Here’s an interesting freewrite that I did, and an idea that I’ve been wanting to do for a while. This piece starts in baroque style and slowly (as slow as possible in two and a half minutes of music) makes its way to impressionistic harmonies using the same theme. I think this piece could be a lot longer and better, but I wanted to finish it because it’s been too long since I’ve finished something. Maybe I’ll go back and add to it later.
I doubled the length of the third movement over the past few months. That is to say, I wrote about two minutes of music. Yeah, it’s slow going.
I’m not sure that I like the slow section here. No, I take that back. I’m very sure I like the slow section here (it has a very Debussy/Stravinsky feel to it). I’m not sure that it is appropriate to the piece. I’ll probably keep it though, unless I absolutely cannot go anywhere with it.
I think I finally got past my composer’s block on my piano concerto. It’s still slow-going: I have 45 seconds more to show you since last time. Still, here is the current third movement. I plan to keep it low tension for another thirty seconds or so, then build to a quick climax and calm back down again for the main low tension section. From there, we’ll see where it goes. Feedback welcome.
I’ve been updating my progress on my piano concerto recently. One of my main points in doing this is just to allow other composers (or even non-composers) to see my process of writing a large, complex piece. But there’s one thing I’ve been keeping hidden that I just remembered to share now. This is my second try at a piano concerto. The timestamp on the file says 2002-12-30, so that’s the closest estimate I have for when I was working on this (hmm, now I wish I would have kept track of dates more closely). I can’t find my first try yet, but I’ll post when I do.
I notice a few things about my composing style and skill at that point as compared to now: I seem to have become a little more conservative pianisticly. I really like some of the piano writing in this second try. But I also seem to have increased my thematic attention span by quite a bit (and it’s still not as long as I’d like it to be). This second try seems to have three times as much stuff as the first movement of my most recent concerto, but it’s only half as long. I consider this to be a good thing; bombarding the listener with too many new themes is just irritating. And my orchestral writing has really come together since that time. I’m not really sure what did it. I probably only wrote ten total minutes of orchestral music between the two concertos. I think there are two factors: 1. ten minutes is a lot when you consider orchestral music; 2. I started listening to a wider variety of classical and noticing the orchestration more critically. Something tells me that it’s more the latter than the former.
Here’s another freewrite. I couldn’t think of what to call it, so it’s just Freewrite no. 20.
Well, I’ve returned from Toronto, and I kicked off the second half of my summer with (just a little) composing. I’m still stuck on the third movement of my concerto, unfortunately, but I did rewrite the third section of the first movement (introduction of the main soft theme), which is something I’ve been wanting to do. I welcome feedback on the new section (3:02-4:19). I also wrote a short freewrite, called “A Symmetrical Prelude”. For every note above middle D, there is one the same interval below it.
At the World Affairs Conference 2001, I sat in on a talk by a writer who said a few words about writer’s block. She said, “just write every day; it doesn’t have to be good, it just has to be something. Freewrites are invaluable.” At that point, I did a few musical freewrites, and indeed it was good. The freewrites weren’t great, but then I had ideas and inspiration to work on my larger songs (I believe I was working on Opus 1 at that point).
Recently, I’ve been writing a little every day, but it’s only been a few measures because I throw it out once I don’t like it. I decided to break that today. I started with a motif that isn’t that neat or pretty, and just went with it. So here’s a bad idea, poorly developed, but finished, in hopes that I will get inspiriation to make progress on the third movement of my piano concerto. Freewrite no. 18.