Wednesday 16 November 2005

New Songs

Well, I've finally got to the end of my new song, setting Robert Duncan's poem The Lover. When I say that I've got to the end, I mean in the first draft; my pieces have a tendency to increase in length in the revision process. I revise by simply playing through, bashing away on the piano until I am satisfied. I also use the playback in Finale, but this is most use for checking what you've just typed in. There is nothing like trying a piece under your fingers for getting the feel of it.

The problem with the new piece is that I can't quite manage to play and sing it, so my play back is rather halting and probably does not sound nice. Since living with my partner, I have managed to cure myself of the embarassment of banging away at a song with him wandering about the house; I no longer worry about what it sounds like. But whilst we had lodgers it was a different matter, I was always horribly conscious that the sounds coming out of my piano and my vocal chords were not always a delight to hear. And of course, that embarassment made matters worse.

I've started jotting down ideas for my new piece for FifteenB to be sung at next year's Chelsea Festival. I can now get down to this properly, which is good.

We have recently got the music for a couple of Gavin Bryars's Laude, which I discovered when reviewing a disc of them. It looks as if we are going to be able to perform one, Oi me Lasso, at the Chelsea Concert which is good news. The texture of just 2 voices, soprano and tenor soli, will contrast well with the rest of the programme of choral and organ music. Though I also hope to repeat my 5-part Salve Regina with just 1 voice to a part.

I also have some long overdue corrections to do to my Elegy for Baritone and Orchestra, which David Greiner will be singing with the Salomon Orchestra next year. This, of course, means more banging away on the piano until I have the vocal line in a satisfactory state.

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