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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.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Wonderland Movement 3

I have completed the 3rd movement of this new composition for an ensemble of 3-5 instrumentalists. I am composing the piece for four unspecified instruments, one each in the soprano, alto, tenor, and bass ranges. This gives me flexibility in reducing the score for an ensemble of 3 instrumentalists or enlarging it for 5 instrumentalists. I can also combine lines and add harmony to accommodate a pianist within the group. I will customize the music for each of the participating ensembles in the commissioning consortium by varying the ranges, changing keys, changing articulation, and adjusting the balance as needed. For more information about joining the consortium, please go to http://www.cooppress.net/page9/index.html

The third movement represents the Cheshire Cat who assists Alice in finding her way through Wonderland by challenging her with philosophical questions that she cannot answer and then disappearing only to appear again in another location along her travels. Sometimes when he disappears, nothing is left but his grin. The grin was the starting point for this movement as I came up with the idea for a grin motif that would be a sextuplet figure that descends stepwise and then returns to the starting pitch. This musical melodic shape is a grin when notated and should be recognizable aurally as well. It first occurs at measure 9 in the movement and is the germ idea for this section.

The movement itself is in an ABA form with a short coda. It is in a slow tempo and contrapuntal, therefore suggesting contemplation. The A section has four independent lines that simultaneously work together and independently. There are sections of brief imitation. It builds in texture then thins indicating the cat fading in and out. The B section continues the contrapuntal structure but introduces the grin motif where three of the four lines begin with it. This section ends with the grin motif in imitation before fading away. The A section returns with some slight variation before easing into the coda consisting of the grin motif in imitation. Two beats of silence precede the final notes in the lowest instrument. Harmonically, the movement hovers between d minor and F major before ending on G.

I export my Sibelius Music Notation file as a movie (new to version 7.5). I also use Noteperformer software for the sounds. These are sample sounds, but the software also includes an algorithm that reads ahead in the music and phrases the music according to context, therefore making the realization closer to live performance. I  upload these videos to youtube and embed the video after the poetry for each movement. I hope that this technology allows the reader to have an easier experience and a more realistic performance. The sounds used in the movie are violin, clarinet, trombone, and tuba. To see and hear what I have discussed, go to http://www.cooppress.net/Wonderland_blog.html

As always, your comments are appreciated.
Dr. B

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