a little set back


This is weird. Last Wednesday and Thursday, my Google Analytics tells me I had over a hundred hits here each day. Very odd.

I haven’t been blogging because I am using all my extra time to work on my composition.

On the up side, I sent a pdf and wav file of my first movement to Rhonda and Jordan. I was inspired to do so because Jordan emailed me to ask how it was going with the composition. He also told me he enjoys reading my blog (Hi Jordan!). He and Rhonda quickly responded to my first movement. I was very encouraged that Jordan seems to take my work so seriously and is so encouraging. At this time of my life, there are few people in that camp and it is flattering that Jordan is so supportive. This is especially true since I think he is an excellent musician.

On the down side, I hit a bit of snag with my second movement. I decided to dedicate it to Miles Davis, whom I admire greatly. I thought it would be cool to have  a section in it where the trumpet player uses a harmon mute. This is something Davis was known to do.

Word of the week: sourdine — Song Bar

I had the second movement mostly done and needed one more section for it. Sometime last week, I came up with some ideas utilizing trumpet with a harmon mute that I was very happy with. After sending off the first movement to my colleagues, I returned to the second movement, thinking I could tidy it up quickly.

Unfortunately, it seemed that the sections I had previously developed didn’t fit together very well. One of these sections is one that I think works very well. The bad news was that I liked the new section better. So I winnowed the piece down to just the new section, discarding the original parts that I liked but didn’t fit with the newer ideas.

This decision rattled me. It reminded me of writing prose. Sometimes I end up discarding the first paragraph or first page after i get going. I’m pretty sure the new section is the one i want to develop. This sets me back a bit. I’m now pondering coming up with a new B section to the second movement.

There seem to be stages of composition for me. The initial conceiving of ideas is one stage. This is a hard one to prime. The spinning out of ideas into more elaborate development and treatment is a completely different stage. The final stage is one of polishing, adding details like articulations and adjusting the notation to be more clear. The last two stages are much easier than the first and respond to discipline and energy.

My set back throws the second movement all the way back to the initial conceiving stage of coming up with ideas for that B section. it’s not quite starting from go, but it definitely requires different energy.

I have some ideas for that section but I’m trying to let them gestate for a while. I’m not planning on working on the piece at all this afternoon. The third movement is close to being done, but I’m feeling less secure about the whole thing.

It helps greatly that my colleagues are willing to put in there two cents. Thank you, Jordan and Rhonda!


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