Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Updated Update -- 6/6/12, re-updated 6/23

Just in case anyone's reading this (or, more likely, as a reminder to myself), here's what's been going on.

As stated in earlier edits of this update, the structure of Perenepsis #3 is already completed, only working out details at this point. Also in piano-land, I'm still about halfway done with another fugue, a three-voice one in D minor.

Chamber works: I have a piece for clarinet and string trio that I suspect will go quickly once I get past its current roadblock (roadblock has been removed, but work on other pieces has stalled this one); it's in 5/4, but ambiguously so, and contains some Gregorian Chant in an inner voice (as does newly posted Shepherd's Call). I've also made progress on two more movements of my String Quartet #3, one movement of which is already posted as my Little Fugue; both of these are uptempo movements, one in 5/8, and the other played entirely in pizzicato.They're fun little tunes. When you listen to Haydn as much as I do, some of it is bound to rub off, and this has led to a piece in the style of my musical hero; I work on this one occasionally, generally not right after listening to any Haydn, as I don't want to actually copy him (and I've been listening to a lot of Haydn lately, especially his quartets, so have left this alone for now). Finally, I also found another piece for string quartet that was "hiding" behind a non-quartet sounding title (Above and Below), and have resumed work on that one, too. And finally, yep... found yet another idea from a couple years ago, this one for brass quintet.

Orchestral: I've got four five pieces going here, all much more substantial than Bells. One is the remnant of my long-ago abandoned Frankenstein opera -- I liked the idea for it, but faced three major obstacles: 1. I haven't done any vocal writing to speak of; 2. it would be difficult to put together an actual production even if I did finish it, and 3. I really just don't like opera very much. So, what would have been the overture, along with additional themes from my sketches, are going into a sort of symphonic poem that is about halfway done, as far as I can tell at this point. This is fun stuff. My second one, Testimony, has a similarly eerie atmosphere to the Frankenstein thingie, but is more a set of variations for orchestra. And then there's one that is also solemn but I think not quite as eerie, and I'm thinking it may be one movement of an actual full symphony. I also found some initial scribblings of another piece (also hiding behind a misleading title) that I may work on along with everything else. One more orchestral idea has made it from between the ears to a few scribbled notes on graph paper (didn't have any manuscript paper handy when it hit me).

This isn't everything -- there's the companion piece for my Untitled Prelude, a not-quite-a-fugue piano piece in C, several old odds and ends for piano, a salsa instrumental, a Celtic tune, a difficult categorize thing for a motley ensemble called Prof. Murgatroyd's Excursion Among the Ruins of Zurm (the name of the piece, not the ensemble), an idea in 7/8 for which I haven't yet determined the instrumentation, and a few ideas still just fermenting upstairs -- but that's what I'm working on now.

The bulk of my attention since the June postings has gone to a couple of the string quartet pieces, the brass thing, the salsa, and a sonata for viola and piano -- oops, that one's not on the above list, is it? Of course, by the time anyone reads this my priorities will probably have shifted again...