Wednesday: Today my session started with a return to the ‘ Horn Quintet.I still need to come up with an appropriate title for this work.Maybe something in regards to how the heat of a desert summer seems to envelop you,or something to that affect. I wrote the work about a year ago but it was one of those pieces I wasn’t quite sure of. I finally got around to sending it to a hornist friend who thought the piece was ‘cool’ and to send her the parts. Upon reviewing the piece I thought things needed some revising. There was an effective, smooth-flowing section in the strings toward the end that seemed to end too soon. So I decided to write an extension to that part . At the end of my time with the piece today, I sensed it was nearing the transition to the final section, of the piece...’ Next I worked on the trumpet- marimba piece.It’s my intention to keep the piece moderately‘abstract; enough to come across as ‘modern’. Will this work appeal to trumpeters and marimba players? I really don’t know. The piece,I think, starts out effectively with the gentle purr of the marimba. I sense the piece is losing its ‘challenging ‘ aspects and falling into a rut.I’ll ‘sleep on it’ and see what happens tomorrow. My daily session concluded with some time devoted to the sax choir piece. Thursday: It seems as if I’ve finished the horn quintet. I’m thinking of calling it ‘Passing Ships’.In a nutshell It’s about watching the ships go by on Puget Sound although it is actually more personal than that.I know this is an about face regarding the heat in the desert idea. Music is an ‘abstract’ art ,and I’ve learned long ago that interpreting music verbally is very allusive. In any event, I brought the smooth- flowing section to its conclusion and did a sudden pivot to the final da capo . Prior to this revision, the da capo began with just solo horn but I chose to add slow string glissandi as in the beginning. It seemed to me an effective move that gave the section more heft. From that point on there was no need to make more changes.
I revisited the trumpet marimba piece.A form for the work seems to be beginning to take shape; slow- fast perhaps? A change of pace in the marimba with a return to a written retard of repeated notes. The sax choir work I spoke of previously is one in a series of ‘choir’ works for different families of instruments. So far I’ve written pieces in this genre for flute choir, clarinet choir and trombone choir. So far the only luck I’ve had is with the flute choir piece that is to be performed this fall by a group in Washington D.C. The sax choir piece is the most ‘choral’ of the works. It features gentle conjunctive movement peppered with fleeting dissonances. Finally, there is a solo tuba piece that I hope to get back to in the next day or so. Here I’m using ‘measureless’ notation which seems to be freeing me up to take more chances. And, as things go, the piece seems to be taking some interesting twists and turns. As with the trumpet marimba piece, the form wasn’t predetermined but seems to just fall into place as the piece progresses. I see the form of the tuba piece so far as: ABAB maybe a conclusive C.