nope, not really happening. Crap.
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Cloudberry has written 14 entries about this goal
Fits and starts, and it’s slooowww every time I sit down to look at it, just getting caught back up in it. But I have made some artistic decisions: unless I find another melody that fits in, it’ll be three movements; it doesn’t have to be Haydn or sonata form, after all.
I had lunch with him yesterday. He has a trio, but wants to play quartets. He asked me if I have any. I’ve told him yes, I have a bit of one, any number of times, but because he may think of me as 3 or 4 different people, he may not remember. His confusion is another story. But he is looking for quartets to play, so this is a reason, perhaps, to think about continuing.
Dad is coming to visit next Tuesday; I’ll try and have it entered into the computer by then so it’s more readable. That’s the scary part – I’ll actually be able to listen to it and hear all the mistakes (and he’ll simply be able to see them).
and decided it was useless to try to fall asleep again because my alarm was set for 6:30. So I jumped up, got in the shower, got dressed (decided not to blow-dry my hair, it’s overdue for a cut anyway so it’s hopeless) and then sat down and worked on the piece, setting the alarm on my cell for 7. I figured out some hard harmonic bits; typically, during the week, when I only get to work on it on the Metro, I don’t have the time to focus and can really only fill in the easy stuff.
I’m now at 149 measures on the first movement, and most of that is pretty well fleshed out. Dad says I should aim for about 200, though, so the next step is to figure out the big picture and how to wrap up.
I’ve now written about 140 measures of the first movement of my 3rd attempt at a quartet. It’s much easier this time around, for some reason.
Here’s what might be making a difference:
1. I’m ignoring the computer for now. It’s actually quicker to write by hand at this point.
2. Not having come up with melodies I particularly liked, I borrowed some. OK, stole. The quartet is based on Sephardic folk songs, not in a tedious theme-and-variations way, but just starting with the melodies, and then riffing on bits and pieces of it.
3. Theory. I came away from my semester (almost 2 years ago now) feeling like I didn’t absorb that much, but I’m actually finding it useful here and there, and it gives me confidence in playing with the counterpoint.
4. Listening. A lot. Of course, I’ve been listening raptly to quartets all my life. Now I have some scores to help me along, so I can see better what kind of bells and whistles, literally, the great composers use to create interestingly textured, rhythmic, and varied conversations amongst the string instruments. I’m leaning most heavily on Debussy and Ravel, but also Beethoven, Fauré, Brahms, and Frank Bridge. Every piece has its influences… I’m imagining Ravel in Morocco.
Once I’m done with a decent sketch, then I’ll put it in the computer and flesh out parts of it. Actually, glancing through Debussy on the subway this evening, it occurred to me that I don’t have to have melody operating everywhere; the texture and harmony can take up a fair amount of space in interesting ways and stand on there own. So perhaps when I think I’ve gotten to a good ending point for the first movement, I can expand some of the interior to make sure it’s long enough to be convincing.
maybe I’ll come back to this. I’ve now made a start on two, and they’re in my computer.
but the first attempt has hit a wall, or rather spun off into confusion. It’s a formal problem, my Dad might say, or rather a problem with the form, or the overall composition.
I read somewhere that you should come up with a number of themes and then try and connect them. So I started brainstorming some themes and hopefully will be able to find and develop a common thread or threads.
But now, thanks to my theory class, I understand what I have to do. It really adds a whole new dimension to my thinking. The process becomes more and more interesting.
entered into Sibelius. It needs to modulate out of f# minor… I’m trying, but this is not so easy. We’ll see if having it in Sibelius makes this easier or harder.
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