Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Reflections on Class

The reading for the Ora Ensemble piece is tomorrow, which clues up this 4100 class, as well as my last composition course of my degree. I'm kind of sad about that - while I'm a Theory/Composition major, the new curriculum will allow Composition (no theory!) majors to study composition every semester. I feel like my writing has improved a lot just over this one semester, so imagine having four! It looks like it'll be a great program.

Although the character pieces were fun and a good exercise in piano writing, I think the longer, one-movement piece has been a challenge and a good learning experience. I recognize that one of my weaknesses as a composer is developing my ideas into a coherent form. Upon listening to recordings of some of my older stuff (older just being a year or so old!), I've noticed that ideas are often underdeveloped and things frequently sound fragmented. With a push to fix these things, I've become more aware of them, and as a result am writing with a bit of a different process now. I try not to just fill up the page with things that I think sound cool. Instead, I'll start with a single idea and try to draw most of the rest of the material from that idea. I'm very thankful for this progress!

Composition seminar has been invaluable for my progress this semester. I'm just a little sad that I don't get to come back!

Monday, 2 April 2012


What am I listening to? Hildegard Westerkamp

I think I may have a title for my piece finally. I kind of feel like pieces named in different languages are a little pretentious from an English-speaker (unless there's non-English text), but I do feel compelled by this one. And it wouldn't be the first time I was called pretentious sadly... haha.

I'm leaning towards calling it "Drei". This means 'three' in German, which is appropriate because of the recurring triplet motif.

But why in German?

"Drei" is pronounced like the English word "dry" - which I feel also applied to this piece. The sparse textures, the repeated attacks, the sharp and pointy articulation.. I feel like "dry" is an apt descriptor.

Now just to print and bind!