A couple of things tonight, and these are really randomly written:
I played with the interlude leading up to the climax of “Milky Way” and have been having some success with messing with the rhythm. I also began forcing myself to think in terms of eventual orchestral sounds, contrasts in volume, etc. It had dawned on me on one of my walks that the big climax (the narrator’s “I shall never part day from night”) could very well be an enormous climax and I could pull out all the stops, big brass maybe and augmentation of the theme, motives, etc. Nothing like a rolling tympani to get these things going, of course.
I also, in my string quartet file entitled “abortive sketches”, began playing with polytonality. This is really where I wish I had gotten a degree in composition. Somebody could have taught me this, and no matter how painful it would have been to learn all this crap, it would have been less painful than trying to discover it on my own.
At any rate, a handful of measures of that was astonishingly effective. Is this all it takes to sound serious, the accompaniment in C and the melody in A? I remember being intrigued by Sondheim’s use of polytonality in Into the Woods, how any of us got our notes, I’ll never know. But then he’s a master.
And now, looking over that score, I have to think about whether I need to totally revisit “Milky Way” to explore a more astringent sound. Do I want a scarier walk? Or should it be lush and tonal? The beginning is already dissonant within reason. I always lose sight of that, though, as I keep working and having fun with pure triads.
I know, I’ll just go back and insert some seconds.