So, now that the first chapter of Greyscale is over, I’m going to start work on the fifth and final movement of the Suite. For those of you who are wondering, a classical suite has five movement (A Baroque suite, like the Bach cello suites, has a prelude and four movements, usually based on dances). While Greyscale is more of a symphonic suite, I still want to keep the five part structure, since it lets me divide the action well (at least so far).
So, my question is this: What pages should form the basis for the last movement of the suite? I haven’t really had a lot of time to contemplate this, so I’d live to hear people’s opinions.
Thought you should know. Now I’m going to go embarrass myself at the piano master class, which I have not had time to prepare for.
Edit: I did not embarrass myself! Even more win!
So after, my totally amazing morning (which also included the first color page of Greyscale, and a delicious pot of tea), I had a wonderful english horn lesson, where I finally got to play through Aaron Copland’s Quiet City with my accompanist!
Then I went to the grocery store to buy goodies for the composition recital that I was having music played in, watched the DVD of the Earlham Symphony’s epic performance of Mahler’s fifth symphony, and got to sit on a rehearsal of Tripping Over You, which was super fun.
Then, I met with the harpist and the tenor who performed my song cycle for tenor and harp, and had a nice chat with them. Then there was the recital, where everyone had a good time, and several people almost had asthma attacks because the performance of Tripping Over You went so well.
Now, I’m at home, listening to one of my favorite albums (Dimitry Yablonsky and the Russian Philharmonic performing Dvorak), and feeling very good about everything.
P.S. I also got invited to teach recorder to little kids in ENGLAND this summer. If you know me, than you know that I love my recorders, and play them incessantly. I’m ALL OF THE EXCITED!!!!!
OK, so I’ve got a lot of things going on over the next few months, so new compositions might not be coming to this site as frequently as they have been recently.
Next week is the week before finals here at Earlham, so I’ll be studying (although I’ll be posting an updated second draft of Greyscale IV by the 2nd of May, hopefully. Then, I’m home for a week (FINALLY) before I head of to europe for a month and a bit. I’ll probably still do some updates from there, and I promise to review any concerts I go to (one of my pieces if going to be performed in Italy this year. It’s in the archive under Pendant L’Automne. You should check it out). Then I’ll be home sometime around the end of June. I’ll probably write some new stuff while I’m traveling, since I’m gonna be spending so much time on trains, which I always find inspiring…
I’m gonna ask a question of the greyscale readers who occasionally wanter through here: What should I write for y’all next? Fuzzy music for Dice and Nine? Another little ‘moment musicaux’ for one of your favorite pages? A ‘national anthem’ for Eterno (or one of it’s sub-cities)? I’m already planning to do a little slideshow that shows the progression of the story in panels over the music that I’ve written, so you can see how the fourth movement flows with the plot, although I want to get permission from the artists before I post anything like that anywhere (and honestly, I’ll probably just send them the file and let them decide what to do with it).
I’ll ramble more later. Right now, I should get back to work.
Seriously, what kind of music writing software just decides not to play your tremolos and harp glissandos? I spent TWO FREAKING HOURS trying to get back a glissando that Finale decided it didn’t want to play, and I’m still trying to figure out how the hell to get it to play my string tremolos again. I’m not even going to talk about balance issues (suffice it to say that the dynamic markings I have to use to make some things audible is RIDICULOUS!)
Anyway, the upshot of all this frustration is that the fourth movement of the Greyscale Suite is going to take a little longer than I anticipated. I’m also having a bit of trouble figuring out how to handle some of the interactions between Dice and Nine. I’m going to ask my composition teacher for suggestions, although I’m thinking I’ll have to let my frustration subside before I can actually write anything good.
I thought I’d talk a little bit about anticipation today, because it’s something that’s been on my mind a lot lately.
Often, we say that the anticipation of a thing is better than the thing itself. That’s certainly true. I remember when I was finally going to get my english horn; every instrument I tried in a shop seemed better than the last, and I got more and more excited as I imagined the beautiful music I would make with the instrument I would eventually go home with. Of course, the reality is that the english horn is hard to play well, and I was frequently frustrated while I was still learning it. Even today, sometimes I just want to let it gather dust in its case. But there’s still anticipation there, anticipation that one day I’ll pick it up, and the notes will come effortlessly, and the sound will make people cry because it’s so beautiful.
My point is that anticipation doesn’t only come before you get something. It exists at all times. Sometimes we’re super-aware of it, and others we don’t even comprehend that we’re feeling it.
When I write, I frequently come to points where I no longer know what to say. And it’s frustrating, even infuriating. But it’s never enough to make me want to stop altogether. Instead, I find myself anticipating what it’ll be like when I get back in the groove again. And when I get there, it’s often even better than I was able to imagine while I was having writers’ block.
I’ll have more to say about this later, but right now, I’m anticipating taking a shower, doing my astronomy homework, practicing for my oboe lesson, going to orchestra rehearsal (damn you Mahler), eating dinner, and rehearsing with the Jazz band and Salsa Combo.
Yep, it was me. He said some very nice things about the Earlham Jazz Band, and was generally a really cool guy. And yes, he did autograph a program for me, and take a picture with me. I’ll post that soon!
If you don’t know who Max Weinburg is, he’s the drummer in the E Street Band with Bruce Springsteen. He was a blast to play with, and I’m told that it was a full house for our concert with him
Update: Here it is! I’m on the left.