Results of the Retreat


This past long weekend, I attended our annual Lichtenbergian Retreat and I actually got stuff done!

On Friday, I started and finished a very short piece for the ballet, called "Perpetuum Mobile," and it's pretty good.

Here's the score: PDF. And here's the mp3:

Not bad, eh?

I realized as I was finishing up the piece that it would have been instructive if I had saved all the stages of the piece, with the false starts and huge ragged chunks of ABORTIVE ATTEMPTS.  As it is, you might think that I just wrote the piece like some kind of common Mozart, start to finish without hesitation.  This is far from true.

There were a lot of double-bars in the process, i.e., when I got stuck, I skipped a measure or two and drew in a double barline for the measure and started over with something different. One of those chunks got copied into the penultimate passage; another, which started out as an alternative finish to the opening phrase, became a second ending to that phrase.

The ending, which makes me giggle every time I hear it, started out as the ending for a section, but I recognized its potential and cut/pasted it to the last two measures, where it stayed.

Frankly, I was surprised to discover that the piece was finished. That little phrase that just stops and repeats at the end? I'll never know what made me think to copy/paste it to repeat it, but when I did, it simply announced itself as the coda to the piece.  All I had to do was link it to the end and then go back to connect the insides of the piece.

On Saturday I was not quite as productive: I arranged the Tango from Five Easier Pieces for the chamber ensemble; I produced several measures of crap for a new waltz; and I settled on a previous piece, "Excitato," as the opening number and worked on extending it a bit.

Here, have an ABORTIVE ATTEMPT.  Listen to how it all falls apart at the end.

And lest you think that my claim about ABORTIVE ATTEMPTS is not as true about my music as it might be, here's the stab at the waltz:

(Note: the last section I lifted from an old aborted symphony, so that's why it sounds as if it's finished.  It was.)

It was a good weekend.