Friday, 11 May 2007

Plans (What I'm up to)

As a result of a couple of comments during the recording sessions, I am fiddling around with more music for strings (well, actually strings and bassoon). The comments sort of swirled around in my head and coalesced with the idea I'd been having of taking some of the best bits from my Duino Elegy setting for baritone and orchestra (premiered at St. James's Piccadilly last year). There were parts of the piece which I felt were hampered by the sheer number of words I had to set. Obviously, in the long term, a new version of the full baritone and orchestra version is needed.

But in the mean time, I'm rather pleased at the way my new piece for bassoon and strings is shaping up. I'm able to dip in and out of the vocal line when I like and add extra bits without worrying about words, underlay or sense.

I have also had the first couple of pages of a proposed new opera libretto - yes, I seem to have managed to hitch myself up with a real librettist, which is a boon. I hope to spend some time in the next week fiddling around with trial settings of the text. I only seem to be able to think about words when attempting to set them. Simply reading a proposed text through will not reveal the full repercussions of setting it. I just need to do the thing properly and see how I find the words. I'll report back later.

Finally, I've been thinking about entering this year's English Poetry and Song society competition, which is to set and Ivor Gurney poem. To that end, I have acquired a book of his collected poems and must leaf through until I find something which calls out to me. One problem is that I sometimes rather pull the text around, which is not good when setting an English poet for a competition run by a poetry society! One good thing is that Gurney did not set many of his own poems, so competitors will not face competition from the poet/composer himself.

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