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Old music

June 11, 2006 Uncategorized

Inspired by Newman’s recent post on digging up, airing out, and potentially discarding old works, followed by Mackey’s post of an old work of his, I decided to do something similar.

However, both of their works (Mackey’s Elegy and Fantasie, and Newman’s Lullaby for Munch in Hell), even though they hem and haw and say how juvenile they might be and basically try to make a litany of excuses before you even hear them, actually sound quite good.

You wanna hear something actually embarrassing? Something so young and stupid and trite and unimaginative and predictable, that no one in his right mind would possibly post on the internet? Well, go elsewhere, I ain’t doin’ that, either…not that I don’t have plenty of it hidden away. After all, I do have five works for band I wrote before Chester Leaps In (my first “official” band work), but they will remain buried for good reason. I will share something that’s still a bit young (written in part when I was 17, then finished when I was a senior in college), and in some ways embarrassing in its failure to be effective for the chosen instrumentation (flute and piano).

So what is it already?!? The piece that spawned “Alchemy in Silent Spaces: mvt. I”. Originally called “Periods of Ellipses…” (with more bad puns in the subtitles about circles, ellipses, orbits, etc…), this is the first movement, completed and premiered in the Spring of 1994. If you’ve heard the band or orchestra versions, you’ll notice that I expanded the ‘big’ section quite a bit when I orchestrated it. Like I said above, I don’t think it really works for solo flute and piano – I’d always thought it would work better for a large ensemble (though I never imagined it would be premiered by both the Indiana Univ. Wind Ensemble and the Juilliard Orchestra!).

This recording is by Andrea Redcay (flute) and Zoe Browder (piano) – something we put together one afternoon at North Texas. I went on to write the original RedLine for Zoe, who is, so far, the only pianist to actually perform it (and multiple times, at that!).

Ok, enough blather:
Periods of Ellipses, Mvt. I (flute, piano)

Now, back to work on this new piece for Jack Stamp‘s group at IUP. So far, I know it’s going to be about 5 minutes, 130 bpm, have driving 16ths in the hi-hat and piano, and will sound something vaguely like a cross between Spiraling, NIN, and t.A.T.u. I’m not kidding.