Today was sort of a trial and error day. I thought that I could use the same material from the first part of verse one and just changed the words, but that did not work. It felt too abrupt and the wrong mood. So then I continued to develop the flute and clarinet interlude and after four measures, I started to hear the soprano coming in with the words "my captain". I thought this would be a reflection back to the first verse of realizing that his captain is dead, but it turned out to be the start of the 2nd verse as well. I need to extend my apologies to Whitman hear as I changed the order of his words in order to accomplish both the reflection back to verse one and the start of the new verse (my captain O captain in stead of O captain my captain). I was then able to bring back the material from the first verse (down a step) but it picks up a scherzando feel with the staccato in the piano and the short notes in the soprano. The melody, harmony, and accompaniment are also altered to reflect the words of the 2nd verse. I expect the last 8 measures or so to change as I move into the last part of the verse tomorrow.
This log is helpful to me as a composer as I am often asked how long did it take to write the piece and I really do not recall. I work for an hour or two each day. Since this is my eighth post, I have around 15 hours invested in the piece for around 2 minutes of music. This does not count the time ideas are going around in my head while not sitting at the keyboard and computer. A lot of things get suggested and resolved in this fashion which makes my work easier when at the computer. I would recommend all composers keep a written log as they write. It certainly helps when asked to talk about your piece and also forces you understand and account for why you did what you did. I am finding it a beneficial learning process.
To see and hear what I have written thus far, go to http://www.cooppress.net/fourpoemsblog.html