Thursday 17 August 2006

I'm currently working on a setting of Isaiah Chapter 6, for unaccompanied chorus (mainly SATTBB). Even edited down slightly, there is quite a lot of text; but in in the King James Bible version, the words are completely wonderful. I heard the opening verses being read at church one morning, in a modern version, and remained struck how well they'd lend themselves to music.

I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one cried to another and said:

Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts;

The whole earth is full of His glory!

And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke. So I said:

Woe is me, for I am undone!

Because I am a man of unclean lips,

And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips;

For my eyes have seen the King,

The LORD of hosts.

I've been successfully motoring through this but this week came to a grinding halt. This can often happen in long pieces, somehow my unconscious (or whatever comes up with the music in the first place) needs to catch up with itself. I messed about with it for a bit but could not get an further forward.

When this happens I can either wait, move to another section of the work or write any gibberish and keep going, knowing that I must come back to the relevant section. This latter is what I did here, this morning I wrote the 3 troublesome bars knowing that I must re-work them, but it got me going and I have now reached the last section, hurrah!

My new mass is finished and preview copies sent out to a few people. I decided to make the best of it not having a name and keep it as Missa Sine Nomine. I hope to have the opening of the Kyrie up on my web-site soon. Now that I can produce PDF's of piece, this makes life far easier, I've even been able to email PDF's of the Kyrie to people. The wonders of modern technology.


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