jupe hits the wall (compositionally) but recovers


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Yesterday was a tough day for me compositionally. I worked for several hours on some pieces then took them over to the church to run through them at the organ. I found that all the work I had done on one piece (it’s a kind of Waltz) was all for nought.

By the end of the day I was seriously considering withdrawing from submitting anything my self confidence was so shaken.

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This morning I slept in late (7:30 AM), then got up and got to work. I had to go back several versions to get to an acceptable staring place on the worst piece. I found that my original ideas were better than the revisions. So, with just a bit of tweaking of an earlier version I redid the piece that caused me the most grief on Friday.

After that Eileen and I walked over to Evergreen Commons and I exercised for the first time in weeks.

Later I emailed my friend and fellow composer, Jordan VanHemert, copies of three of the movements that are getting very close to being done (this includes the waltz that I reverted to an earlier approach on).  Just for giggles I sent him wave files that Finale can generate of scores. I tend to put together a working score that uses nicer sounds than Final provides for its organ template (oboe, bassoon, flute sounds are so much more acceptable in my software).

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I am drained but I realize that I’m basically on schedule with three movements almost finished and a fourth one that is very close. All of this on the day before Palm Sunday (the pieces are due “After Easter” and I don’t think they mean the season.)


now trying not to compose today


This is a bit odd. When i first began working on my current compositional project, I had to work at finding extended time to concentrate on it. But now I’m working at taking time off from it today since I am feeling exhausted and less than inspired.

Not that I need inspiration at this stage of what I am doing. Instead at this point it’s more like chipping away here and there on a sculpture. The draw back is that as this kind of process happens I periodically completely lose confidence in myself and the project.

I’m not quite there today but I am feeling drained and numb.

I got up with my head spinning with thinking about my piece(s). Fortunately (sarcasm) I had a ton of work to do for church. I emailed all the information for the Triduum to the office. Then I emailed a couple of organists who are possible recitalists for the annual Joy Huttar Memorial concert. I’m trying to line up this year and next. I have had conversations with Charles Huttar (the widower) regarding who to ask and then double checked with Rev Jen about the date and the personnel. So now the ball is in the recitalists’ court.

By the time I was fnished with these tasks it was time for breakfast and then piano trio rehearsal.

After trio rehearsal I spent an hour or so rehearsing upcoming organ music. I’m thinking of playing several pieces based on Christ lag in Todes Banden and also Christ ist erstanden. I’m even thinking of writing a music note for Easter Sunday morning explaining my choice to do pieces based on hymn tunes we don’t actually sing much.

The pieces I have been rehearsing are pretty splendiferous. At this point I’m thinking I might do a Böhm setting of Christ lag in Todes Banden and a Bach setting of Christ ist erstanden (verses 3 from the Orgelbüchlein) on Easter Sunday morning.

Then on the following Sunday I want to play Scheidemann’s arrangement of a Hassler choral anthem (Alleluia, Laudem dicite deo nostro). I have been practicing it and I think it is very elegant and fun to play (and hopefully to listen to). I am indebted to Rhonda Edgington for turning me on to this piece and Scheidemann’s other organ arrangements of choral music. He calls them Intabulations and they are lots of fun.   We are singing a Hassler motet on Easter II so it would cool to pair this organ piece with it.

I also have been rehearsing two settings of Bach organ pieces on Christ lag in Todes Banden  (BWV 718 and 695) and plan to perform both of them sometime in the Easter season.

So these pieces are inspiring me right now to practice a bit more. They all sound elegant and beautiful on the Pasi. It is a delight to spend time with such beautiful music and an excellent instrument.