Composing, 12//07/08

I’m trying to get my brain back into “composer” mode, and to do that I’m putting myself back on a schedule, Sunday mornings and Tuesday evenings.

Further, as I listen to music in iTunes or elsewhere, I pay attention to structure, orchestration, etc., and make a note. I’m assigning these notes as “fragment exercises” for the duration. In other words, I’m not actually composing right now, I’m just using other people’s stuff as a model. In other other words, I’m copying. Think of it as a Renzuli phase II lesson. I certainly am.

My goal is simply to slap something up, to pour out the garbage and learn from hearing the stuff.

So, today’s fragment number 1 was “string arpeggios, agitato.” I think I was listening to the soundtrack for Pride & Prejudice.

(UPDATE: Each mp3 contains measures and measures of empty space at the end. Feel free to stop it and move on when the music stops. However, #3 does have one measure of silence after the first phrase. And I don’t know why #2 sounds so choppy.)

Here’s the mp3.

You will of course be alert to my dilemma this morning: this is actually pretty good. Do I keep working on it, only to bog down later, or just toss it aside and keep going? I worked a while on it, but decided to stop and move on. After all, the good work always waits.

Fragment number 2: “meandering chromatic piano line, high string accompaniment.” Again, I think this was the Pride & Prejudice soundtrack: mp3

Fragment number 3: “open fifths in strings, whole notes; countermelody in cellos/basses.” From the opening of Vaughan Williams’ Symphony #2, “London”: mp3

Fragments 2 and 3 are not as successful, but I think I got some interesting bits, like one measure or so in each. That’s all I’m after.

And so my morning ended.

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