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.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Words and Music

And ever against eating cares
Lap me in soft Lydian airs.
Married to immortal verse
such as melting souls may pierce
untwisting the chains that tie
the hidden soul of harmony.

Several things are occurring simultaneously that prompts me to write this post. First of all, I am adding pages to my website for my vocal compositions where I provide the poetry that I used as the text. As I am doing this, I am reminded once again about the power of words to express ideas and emotions. Words are all around us, and I am hard pressed think of anything else that influences our lives more. But as Milton suggests in the above poem, when words are combined with music, their power is exponentially increased. This is one of three quotes from a book I found at a used book sale called “A Musician’s Yearbook, 1895”. I set three of these sayings to music in 1979 and I am providing a link to the setting of the Milton poem for you to hear. The Millersville University Choir under the direction of Walter Blackburn performs it. See if you think the music enhances the meaning of the words.

However, words by themselves can certainly communicate ideas very effectively. Since I moved to the Sedona area of Arizona, I am in the process of re-reading J. A. Jance’s Ali Reynolds mysteries that are set in our area. I had read them a few years ago, but that was before I moved here. Now all the places that are describe are very familiar and my enjoyment is increased. They also reminded me of why I started this blog. In the first of the series, “The Edge of Evil”, Ali Reynolds starts a blog called cutlooseblog.com. In it, she addresses and number of things that were going on in her life and her readers responded with comments, therefore making the posts more meaningful. I thought that I might have something to contribute to the music world by writing my blog. I am hoping I am providing a useful service to composers, performers and appreciators of music. I can tell from looking at Feedjit, that my blog receives many visitors, but I get very few comments.

After re-reading the Jance book, I added a statement to by blog’s description that says “comments and questions will not posted unless you grant me permission.”
I would not have posted without your permission anyway, but maybe this statement would make you feel more comfortable with communicating with me. Here is a list of items you may wish to share your opinions on:

My composing process
If you are a composer, do you experience the same things? Do you do things differently? My readers and I would like to know what works for you.

If you are a performer and/or an appreciator, do my comments aid you in interpreting music in general? Do they help you understand the subtleties of music?

About my music
Do you like or dislike what I have composed? Are the examples helpful? Do you understand what I am saying? Is there anyway I can improve the blog to serve your needs?

About the subjects
Are there things that you would like me to address that I’m not already addressing?

Let’s all use the power of words to grow in our understanding of music through this blog. I know that it helps me understand what and why I did what I did when I compose. I hope that it has the same impact on you. The blog exists so that we can all learn from each other. Please join in the experience.

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