This piece started out as 80 second piece setting just the words Be Still and Know that I am God. With a bit of research I found that this is part of a him with three verses, so now I’ve written a three section piece that is a little over three minutes long. Ending after the first section hurt a bit because it sounded so incomplete. I wanted more! I wrote two more sections, finishing section 3 just now. Each section is different. This is not like a hymn where three verses are set to the same music.
I had mentioned that I had a problem with my first idea of section three. The words, which I have rearranged in order, come out to be “O Lord, I put my trust in thee.” I saw “O Lord” and figure I could go dramatic with that. SO I tried with a high up big cadence. A sense of triumph. But what I was actually doing was worrying that I didn’t have enough variety in my piece to please the publisher. I had extra-musical concerns and it led me astray. Triumphant doesn’t fit at all. This piece is still and humble.
So I went back to a feeling like the first section, although now it is in different chords. I was having an F Major problem – I kept landing on F Major and it was getting boring, so I switched it up to G Major chords and D minor chords. This section I like because I have some long cluster chords and I want as much legit time on the clusters as possible.
Then I had one more puzzle, the closing cadence so I added an “amen.” Amen’s are a great way out of trouble when you can’t quite close a piece of sacred music. And the first syllable of the a on amen is a cluster chord in G major, which isn’t in the piece that mush so it isn’t dead from pitch fatigue, and end on a low C major chord bringing back the low C, which I assume everyone will be waiting for since it had it’s appearance in section 1 and hearing low C makes you want to hear low C again. It’s a good close and that’s important. When I write a piece and can’t find a good ending it usually means the piece has lost it’s way somehow and its structure is vague, direction is unclear, and resolution is impossible. This usually happens when I meander out of my home key or have a tune that doesn’t that lacks direction.
I’m going to record this with Composers’ Choir on March 3, and then submit the score and recording to a publisher who used a Composers’ Choir recording to market a piece of Andrew Bonacci called Night. Andrew recorded that with us about a year and a half ago. This means I am in email communication with the publisher, so I figure that might be a tiny leg up. Also they make recordings if they have to to market a piece, and if I give them a marketing recording then they wouldn’t have to pay to get it done – which would save them hundreds of dollars which in the music publishing industry for unknown composers like me is a lot of money.
If you want to hear Night you can find it on the homepage. It’s a winner of a piece for sure.