Sunday, 14 July 2013

Two new pieces

I thought it might be worth something to put a few scores up on this blog, feedback of course welcome. Composition like most other broadly creative work seems to come in waves and currently it looks as if there's a crest going by, so perhaps it's worth publishing what I'm doing.

There are two pieces here, one for organ and one for piano.  The organ piece's form feels vaguely baroque (along the lines of toccata and fugue, although the latter section is of course not a fugue); the piano piece adopts a form to me reminiscent of Janacek, though more extended. The harmonic/melodic material of these pieces is for me a new area of investigation, fairly fast-moving post-tonal fields, often related to diminished 9ths or octatonic sets. Both, then have fairly conservative forms, though I'm increasingly feeling that such labels, implying some kind of historical linearity, are red herrings.

mp3 here

That said both these pieces incorporate recent interest in silence, though these are rather 'manicured' silences, sandwiched between statements. The other question that these pieces explore (and my work in general currently) is the relation of music to rhetoric. I would hope to align oneself with a broadly 'non-rhetorical' school, along somewhat experimental lines (hence the interest in silence), but this perhaps wouldn't be all that audible. I suppose one could even divide a rhetorical approach along the lines of transformation of statements, on the one hand, and 'expression' on the other. My personal feeling is that expression ought to be a by-product, not something sought. But ultimately the results of the compositional process are going to be most of the time only tangentially related to intention; and in addition it would seem silly to get hung up on where one would want one's music to 'fit'. One writes what one wants to write.

mp3 here

(This last point seems like a truism, but I think since the war modernism has been about at least ostensible ideological or aesthetic purity. But as Tim Parkinson reminded me a couple of days ago, there is no purity in the audience--the audience spontaneously generates an anarchy of responses. It would seem naive even to assume the purist can even theoretically exist, let alone consider it practical adopt such a position. Though Tim said Kevin Volans--whose music I have some time for--would disagree with this sentiment.)

If anyone, by the way, would be interested in doing these, I'm contactable either through this blog or through twitter. More new pieces are forthcoming.


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