Revamping the Milky Way (Day 29/365)

Well, I cleaned off my drafting table, bought a USB extension cable, moved my keyboard over to the table, got out my manuscript paper, and got to work.

My project, you may recall, was to tackle the faulty climax to “Blake Leads a Walk on the Milky Way,” the tenth and central piece to A Visit to William Blake’s Inn. I transcribed the first measure of the Tiger’s “I shall garland my room” passage and started there.

Rather than rush from g minor to D major on the second beat, I began by drawing out the g minor for that beat, then going to D major. I threw in a crescendo, then separated the narrator’s lines with two measures of a motive that I use in the bridge before this passage. I went subito piano, added a third voice with the four-note theme, and did some fairly traditional building of tension.

Then I let loose with the narrator’s “I shall give up sleeping forever” and, in what I must say is a very nice touch, burst out with the opening chords of the entire piece. Not a bad recapitulation, not bad at all.

You can download a PDF file of what I did tonight, starting with the bridge beforehand, right here. You can listen here (although it’s a 1.1MB file).

So… the pencil and paper trick worked very well for me tonight. It got my music out of my head, I only sketched two measures, and yet I ended up with a totally new climax.

I’m a happy composer, for once. I know everyone’s relieved.

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