Further to realising yesterday that the first section required expanding owing to the bridge coming too early, I embarked on the expansion today. Interestingly it has taken the first section in a new direction and away from the tonal centre of D. I've been pleased that I have managed to use the first cipher name extensively in this new section and have mapped out a harmonic progression to return to D ready for the bridge material but am wondering if a restatement of the opening is required before the bridge. It reminds me of completing a logic puzzle!
I wasn't able to dedicate as much time as planned to composition today but had some interesting revelations while improvising. I discovered how I could use extracts from the Elgar slow movement to take the piece in a different direction and as a result managed to write quite a substantial bridge. However this had lead to an issue of pacing. The first section has lost it's balance as a result of the floating bridge. There will need to be a big extension made before approaching the bridge which in some sense is good news. I also have one more cipher I wish to include.
The good news was that I sat down at 8pm and improvised the closing section. The beauty of owning a clavinova is I have managed to catch the improvisation digitally which means I can transfer it as a midi file into Subelius for some serious editing.
After having the usual clarity presented in a dream I thought today's writing would be easy. Not so. It often happens to me that I see or hear a piece i'm working on in a dream, complete, but still elusive as if through frosted glass. Upon waking it is like catching smoke: evanescent. This was my experience last night: playing through a complete draft of the second movement of the sonatina with its dedicatee. Sitting down today to try and realise that dream I was able to discover fragments of melody and harmony before they evaporated. I often wonder if I'm not alone in the composing world in experiencing this phenomena.
I managed to get a considerable chunk down today but not entirely happy with the result. It reminds me of when I wrote Balulalow. I spent two days writing only to scrap with a Beethovenian scribble my efforts. I then spent a further week trying and generating another two ultimately failed attempts before settling back on what I wrote and scrapped at the start. I was left feeling that sometimes composing is as much about exorcising what shouldn't be written in order to obtain what should be as getting true thoughts down on paper.
Perhaps it will be the same with the last two days' efforts. The result so far adheres to the meandering ambiguous harmonic style I heard through frosted glass but doesn't as yet have the direction and sentiment I intended. Tomorrow I plan to play further with the material and possibly start again.
After much analysis of the Elgar I think I definitely have enough inspiration and material to write at least a sonatina. Today I played further with the cipher systems I have been working on and constructed an introduction to movement two and mapped out the melodic form of the movement. As can be seen from the picture the usual addition of padding material was required after the initial sketch so that the pacing was correct. I seem to be returning yet again to unfolding technique which I discovered during phd studies.
Continuing the theme of borrowed material from my PhD, I'm currently embarking on a project to write a violin piece, possibly a sonata of sorts, using the Elgar violin sonata as a starting point. I've decided to document the planning, progress and composition as part of the blog. So far I've played through the Elgar and plan tomorrow to draw out fragments that whet my fancy. Also I've sketched some musical ciphers that I wish to include and have a feeling that morse code will feature somewhere, possibly the middle movement. My usual starting point with three movement pieces is the middle and working outwards but with this piece I should like to sketch out the whole first.
A bit late news, but on 13th March CHROMA recorded two movements from (1 and 5) of Through Glass Mountains. I shall put the recordings on the site later today. It was amazing working with such an excellent group of musicians and I was very happy with the results. A quick minor revision of the scores afterwards to clear out a few mistakes and they are now ready for the portfolio!
I am now in the final throws of completing my PhD portfolio ready for submission and using the free time I have to update my YouTube channel. www.youtube.com/guybunce.
On her are a number if my contemporary pieces some including scores.
Welcome to my new site and blog. This site only contain my contemporary music. For my other music visit www.guybunce.co.uk
I hope to document some of my compositional processes here and discuss what I'm working on.
|Guy Bunce - Composer||