So I’ve been going back over and over and over the four measures I wrote on Thursday for “Milky Way,” and I’m increasingly dissatisfied with them.
The germ of what I want is there. I’ve structured the piece in a quasi-sonata allegro form, and this is the B theme:
(You can click on it to hear it.)
That pattern of duple notes in the third measure has been used enough in the piece by the time we hit the climax to be a motif the audience would recognize. So what I wanted was to take that pattern and build it on top of itself to keep expanding out and out and out.
I think in the short term, I’ve done that. But here’s what I’m unhappy with. I think it’s too rushed. As Kevin pointed out in Lacuna when I played through the entire work for everyone, its origins as a song cycle betrayed itself in that there’s no time for stage action built into the pieces. I’m still fighting against that here.
I find myself compelled by the poem itself to keep the rhymes together so that the audience gets the full impact of Willard’s writing: lights/night. But musically (and stage-wise), I need more space between the tiger and the child’s statements. I think what I must do is go back and take some of the “build” out of the tiger’s part, and begin the actual building effect with a passage between the two, and even stretch out the child’s statements through a bigger build.
Yep, that’s what I need to do all right. Now let’s see if I can actually accomplish this.