Prelude (no fugue) No. 6, no kidding

All right, I know you’ve heard this before, baby, but I swear this time it’s true. I have absolutely finished with Prelude (no fugue) No. 6.

Funny how it happened. I needed one more variation in the first third, for bulk, as it were, and I put in this tiny little baroque thing. It sounded puny, though, and before I knew it I was adding the second voice. That sounded awful, just amateurish plopping of notes in there with no sense of voice leading, which would be because I have only the vaguest of notions about voice leading. It didn’t go anywhere.

You didn’t get to hear it in that state. Be grateful. I don’t mind sharing my process, but exposing my incompetence would be just plain stupid.

So early this morning, I awoke with the idea of making it a minor key variation. I began futzing with it, literally moving notes around on the screen until it flowed not only smoothly but interestingly. I think it works.

I also stuck in a three-measure transition into the middle section which I’m still not convinced of, but perhaps it will grow on me. Comments are welcome.

Prelude (no fugue) No. 6: score | mp3

Yes, Maila, you may begin learning it.

In other news, my lovely first wife’s birthday present finally arrived: the new Apple TV. (Did you know that a straight line between Hong Kong and Atlanta goes through Anchorage? Get a globe and a piece of string: it’s astonishing. Good bar bet.)

Wow. I know I’m an Apple fanboy, but wow. First of all, it’s tiny, like not even four inches square. It’s cheap(ish) at $99, although it does not come with the actual HDMI/optical audio cables you need to hook it up. (The website tells you that.) And it’s astoundingly flawless. Plug it in. Select the input on your television. Answer its questions. And you’re streaming video from Netflix, YouTube, the iTunes store, iTunes itself, even iPhoto.

It was fun pulling in the Six Preludes (No Fugues) from upstairs and playing it on the television, with the “album cover” in all its glory filling the screen. It was fun pulling in the 2005 Rotunda Concert performance of “Sonnet 18” from YouTube. It was fun checking out what is actually available from Netflix for streaming (not everything is at the moment.)

I think I noticed some video quality issues in the Netflix movie we watched, but then I’m not impressed with the TV’s regular video quality. All those high-def images one sees on the TVs in the stores? They are not to be had in real life, period, so I’m content.

The tech writers have had a field day (the thing just started shipping last week) taking it apart and looking under the hood. Apparently it’s essentially an iPad, capable of storing and running apps. There’s a thing called AirPlay, where you can stream from your iOS device (iPhone, iTouch, iPad), and that apparently can be used by any app. No one seems to know what this portends. Reply hazy, ask again later, it seems.

And now I have to go relearn all those 17th century dances that I researched and taught but rarely danced 35 years ago.

3 thoughts on “Prelude (no fugue) No. 6, no kidding

  1. Lovely work. An affectionate tribute to Shostakovich, I think, with threads of Prokoviev in spite of yourself.

    Love the tease at the beginning: “Well, maybe a fugue…nope. Ha.”

  2. Thank you. And you don’t know how heartening it is to me that you got the joke at the beginning. I was trying to explain it to someone at school, and she did the “I don’t know nothin’ ’bout birthin’ no music” thing, and I assured her that it wasn’t important, the joke was not written for her. But it was written, and I’m glad it’s apparent.

  3. I, too, got the tease at the beginning, actually expecting a fugue even though you specifically entitled these “No fugue.” And when it took off and was no fugue at all, I grinned. Yep, I thought. Characteristic.

    Good piece.

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