Revamping William Blake's Inn

For newcomers, let me say that my musical setting of Nancy Willard's A Visit to William Blake's Inn is my proudest accomplishment.

Image by Marc Honea, from the  WBI  workshops in 2007

Image by Marc Honea, from the WBI workshops in 2007

In a couple of weeks, the Moscow Charter School in Moscow, ID, will be using my music for the basis of their spring concert/choral reading.  Some of it they will sing; some they will recite.  Recently their teacher asked if I could provide .aiff files instead of the .mp3 files she downloaded from my website.

Not a problem, I replied.  All I have to do is open up the Finale music files and re-export them.

Actually, it's a problem.  I wrote all these pieces in 2003–07, and while I've updated them every time Finale has upgraded, I haven't actually futzed with them each time.  Therefore, you may imagine my annoyance when I opened the Prelude and found that the tubular bells would not play.


I emailed for tech support and eventually we found a solution.  It's not elegant, involving several menus and rejiggerings of sound files, but I'm slowly working my way through the pieces.

The thing is that the new orchestral realizations do not sound like the originals at all.  It's kind of jarring.  Percussion in particular is hard to hear in the orchestral texture, which means either that my orchestration is too thick (I don't think so) or the sound files themselves require boosting.

Since no live musicians are asking to use my scores for any kind of performance, I am for the moment just marking all the bass drums and snares and triangles fff


(And you thought that all I ever did was write about creativity...)