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, March 29, 2015

Playground Movement 2 - Slides

This is the is the second movement of a three movement composition for Drei Bones ( a trombone trio) called Playground by Sy Brandon. It was the idea of trombone glissandi representing playground slides that gave rise to this composition.

There are two main ideas used in this movement. the first is a rising pattern consisting of steps and leaps. This represents climbing the steps to the top of the slide. The second idea is the descending glissandi that represent going down the slide. There are many variants of these two ideas throughout the movement. The first version occurs in measures 1 and 2. Measure 3 and 4 is the first variant where the rising figure begins on the and of beat one instead of on the downbeat, the eighth note triplet is turned into a sixteenth note triplet, and the slide takes four beats instead of three. Measure 5 is filler material that reminds me of kids laughing and having fun.

The pickups to measure seven begin a section of imitation where three different kids are exploring smaller slides. This continues all the way to measure 17.  Measures 18, 19, and 20 use an extended version of the rising climbing motif as excitement builds to trying bigger and bigger slides. Measure 25 introduces a new variant of the slide motif where downward slides are piled closer together creating even more intensity. Measure 31 brings the listener to the biggest slide that climbs even higher and takes longer to descend. Measures 39 and 40 is a short coda using both the climbing and sliding motifs.

Your comments are always appreciated.

Dr. B

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Playground Movement 1 - Seesaw

This is the is the first movement of a three movement composition for Drei Bones ( a trombone trio) called Playground by Sy Brandon. The other movements will be called Slides and Swings.

I began the movement with a two measure syncopated figure that I refer to as the "playground motif." This figure and variants of it serve as a means of linking various seesaw users similar in concept to Mussorgsky's Promenade in Pictures at an Exhibition, but on a much smaller scale.

What I am trying to musically represent is the ups and downs of a seesaw. I was surprised by the number of different ways that I was able to do this and each section represents a different type of seesaw user. The A section (measures 1-14)  is the more aggressive type of seesaw user. Its rhythms are snappy and the dynamics loud. The B section (measures 15-24) represents those users who are laughing and having a good time. The rhythms are even, the articulation staccato, and the up and down idea is represented in a single line. Measures 25-50 is the C sections which is more flowing representing a romantic couple enjoying the ride. The dynamic is softer and the rhythmic activity is at a slower pace.

The movement is in an inverted arch form ABCBA. I refer to it as inverted because the climax of the form occurs at the beginning and the end and the middle sections are more relaxed.

The movement ends with the person at the bottom getting off suddenly causing the person at the top to plop to the ground.