Friday, March 28, 2014

Approaching monthly content

(sort of)

Hokay, it's done: Score and parts for the new, improved version of A field guide to North American car alarms are in the hands of Boston Musica Viva for their May 10 concert in Pickman Hall (see details here), following the usual spiral into madness brought on by parts editing (in which preparing the parts reveals errata in the score, which then bring on additional changes in the parts, rinse, repeat). Also, the opening fanfare, which I had intended to leave unchanged, on closer inspection called out for some teensy changes to reinforce the sense of parallelism among the various instruments swooping, honking, and chirping gestures.

Moving right along = returning to composing my theremin-and-piano extravaganza Tapestry and otter, for the pianist Victoria TzotzkovaThe title derives from Jon Carroll's brilliant and/or wacky description of precision theremin technique, from his review of a concert by Dalit Warshaw: "Her right hand looked as though it were picking lint off a tapestry; her left hand looked as though she were petting an otter.").

I originally imagined the piece as only 10 minutes long, and sketched an arresting introduction (about one minute long), followed by ... um ... an okay sequel (another minute or so), which I now realize belongs in another piece. Specifically, it's not pianistic enough; it's more of a texture for string quartet, or perhaps winds. And as I've played a bit more with improvising theremin melodies over tremolando piano harmonies, I've decided to open up the piece: the target duration is now around 17 minutes or so, with nine sections, ranging from one minute to three minutes in length, alternating free (or seemingly free) rhythm with more regular pulsation. And yes, there will be chimpanzee vocalizations.