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.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Grass Roots 3rd Movement

I am about a minute and a half into the third movement and thought it would be a good time to pause and write about what I have accomplished. I did link the 2nd movement to the third by having the piano left hand sustain the dominant pitch C after the final chord of the 2nd movement. As this fades, the left hand continues with pyramid arpeggios and chords while the right hand answers with a more florid figure. The ideas develop and the hands change roles through measure 7 where the tuba enters with a variation of what the left hand did earlier. At M. 15 the ideas repeat up a half step. Although the meter is 6/8, the regularity of the 6/8 pattern is broken up with ties and syncopation, some which create more of a 3/4 feel against the 6/8. At M. 22, the meter is changed to 9/8 to break up the pattern even further.

It was about this point in the movement that I changed the movement's title. It was originally going to be called "Joining Forces". That title was only a working title as I knew I wanted something different. I had trouble with coming up with a word and figured if I just compose the music the title would come. I also felt that while the music was going well, I was a little unsure of the direction of the movement. If you remember, the inspiration for the entire piece was Ken Burn's film on the National Parks. While the piece can refer to the success of any social change, it is the power of those individuals with the vision of a park system that is being celebrated. So I wanted the last movement to reflect "America's Best Idea" and that gave rise to the new title, "Manifestation". It is the dream of many individuals coming into reality. My goal is to make the movement serene and awe inspiring.

M. 23 moves the piece ahead by using a development and elaboration of some of the ideas already presented. The piano accompaniment creates a 3/4 feel by alternating eighth notes between the hands. At M. 25, the pattern reverses itself for a measure to add variety. M 29 uses techniques such as inversion and retrograde of the tuba melody from M. 25 part of the time. This turning of the intervals upside down or doing some of the notes in reverse order adds variety but still keeps the melodic idea familiar. M 35 begins one of the awe-inspiring sections and I will talk about this when I do my next post.

To see and hear what I have composed thus far, go to http://www.cooppress.net/grass_roots_blog.html

Dr. B

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