Blog

Compositions Coming Alive

Composing!

I”m working on my language for this piece and it’s a little too atonal. Or put differently it’s not melodic enough, and with this text that doesn’t compute very well to my ear, and I’ve got to trust my sense of taste when I write. What...

I Like to Write

One way of describing what I am doing is that I am finding the key or mode of the piece. Or some particular scale that doesn’t have a name. I’m finding that the general plaining chords are looking like quarters, and having a flow on motion in eight notes...

This is pretty neat

When I stick to my stacked fourths all the time the sound gets a little monotonous and it’s always a bit dissonant and that makes the piece a little exhausting. What I’m finding now is that I can still be in the stacked fourths but have passing tones which...

The Mighty Force of Plaining Fourths

I’m enjoying figuring out this language that I am going to write my new piece in. The left hand was low octaves but this meant I could only grab three stacked fourths with my right hand. So I move the bass up and now can stack four fourths using my left thumb....

Returning

I disappeared for a bit. Not happy about that life was pretty intense on the conducting side for a while. But I am back composing again. I think My Do Not Stand setting is going to be pretty doable to write. In college I wrote this piece that was balancing low octaves...

A Little Tricky

I tried today to get my improv for Do Not Stand to repeat itself because I thought it was a good model and I couldn’t get this to work at all. Irritation! At first I tried it today a cappella; then when I remembered I was going to try piano and choir things got...

Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep

Do not stand at my grave and weep I am not there; I do not sleep. I am a thousand winds that blow, I am the diamond glints on snow, I am the sun on ripened grain, I am the gentle autumn rain. When you awaken in the morning’s hush I am the swift uplifting rush Of...

Next Piece

Hi all. I”ve been away on vacation in Chicago so I haven’t been writing this week, but I’m starting again today. I’m going to hold off on the chant piece for a bit. I have some sense of the energy I need for it but I don’t quite have the...

Away from the Piano

Before I mentioned a texture where I would have ancient chant, as best as I can do it, and have plaining chords below. I’ve ben wrestling with this on the piano and I am ending up with aimlessness. Not good! I think I shouldn’t try to write the tune and...

Over to the Piano

I’m working on my untitled chant piece.I’ve listened to Hildegard for ever by now and wrote a lot of chant myself. Only after writing my own chant did I realize that my understanding of Hildegard was pretty far off, both in pitches but also in rhythms. I...

Here Comes the Piece

I think I found the poem I needed. Blessed be the internet! This translation is floating around online – not sure what the deal is with copyright. If I’m going for some chant based writing this might be too short; but having found this poem I now need to...

More Chanting Still

I haven’t been able to write the last yesterday or today because I am flooded with recording post production for Composers Choir. But I have the ability to at least listen to more chant. It is so beautiful. I’ve been listening to two pieces I think I...

More Chanting

I think there may be no way to integrate real plainchant with modern notation, or mixed in with other independent musical ingredients. Or at least not in a strict tempo. And definitely no fixed meter. I’ve been listening and writing, and when I struggle to write...

Chanting

This is proving to me that writing a good chant is a type of masterpiece that might require the same or more amount of musicality that significantly more complex pieces. It’s very hard, so far, so make even one convincing chant line. Also, if i do go chant style...

Stealing / Analysis of Hildegard

I’m going to write out the things I notice about Hildegard’s chants bit by bit. This is going to be a technical description so if you are not familiar with these terms you may find this bazaar. 1) Each chant phrase has a destination and it seems to be...

Hildegard – Chant Genius Continued

There are a few very short passages from Hildegard that I hear where there is polyphonic chant. I mean a few – like 20 seconds. I’m wondering if I should check out some organum. That’s where you take a chant and do parallel fifths or the like. This...

8 Part Chords and Melodic Lead

It’s a pretty basic rule that choral music gets really tricky if you go beyond 8 parts. There is a great line in the text, “There is a morning inside you waiting to burst open into light” where I have the chance to burst open into 8 part chords. The...

Let’s Think This Through a Bit More

This piece is exhausting. First I have to deal with concerns over the text that I better work out now, because I won’t be able to work it out later For example, I’m looking at the text and think the line “Love is a friendship that has caught...