After spending the past three weeks preparing our home for sale so that we can move to Arizona, I am finally back composing. My next project is a composition for euphonium and piano for John DelVento, a very talented high school student from Connecticut. Since we are looking at a piece that lasts approximately eight minutes, I thought I would write a piece that begins with a slow section and ends with a fast section. This approach gave rise to the title "Contrasts", and the title suggested the opening of the piece. I began with a high piano arpeggiation that is vague in tonality. The euphonium enters one and half beats later with a low and sustained line therefore setting up the first contrast. Other contrasts occur in measure three with the articulation of the piano at the end of the measure and in measures 4 and 5 where the texture changes to euphonium alone. Measure 5 is also a contrast to the quarter note pulse by using an uneven 7/8. There are also contrasts in tonality as the piece does settle in any one place. These contrasts are subtle, but nonetheless important to the musical expression of the piece.
I always find getting started on a new piece challenging, especially after a lay off from composing. I have this fear that I won't be able to come up with anything and if I do, it will sound just like something I have already written. It still amazes me that I can come up with something new each time. I am looking forward to working on this piece and seeing where it takes me.
To see and hear what I have composed thus far, go to http://www.cooppress.net/contrasts_blog.html