I’ve been beating my creative head against the wall awhile, and finally, today, I came up with something. The melody is beautiful in its simplicity. The star player most of the time is the piccolo, which should make it happy, since it only got to play about three lines of music in the first movement. Anyway, this is just a sketch: I’ll probably keep the melody and the impressionistic piano stuff, but how those end up realizing themselves in anybody’s guess (Oh, and by no means do I consider the end of this recording an ending; it was just where I decided to stop today). This is a turning point in the dynamical system of composition, so feedback will have the most effect now. If you have any ideas, please speak up before I get too attached to what I’ve done. MIDI|MP3
I spent the last couple of days musically editing the first movement (I know I said that I wouldn’t, but I did. So there.). It’s thirty seconds longer, and I fixed some parts that I didn’t like. It also has a much more subtle ending, which should prepare the listener for the second movement a little better. Tell me if you like it more than the first ending. MIDI|MP3
The piece still needs to be edited. The score is not pretty (it uses incorrect accidentals here and there, and I think the brass section, the clarinet, and the piccolo are still feeling left out, and I might be asking the cello section to do intervals that they’re not capable of). I think I’m going to postpone editing until I’m done with the whole concerto, though, because I’ll probably be a better orchestrator by the time I’ve written another 20 minutes of orchestral music. Then I’m going to take it to the CU music school and see if any orchestrators want to edit it (again). And then I’m going to search for somebody to perform it, however I might go about that. But that search is a good nine months down the road, so I’m not worrying about it just yet.
I awoke at 9:00pm (my schedule has been wacko this week), pushed the alarm time button, and saw “1:50”. Why didn’t it go off? Why, because it was set to 1:50 AM! A lot of good that does. So I missed the Perl 6 meeting and my classes at 4 and 6.
But, some good did come out of it. I began a song at 10:00pm and finished at 4:30am. It’s the first movement of a string quartet. That will give me something to work on when I have writer’s block on my concerto (which I do right now). Here’s what I wrote: Andante.
UPDATE: And here is an MP3 for the MIDI-disabled. It’s not going to sound that realistic because my solo string samples aren’t very good; in particular, pretend the crescendos are actually getting louder (the samples have long attacks, which isn’t good for fast songs). Anyway, my string samples are probably better than yours, so err on the side of the MP3.
Four measures after the previous concerto update, I slammed against a major writer’s block. I had just written four brilliant measures, the brightest and most multitextured of the whole song, and then, well, I just stopped. I went a couple of weeks without any music translatable from my head to the page.
Fortunately, I got past it today. I only have about forty seconds more than the last update, but I thought I’d post since it has been so long.
And now I’m at a fork in the road. The first movement could very well be over right now. The listener is ready for something different; something slower, more melancholy. It might be time to start the second movement. Then again, I never got to do some of the things that I’ve been wanting to do in this movement, like develop the second theme, or come to a big climax. I think the listener would be just fine with going for another couple minutes in this movement—as long as it doesn’t take a break here. If I keep the notes and the ritardando the way they are now, I have to go to the second movement. So I need some way to keep the song moving, and still transition to the slower second theme.
Latest progress on my piano concerto: This is the exposition (the first three minutes or so) and the beginning of the development (sections 1 and 2). Section 1 is the developmental theme, the dissonant quarter-note theme that begins on the piano left hand. Section 2 is beginning to restate the soft theme from the exposition. Running time: 5:42. MIDI | MP3.
I’ve been absent here for some time now, so I’ll fill you in on what I’m doing. In particular, what I’m doing musically. I have started a piano concerto!
At first, I didn’t want to share it with anybody, and present it when it was finished. This is justified for me, since it seems that if I get negative, unspecific feedback then I give up. But I’m deciding to be stronger than that.
I’ll share with you my journey of writing this piano concerto. Feel free to comment, suggest improvements (please only do this if you listen to classical music, though), etc. Of course “make it longer” isn’t a good suggestion, because I’m working on that :-).
The file I’m posting today is the exposition and the very first tip of the development. The exposition is about three minutes long. I intend the development to be about 7, and then a conclusion for one or two. The file will probably not sound very good unless you have a kick-ass sound module (and if that, not unless your sound module is balanced the same way as mine), so use your imagination. Listen to the notes, not the sound. I won’t put an mp3 up unless someone asks nicely.
So here it is: the first 3:45 of Luke Palmer’s Piano Concerto no. 1 in B minor.
UPDATE: By the way, I’m only talking about the first movement. I’m in the process of formulating the form and getting some rudimentary ideas for the last two movements.
UPDATE: And by request, here is the MP3.
I wrote a new song, a sad piece for the piano and the english horn. I wonder if there’s something going on in my life that’s causing my music to take this more serious mood. Anyway, without further ado: A 38: Élégie.
Nichtmusik! (A 36) A dissonant, serious piece that I wrote over the last two days. If you’re looking for some interesting runs to put in jazz improvisations, this is where you’ll find them. But note that they’re intentionally unsettling.
Anyway, I’m quite proud of this one, even if nobody is going to like it. I’ve never succeeded before in making a song that makes you feel weird.