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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 18, 2015

Emoticons Movement II

This is the second movement of my latest three-movement composition for tuba/euphonium quartet called Emoticons. It is being composed as a result of a commissioning consortium consisting of the Tarnished Brass - Rowlett, TX, the University of North Carolina - Greensboro, NC, the Triangle Tuba Quartet - Durham, NC, the University of Tennessee - Knoxville, TN, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga - Chattanooga, TN, and Kansas State University - Manhattan, KS. More groups are welcome to the join the consortium as the deadline for expressing interest has been extended until June 30, 2015. For more information, please visit http://www.cooppress.net

The idea behind Emoticons is to symbolically represent emotions, in this case, loneliness. I do that by using a slow tempo, minor modes, wandering chromaticism, and frequent descending melodic lines.  One way to understand this movement is to observe the four groups of musical ideas that are use. The first is measures 1-4 which uses the wandering chromaticism. The second is measures 5-9 that has the descending line with the triplet figure, often in imitation. The third group is the eighth-quarter-eighth syncopation that is more vertical in structure utilizing minor chords, chords in 4ths, and extended tertian harmony. Much of the harmony in this section is derived by letting each part find the direction it wants to go while keeping in mind the overall vertical structure. These ideas first appears at measures 10 and 11. The last idea is the sixteenth note minor melodic line that is accompanied by the syncopated harmony. It first appears at measures 12-15.

The overall form is ABA. The first two sections mentioned above form the A. The order of these sections is reversed and extended when A returns at the end. The bulk of the movement is development of sections 3 and 4 during the B section. This B section builds in intensity through increased dynamics and tempo. It is as if the lonely person is becoming full of regret at what might have been. The intensity is finally spent when the music transitions back to the A section.

Your comments are always appreciated.

Dr. B

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