In accordance with the Lyles Policy Towards Double Bass Music (that would be Grayson, and “more of it” pretty much sums it up), I have worked this morning on “Fanfare for Double Bass Duo & Marimba.”
You may recall that last summer I wrote “Dance for Double Bass Duo & Marimba,” and it was well-received. And you may also recall that I have posited creating companion pieces for it, i.e., “Fanfare” and “Threnody.” That’s what I’m working on this morning. To be realistic, if I wanted it played this summer, I’d need to finish it this morning. There are only three weeks left in the program.
However, I’m taking a break. We’ll see if I get back to it today.
One of VSU’s cataloging librarians stopped me during preplanning and asked for a second copy of the score and parts to “Dance.” I had given copies to the GHP collection last summer, and had cataloged it for them for good measure. This particular librarian worked for GHP a couple of summers and is a nice guy; he wanted a copy for VSU’s collection, although both copies are shelved in the same place. You can see for yourself by going to the Odum Library catalog and looking up “Dale Lyles.” For kicks, look at the full display.
Anyway, that was gratifying.
What’s going on in Pan-Dimensional Mouse Land? I am, curiously, more often than not feeling that I am only a bit in this dimension. I am not disconnected, mind you, but I do feel more as if I were in more places than this, dabbling in the running of this program in one dimension while doing… something else?… elsewhere. If that makes any sense.
This is the All-Campus Chorus weekend, and we’ll be doing Fauré’s Requiem this afternoon. It should be quite lovely; the chorus is first-rate and practically had it ready for performance the first rehearsal on Friday night. (Half the chorus is made up of vocal majors and minors, but the other half just showed up Friday night to sing this weekend.) Pronunciation of the Latin has been a non-issue; notes have been almost perfect; even phrasing has been easy. That’s fun.
The strings/orchestra are really good again this year. The strings will handle the first half of the concert on their own, with Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings, which is a pretty piece; and Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, which is one of the most sumptuous pieces ever written. Given how well the strings knocked out the Holst St. Paul Suite last Thursday, it should be most satisfying.
I got to teach some Shakespearean nuts and bolts to Amy Cain’s theatre majors for the last three days, about an hour each day. We covered how to disentangle all those words by using our English grammar skills: find the root sentence, and then figure out the vocal arc of that. Then start adding all those clauses and phrases and lists and appositives back in, always maintaining the arc of the root sentence.
We glanced at Lessac-ian issues of vowels and consonants and airstream. We looked at how you could explore opposing emotional impulses using the same text. We worshipped at the altar of Maggie Smith, who is after all a goddess. I had a great time.
I’ve been wearing my Utilikilt since last week, a couple of days a week, and it no longer attracts attention, except for the random kid (usually a boy) who feels compelled to affirm my rad-ness.
Jobie’s been showing Lord of the Rings in the lobby of the dorm on Saturday nights. We’ve been having a good time with that, admiring the movies while taking potshots at them. A never-ending source of debate, given the jumble of genders and sexualities present in the lobby at any given time, is who’s hot and who’s meh.
Three weeks down, three weeks to go.