I’m working on this new piece, Fire, and now that I have the opening section done I”m starting to type it into Finale, a computer program that engrave scores, and it is miserable! Very tedious and small to read. I might be able to zoom in come to think of it. If so, that’s what I’ll do. Actually I am all but certain I can do this. So that’s one problem destroyed.

When I”m starting to type this in I can remember the huge amount of time it takes to do this. It was a little stressful and I got heavy in my head again. I think the way to do this is that I need to maintain some sense of levity in all stages of doing this, including the engraving in Finale. OnceI engrave I take it back to the piano where I typically see I have made some errors and I fix them. Then back to the computer, then back to the piano, and then back to the computer hopefully for the last time.

I’m unsure about what to do with the next phase because it’s unplayable on the piano. SATB are all doing different things. Experts might be able to play it on the piano but I can’t so I don’t know how I’m going to figure it out. Maybe I can memorize it? If it’s rock solid it’s easy to memorize, so maybe I could try to do it and memorize it as a test to see how sound the structure is. It’s going to be hard though.

This section isn’t too long – the first line of the text is “Now is the time to unite the soul and the world” and this section is just echoing “soul and the word” for some contrast and to keep the piece from being too short. And this part is going to have a new tonal center, and maybe move to another tonal center within it. In most western music tonal centers change with increasing frequency, so since we are still at the very beginning it seems to feel OK to just have that one shift. We shall see.

This is by far the most demanding thing I do in music. It takes so much concentration and it’s really hard to write something you need when you have a bad version stuck in your head. To get that fresh opening is hard.

I think for this section section I’m going to keep imagining the hooded monk choir. Here it’s critical that each voice part, Soprano, Alto, Tenor, and Bass must be grouped by part and standing in different locations. This is because all the parts are going to be fairly independent. They will connect by imitating each other – not %100 imitation but still clearly imitations all the same, and they will come in on different notes so they will all have their own tonal center phrase by phrase. This is going to be very hard – I might have to simplify a bit. But maybe not.