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, September 26, 2014

Bachburg Concerto No. 5 Movement 1

As I stated in my previous post, I am working on two compositions simultaneously. This is the first movement of the second one, a concerto for two tubas and piano that is commissioned by Thomas Lukowicz of Wright State University. Tom is planning a CD of Bach duets and wanted a modern composition that would fit with the music of Bach. Since Bach composed 6 Brandenburg Concerti, I thought that Brandon should compose 6 Bachburg Concerti. This is number 5 in the series. It is influenced by the music of Bach mainly in its reliance on counterpoint.

I use the key signature of C minor because a lot of the music is in C natural minor or Aeolian mode or its dominant G minor. But key signatures or keys rarely mean much to me as I let the music freely wander to wherever it wants to go. For example, within the first five measures of this movement, the tonalities go from C minor to F minor to G minor back to F minor and then back to C minor at measure 6. A few chromatics are thrown in for good measure as well. Hence there is much tonal interest even though it is fairly traditional in terms of tonality.

After the piano introduction, the tubas enter at measure six with some imitation and independent lines. In order to keep the clarity of the lines, the piano accompaniment is kept simple. I did a previous version of this section where the piano was also playing counterpoint and discarded it because the lines became very muddy. The piano has some brief interludes that create a tutti/concertino effect.

Measure 28 introduces a contrasting thinner and more lyrical section. This is like a second theme in a sonata form. Measure 48 begins what sounds like a development section. Measure 67 returns the listener to the second part of the first theme before a recapitulation takes place at measure 72. The second part of the first theme is now omitted in the recapitulation. The second theme returns in a different tonality at measure 93. Measure 113 begins the final push towards the end and serves almost like a 2nd development section. The modulation at measure 122 adds to the push. There are meter changes subtly added throughout that breaks the continuity of the 4/4 meter.

II 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 for each movement. I hope that this technology allows the reader to have an easier experience and a more realistic performance. To see and hear what I have discussed, go to http://www.cooppress.net/Bachburg5_blog.html

As always, your comments are appreciated.
Dr. B

No comments: