Friday, February 24, 2012

[ ... ]

The Pollock-esque approach of randomly throwing harmonies and motives onto a blank canvas beautifully suits a work schedule dominated by other obligations. As the canvas approaches the approximately half-empty/half-full state, I realize there's a decision I hadn't thought through previously, viz., What's the longest duration of silence I'll incorporate into the piece? ... and for that matter, What's the longest duration for an unembellished chord?
In prior works, I've routinely included silences of five seconds or shorter, and occasionally ten seconds or so. As for sustained chords ... now that you mention it, when was the last time I wrote one (say, longer than five seconds), and left it unadorned by micropolyphony, hocket, polyrhythmic punctuation, etc.?
P.S. [5:55 pm] What I neglected to type on my phone earlier is that all along, I’ve expected the piece to include copious pauses that would allow the players to regroup, catch their breath, collect their wits, empty spit from their instruments, etc. ... but in the act of composing, I haven’t explicitly placed any of these. I’ve half a mind to make a first pass without any, and then go back and randomly place the fermatas. [insert benevolently diabolical laughter here]

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