Welcome to my blog

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.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Goulash 3rd movement

In my last post, I discussed my getting started with the third movement of Goulash. This movement has been challenging to compose, partly because of all the interruptions I have been experiencing with my composing schedule and partly because I do not have a clear vision of the movement. I do have general idea of what I want to do. The opening slow section is now complete. At M. 25, I introduced a contrasting section that is imitative. At M. 32-42, I return to the material I used at M. 14-24 but the saxophone line is now more elaborate. A transition in the marimba at 43-64 brings the listener back to the opening material that gradually accelerates into the fast section at M. 61. The return to this opening section rounds out the slow opening nicely as it is free and exotic sounding before the stricter tempo of the fast section.

M. 61 begins the fast section with an angular, yet harmonically suggestive marimba pattern of eighth notes. The saxophone introduces the first melodic idea at M. 63. It has a dotted rhythm figure, some syncopation and some scale-wise flourishes. The last part of the idea uses imitation between the saxophone and marimba. At. M 71-83, the roles of the two instruments reverse and the last part of the idea is extended. M. 84 ushers in a variant of the idea with descending then ascending arpeggios in the marimba and scalar passages in the saxophone. Imitation once again completes the phrase. At M. 92-104, the roles reverse once again and the end of the idea receives an extension. M. 104 is another variant of the initial idea that incorporates both the eighth note arpeggios and the scalar 16th notes. The texture is all marimba at this point. At 113, the texture is now saxophone primarily with a few punctuations with the marimba.

Once again, the ideas seem to be working but I don't know where it will take me next. The challenge I am finding in writing for 2 instruments is to create variety of texture. I accomplish that by alternating lead in the two instruments, changing from harmophony to polyphony, and using one instrument only for phrases. Since I can't vary the texture like I could in an orchestral piece, I need to strive for variety in other ways, yet still maintain unity in the piece. This might suggest a return to the slow section briefly before the final virtuostic fast section. We will see if this happens as the movement progresses.

To see and hear what I have composed thus far, go to http://www.cooppress.net/goulashblog.html
The score is transposed.

Dr. B

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