Christmas Carol: Overture!

Here’s something you haven’t heard in nearly fifteen years: the Overture to Christmas Carol.

You may recall that last year, I labored for half a year to reconstitute the score for a small ensemble which never materialized.  None of the original computer/MIDI files existed any more, and so I had to work from my original handwritten piano score.  This was not a problem.  But the overture was never written down—I composed it directly in the computer using the sequencing software EZ•Vision (which no longer exists.)

I was going to have to recompose the piece from the ground up, although I had a pretty firm idea that it consisted of the Christmas Waltz, 20 Questions, and People Like Us.  Since the music I wrote last year never got used, I was gratified that I didn’t put the effort into the overture.

This year, though, I wanted my overture back.  I cobbled together the opening by copy/pasting the Christmas Waltz, then pieced together the 20 Questions sequence—and then I just laid it to the side and ignored it for months.  This week, though, since we open a week from tonight, I figured I’d better get in there and finish it.1

Today, I opened it up and began working, and by lunch I was mostly finished. Bits of “A Reason for Laughter” sneaked in, and I quite like that section—it’s definitely my recent style as opposed to my 20-something self.  The final half is a neat orchestration of the “People Like Us” canon, and while it resembles what I remember from 20 years ago it, too, is more of my recent style.

The rest of today has been Successive Approximation all the way, as I tweaked and added and subtracted—then after premiering it at tonight’s rehearsal, I heard tons more that needed fixing. Tomorrow, I’ll probably futz with it again, but for the moment, Behold! An Overture!

Christmas Carol Overture | mp3


1 The other impetus was that I discovered yesterday that I have to gear up and supervise the construction of almost all the gowns in the show.  In a week.

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