On the first day of class in the composition studio, Dr. Suter prompted us to discuss what our goals were as composers this year. Conveniently enough, I had been thinking about such goals about a week or so prior. One of my goals is to get at least one performance of my music outside of U of R…I still need a plan for that though. Perhaps I will write a piece for my old middle school; I have been wanting to write one for some time now, and the last time I talked to the director, he told me that the orchestra is massive. My number one goal, however, is to explore a wider harmonic palette.
In the quartet piece I that have been writing, The Forty-Year Wandering, I constructed a scale in order to give myself material to work with. (Still wondering if it is completely original, but even if it exists somewhere already, I really like it.) Usually, I jump right into writing melodies without thinking much about the “infrastructure” of them beforehand, and then I build the rest of my material off of the sonorities that come along with it. I hasn’t been a bad method, but it could definitely be better. I’ve realized that that is probably why I end up using modal melodies quite often, especially around the same tonal centers.
Most recently, I have been working on an unaccompanied viola solo to play for the composition recital (which is exactly two weeks from yesterday!!!). I plan to play it on my own. When Dr. Suter looked over my piece during my lesson, he brought to my attention one very crucial thing: it doesn’t build to much of a climax. What a head-slapper. I thought I had thought about something so basic as the climax of the piece, but obviously, I hadn’t, at least not thoroughly. In fact, the current “climax” of the piece is quite anticlimactic compared to the energetic, highly-rhythmic material that comes right before it. I gotta fix that. And soon. For this reason, I thought back on the aspirations I have for this year, and I have decided to add yet another one to the list: cut the dull moments. Period.