Wednesday, March 1, 2017


In the middle of writing Red, it occurred to me that a series of color-based pieces for string quartet might not be a horrible idea. Not knowing how long it would take for me to get around to more, though, I decided not to announce the idea at the time. Even now might be a bit premature, as I don't know if two quite qualify as a series.

Still, the intent is there. I thought that Yellow would be the second installment (and I even have the bare inklings of concepts for Blue and White),but I got an idea for Black a couple weeks ago; when I got back to working on it last Saturday, I ended up completely throwing out what I'd written up to that point, retaining only the tempo, time signature and the key of G minor, albeit with a strong octatonic flavor (Red is strictly octatonic, centered on E).

A long weekend, courtesy of a medical test (I passed!) and Mardi Gras (which I once more successfully avoided) gave me enough relatively uninterrupted time to pretty much finish it yesterday, except for a few minor tweaks earlier today, which I guess makes this a Lenten piece -- maybe it should be Purple instead of Black, but it was written as Black so that's what it is.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Rondo in C Minor

This goes back to 2014, when I got this little idea in 17/8 but set it aside, because I thought the A and B sections of the rondo form were too short. When browsing through scores last weekend, I came across it and realized that these two sections were actually just parts of an overall A section, itself having a form of AAB (the second 'A' a transposition of the first). I came up with a B section (itself AABC, with a similarly transposed repeated A and the B echoing the 'A' part of the slightly shorter overall A section).

The overall structure became AABABA-coda (with no strict repeats, as each occurrence of a section has the left hand do something a little different), the final A blending into the coda.  A brief cadenza-like passage leads to what is here the second of three versions of the ending (longer than the first version but a little shorter than the third).

Originally written out in 17/8, I decided to break it down in order to better show the subdivisions (mostly 4-4-4-5 and 5-5-4-3), and because in the coda there are some 13s, 10s, etc., along with a couple more 17s.  Apart from the rhythmic oddities, however, this is very traditional.