Tuesday, November 1, 2011

There's No Busy Like School Busy

The Fall 2011 semester is in full swing and things are as busy as you would expect them to be in grad school.  I'm in two composition classes right now (one of them focuses exclusively on electronic music) as well as in a graduate-level course on modern music history and a music aesthetics class. All four keep on bringing up the same topics, the same names. Sometimes I feel like I'm a library where all this information keeps piling up and the poor internal secretary can't keep up with the filing. Days later a little snippet of knowledge will finally make sense in the bigger scheme of things. I've got a 12 inch stack of papers from this semester's readings, rough drafts and projects. It scares me every time I look at it.

I've always felt blessed in musical development. I feel like I've been led to know just the right things at just the right time as I've grown. More than ever I feel comfortable with the idea that being a composer is what I will spend the rest of my life doing.

So far this semester I've been working on three main composition projects. I'll also have three electronic music compositions by the end of the semester (the first one Assemblance,  is done, it uses LEGOs as its sound source. The second one will be done by next week, composed on a retro synthesizer.)

My main project this semester is taking forever to write, a twenty minute evolution of two contrasting ideas, for a small chamber ensemble. I'm taking M.C.Escher's Metamorphosis 2 as an inspiration.
I have finished a shorter piece called Cranching which I initially wrote for a visiting percussionist to play on hammered dulcimer, but after he kinda couldn't play it, I've revised it for Carillon (bell tower).

My professor Dr. Thornock will play it today on the BYU carillon, and I'm very excited.

I've also been collaborating with a dancer to write a very moody piece called Space2  for Marimba, Vibraphone, Xylophone, Bass Clarinet and Clarinet. It will be played in concert (if I can, you know, finish it and find and rehearse performers!) next Wednesday, November 9th, and also featured in dance recitals later this semester.

More pieces loom large on the horizon, including a very untraditional piece for jazz ensemble, a solo bassoon piece, and of course, my proposed Master's Thesis project - a concerto for harp.