Recently I took a look around my study and decided that after three years of having part of my study floor clogged with the stuff from my office at the Presbyterian church, it was time to stash it. I bought a big old plastic tub and tonight I began sorting.

What seemed to take up piles and piles on the floor, plus a great big box, collapsed rather neatly into a few small piles in the tub. I took the precaution of creating a word processing document (searchable via my laptop’s indexing) which lets me know what I’ve stuck in there.

Some surprises as I worked through the piles, like the mantel clock which was a gift from the cast of Lying In State, the world premiere comedy we did back in 1998, nearly ten years ago, folks! That will go to school with me.

I also found a great many of the original scores for all my early stuff, all the One Fish Two Fish pieces, plus the Symphony for Band in C minor. And there were all my notebooks.

Back in the day, before the computer would allow me to write my music, and play it back, I had to do it all by hand. Shockingly primitive, I know. But music paper was hard to come by, and so whenever I came across notebooks, I’d buy all I could and hoard them. Most of these notebooks are mostly empty, with various projects grouped here and there in them: Christmas Carol, some anthems, a snatch of William Blake here and there.

After getting the tub loaded, I went through all these notebooks, even the juvenilia from the early 70s, and played through everything in them. Most of it was sketches for stuff that either worked out and got used, or was terrible and should have been erased, but there were some bits and pieces which were nice enough to salvage for new projects. I found some lyrics (for what, I have no idea) that will be used in Day in the Moonlight, and I found more than few fragments of music that will show up either in one symphony or another or in the Stars on Snow album. I even found some themes from an early idea for a symphony that actually still resonate.

So it was not exactly what you’d call a productive evening, but it was fun and a little bizarre to dig back through my early, mostly incompetent self. I had some good ideas, but I was clearly clueless about how to develop most them. Although I will say I found one or two babysteps that showed I had a clear understanding of structure even then.

Anyway, I’ll be putting all those fragments into Finale files so I can stash them away for future pilfering.

In other news, Lacuna sang the complete Visit to William Blake’s Inn last night as the special guests of Barnes & Noble. It is most likely the last time Newnan will hear the piece. Unless someone prominent steps up in the next two weeks to be in charge of the Organizing Committee, I’m going to start shopping it around to other places.

The performance was very nice indeed, give or take one or two King of Cats solos being fluffled. I’ll miss working with the chorus.

2 thoughts on “Archaeology

  1. Sad to hear Newnan will may never experience “Visit to William Blake’s Inn”, but glad you are shopping it around. It deserves much more attention that it got. If only you had put a little more time in on it Dale. What has it been – 20 years?

  2. So who are these “prominent people” you’re supposedly waiting on? You want I should smack ’em around a little bit?

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