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I have created this site in order to provide performers, listeners and composers with a description of a composer's experiences with the creative process. The posts will provide discussions of the inspirations, challenges, and successes of a composer from the inception of the piece to the culmination in performance. I will provide a link to where you can see and hear the works in progress. Comments and questions are always welcomed. They will not posted unless you grant me permission.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Poem 2 Verse 2

Before working on verse 2, I needed to go back and change the audience participation after the word "weep" in verse 1. I was having difficulty coming up with the sound of weeping so for the lack of anything better, I used "boo-hoo". But it has been nagging at me that if I had the audience do this, they would be rolling in the aisles from laughter, not the effect I was looking for! With the help of my wife, I realized that people weep in different ways, so I inserted (sob) in the place of boo-hoo. This way the audience can weep as they wish and may produce a more realistic effect.

I said in my last post that the settings of verse 2 & 3 would most likely be a modified strophic setting of verse 1 as the pattern of the verses seem to be similar. It turned out that my setting of verse 2 was more modified than strophic, especially the 2nd half of the verse. After copying and pasting verse 1 after the interlude, I began to adapt it for verse 2. The first thing I needed to do was transpose it to fit in the tonality of the end of the interlude. The rhythm of the words was also slightly different, so I adjusted that. The biggest changes occured when I reflected the meaning of the text. The word "rejoice" gave rise to a dotted rhythm fanfare figure that permeates the first 4 measures of verse 2. The line "They want full measure.." dictated a meter change to 6/8 rather than 9/8 and a different chromatic lead in than in verse 1. The voice also sustains in place of the spots where the audience participation took place in verse 1. The interlude between the parts of the verse is now staccato, setting up the "Be glad" mood coming up. When the words "There are none" (Referring to no friends when you are sad) are followed by silence, giving the sense of being alone. Silence can be a very effective part of musical expression if not over used. The other big change was having the audience speak the line "But alone you must drink life's gall." I was not planning audience participation at this point, but that dark line did not want to be sung. It sets up the next interlude, which now has more of a minor and dark sound and a slower tempo before brightening a bit at the end. When I begin verse 3, the tempo will remain slow as I wish to upset the dichotomy of the poem by emphasizing the darker side of solitude.

To see and hear what is discussed, go to http://www.cooppress.hostrack.net/fourpoemsblog.html

Dr. B

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