At least I settled on a new piece, a trio for flute, cello and piano. Now begins the long process of searching for a suitable opening; a suitable format. The process includes listening to other pieces in the medium. I was particularly impressed by the Lowell Lieberman trio. He has such command of form and outstanding technique.
Next I sit in my studio and search the possibilities in my mind. I try to avoid the pitfalls such as mimicking other pieces. The search, more than anything is seeking out something that is convincing as well as honest. Working the best I can with the skills I possess.
Later this morning, I returned to the Teasdale setting. I was able to set another line of text but was not able to write anything worthwhile beyond that point.
The only real positive outcome today was with the sax choir piece.
After listening with a clear mind to the beginning of the flute/ cello/ piano piece, I decided to trash what I’ve written. It seemed to sound more like a cello sonata than a trio. It also seemed too dark. The newest effort begins with solo flute but I was hung up trying to find a way to introduce the other two instruments. I’m also still searching the the right balance of dark and light in terms of harmony and texture.
The Teasdale setting seemed work, but deep downI have my doubts as far as my choral writing chops are concerned. There is no doubt that my strong suite is instrumental music. That’s owing to the fact that so much of my background has been has been centered around performing in bands, orchestras and other chamber ensembles. There is a certain focus one needs to write for choir. To really get the feel for writing for a bunch of voices, one needs to almost be embedded in a choir as both a singer and conductor. To know how a choir thinks, breathes and uses their collective voices is essential to being a successful choral composer.
I was still searching for a meaningful beginning for the flute, cello, piano piece. After this morning’s session, there seems to be a ray of hope in terms of the first few measures. The opening unison line in the flute and cello seems somewhat compelling and the counterpoint in the piano appears to be a suitable balance.
I reached a suitable ending for Redbirds. I know I had disparaging words about my choral writing yesterday, but somehow this setting really seemed to hold together in terms of melody, harmony, and the flow of things. I haven’t said much of late about the sax choir piece. The Pictures at an Exhibition paraphrase seems to be working out. So far, I’ve been playing around with the Promenade music and am uncertain if, and to what degree I will introduce material, from the other movement of Pictures.
The beginning of the trio was further solidified this morning. I kept the piano part as is and reshaped the unison melodic line in the flute and cello. Next, I attempted to get a new Teasdale setting off the ground. I chose the poem: April Song, a text I set years for baritone and piano. I was able to find a tune for the first line of text sung by the sopranos. Tomorrow , I’ll still be searching for a suitable textless accompaniment by the lower voices.
I didn’t hear from the choir folks in Phoenix, so I assume that didn’t include my piece. No time for should have- could haves. I do plan to edit and send the second song Redbirds to be published online. Here is what it sounds like: