composing, books in the mail, books from the library


Image result for composer at work

Thursdays are days that I am usually recovering from my Wednesday work day. But I still dragged myself out of bed this morning in time to get an hour or two composing done before Eileen got up.

Yesterday was fruitful compositionally. I worked over first drafts of two dances at the organ. I discovered things about them that I will incorporate into their working versions. This morning I deliberately turned to other material. First I worked on an up tempo dance that might end up being the first dance in the set. I discovered that this dance is triple not duple as I had originally thought. I worked from earlier sketches and began to fill in more details.

Next, I decided to look at a sketch I had done of some nice harmonies for a piece. I thought it might be interesting to use these as a basis of a sort of ornamented chorale prelude (ornamented melody, slower moving accompaniment with a pedal bass line). But I heard  the melodic voice as a freer idea and put the melody in the soprano of the slow moving chords of the left hand.

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I have been thinking of adding sections to my compositions where the player can improvise. After working on several measures of a melody I remembered this notion. This melody which works like a free improvisation an option but the perform can substitute their improvisation if they choose to do so. I have in mind something similar to those jazz arrangements for high school bands that include a written out improv for sections where the player can play the written improv or make their own.

While I was working my new Anthony Burgess scholarly editions arrived from England. Last night while I was resting up for the evening rehearsal I finished reading A Vision of Battlements. Today, the scholarly edition arrived alone with my new copies of Beard’s Roman Women, Abba Abba, and The Piano  Players. 

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I worked both before and after breakfast today. By the time Eileen and I had decided on a late lunch, I was feeling a little woozy from working with my musical ideas. Eileen has been working on a weaving design program while I have been composing. She wasn’t quite through when I was reading to take a break so I drove over to the library.

This trip was also Burgess related because I went to pick up my inter library loaned copy of Burgess’s rare The Worm and the Ring.

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It feels almost like cheating that the library system is willing to let me borrow this expensive out of print tome.

The first copy pictured above is a first edition, true, however the generic copy is still $270 bucks.

At the library I ran across several books that I brought home just to look at.

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I picked Thomas Brothers’ book on musical collaboration, Help! The Beatles, Duke Ellington and the Magic of Collaboration off the new shelf. This guy almost won the Pulitzer for his Louie Armstrong, Master of Modernism. I read the introduction and this book looks fantastic. It goes on my list to read in the future.

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Cookbooks can be works of art these days. The How Not To Die Cookbook sitting on the new shelf seems to be one of them.

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Food porn.

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My library doesn’t really have a new section of graphic novel/non fiction books. I usually just go the section and browse a bit looking for something that looks interesting. Today I found An Anthology of Graphic Action, Cartoons & True Stories Vol. 2 edited by Ivan Brunetti.

Image result for frida kahlo making herself up book

Frida Kahlo: Making Herself Up  was with the new art books. This lovely book was put together to accompany a 2018 exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. It is a beautifully made book with many lavish reproductions of her paintings and photographs of her.

I love libraries.

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