It was simple but I really liked it. Again, the new B section didn’t fit. So for the fifth version, I decided to use the original four part harmonization in a new key. After toying around a bit with this, I arrived at what I hope is the beginning of the final version.
In its present state I toned down the A section and saved some of the better parts for its return after the B section. So now the piece starts very dissonant and dreamy, moves to a chorale setting in a different key of the melody with the organ playing three distinct lines like a trio under the trumpet playing the melody. Then the A section returns and builds to denouement. I am more satisfied with this idea.