Sunday, February 4, 2024

Perenepsis XXIII -- 2 a.m.: Another Nightmare

The subtitle "2 a.m." here refers to the approximate time of day (night) this idea first came to me; it is another slow "nightmare"-type Perenepsis, akin to #5 (located here on YouTube) from way back in 2013. Like #5, this is almost atonal, but not quite, but also definitely not tonal, nor is it serial. It just is. Delicate ears might want to skip this one, as there is a more user-friendly entry coming any day now. For the background, I was looking for a late night photo of a dark sky, but this abstract watercolor from Circe Denyer seemed to provide the correct mood better than any photos I could find.

Now, I was planning to alternate piano and string quartet pieces for a while, but it seems that the piano pieces are multiplying like bunnies, so next up will be Perenepsis XXIV (Skipping Steps), and then another "color" piece for string quartet (either Yellow or Silver), followed by Perenepsis XXV and XXVI, then the other quartet, and then Perenepsis XXVII, at which point I'll need to finish something else (if that hasn't happened by then). This will get me up to 10 before the end of March, leaving me 9 months to finally hit my goal of 12 new pieces in a year, something that wouldn't be much of a challenge if I didn't keep on coming up with new ideas that steal my attention from ones that are nearly done... or if I had no other interests to take my time, such as sleeping.

Monday, January 8, 2024


 Here's something for string quartet. As you can see from the title, this took a couple of years to complete, the problem being that I came up with three different treatments of the same idea that starts with rising fourths, and after trying to pick which I liked best, I finally decided on just throwing them all together, and since the idea itself is rooted in D (more quartal than major or minor), I used an A7 chord to punctuate the three sections, and also as an introduction. The first part has half notes as the fundamental unit, the second goes to quarter notes, and the third to eighth notes, so each section gets faster even though the underlying tempo doesn't change. This piece is also a demonstration of my belief that the string quartet is an inherently contrapuntal genre. Sure, you can write for string quartet without using counterpoint, but it seems kind of a waste.

The background image is courtesy of Lynn at 4Artseasons; it's a pecan tree, chosen for the color, and for the three pecans representing the three sections of the piece.

Next week: Another piano piece; just need to decide which one it'll be -- Perenepsis 23 through 26 are all ready, 26 having been started last Friday and finished today. I'll probably get 23 out of the way first, as it's my least favorite.

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Happy New Year!

 So this is 2024... not sure if I like it yet, but I'm determined to post 12 pieces this year, and I'll start with this cheerful little thing in C minor. Don't worry, it does spend a few seconds in E-flat major:

I'll let this be the new guy for a couple days, then a little something for string quartet.