I actually made real progress last night, although it’s no longer than it was before. I decided to do the old pull-back-then-build-higher trick, so I sliced off what I wrote last week after the run up to the high B-flat and brought it way down. Now it’s taken a turn for the purely tonal, which is fine. Sounds more relaxed, though it’s not really. I also decided to give the pianist’s left hand a rest for a few measures…
III. Andante (Elegy): mp3
My plan is to forge ahead this week and this weekend and try to have the whole thing done by the end of this month. Because I actually have other projects facing me.
One of which is not, alas, Christmas Carol. Paul Conroy, in a pinch over their Christmas Carol this year, called as I was pulling out of the airport parking lot Sunday night: would I allow them to produce my old script/score? Of course, I said, providing I have the time to reinvent the sound files.
The problem was that all the files were old midi files, unplayable on any software I now own. I would have to 1) find them; 2) convert them into Finale files; 3) clean them up (many of them were actually played in by my unreliable fingers, so they get converted with all kinds of thirty-second note lead-ins and general messiness); 4) reorchestrate many of them to fit the new instrumentations available to me; 5) learn how to export them to some sequencer so that all those vamps in the Graveyard Scene and the Finale can work—all before rehearsals have to start.
Alas, I failed at step one. I cannot find the files. I know I had them on the last two computers I owned, so why they’re not on this one, I have no idea. This means that I would have to build everything completely from the original score, which is an appalling mess. The overture was never written down; it went straight into the sequencer. I futzed with many of the pieces in the computer and never printed them out. I would be hard pressed to get this done by next November.
Still, I began to run through the music in my head, and you know what? It’s still good. Hardly anything else I wrote from 30 years ago still stands up, but Christmas Carol does. For those of you who remember it, think of: “A Reason for Laughter,” “Cratchit’s Prayer” (aka “The Gag a Maggot Song”), “20 Questions” (with lyrics by Marc Honea), “Ignorance and Want,” “People Like Us”, and the Finale. ::sigh:: Good times.
Maybe next year, as we say in Sondheim.