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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.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Wonderland Movement 6

I have completed the 6th and final 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 sixth movement is called the Queen of Hearts. I originally intended to do a movement on the Queen of Hearts and a separate movement as an Epilogue where Alice wakes up and remembers her dream. Instead, I have combined these two into one since the Queen of Hearts is present is so many scenes in the story. 

I began by creating some regal sounding music. In measure 8, I introduce a triplet figure followed by a half note. This motive I call the "off with their heads" motive because the rhythm mirrors the words and the harmony is somewhat dissonant. The regal music continues through measure 24 and the "off with their heads" motive appears more frequently. Measure 25 brings back a fragment of the White Rabbit music as he is part of the Queen's trial. The Mad Hatter, Dormouse, and March Hare's music appears at measure 33 as they are also present and this section ends with the "off with their heads" motive. At measure 45 the tempo is cut in half as the Cheshire Cat music is revisited. The "off with their heads" motive in this section is gentler as the Queen wonders how can you cut the cat's head off when all that remains is the head. Measure 55 transitions the listener back to Alice's growing music from movement 1. It builds in intensity until measure 62 where the Queen's music returns. Measure 66 gives us three more repeats of the "off with their heads" that gradually weaken, as Alice is now waking up from her dream. Measure 65 to the end uses the falling down the hole music but with ascending figures instead of falling figures to show that Alice is waking up. The last statement is derived from the "off with their heads" motive as a reminder of the Queen, even though Alice is awake.

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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