Hold your horses, Sakari.

wild horses
By Micah A. Ponce on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

I found a call for scores recently asking for a piece for solo flute, and although I already have a piece for alto flute, I’d prefer to write a new one. The last one I wrote was early freshman year, but I can do better I’m sure.

I only have a couple of days to do it, but I like a bit of pressure. Considering the lack of time that I have to write this piece, I’m tempted to jump right in and start putting notes on the page. Oops…I already have. But I’m stopping myself right this instant, because I know that I have a tendency to shortcut the writing process. I did take a while–maybe an hour or two–to Google some extended techniques for flute and whatnot. I have been exposed to quite a bit of contemporary flute repertoire including extended techniques, such as Crumb’s Vox Balaene (amongst several of his other works) and Clarke’s Zoom Tube. In writing my last flute piece, I tried to expose myself to quite a bit, so much of this is review or an extension upon some of the techniques I had previously learned of. However, unlike last time, I don’t have a performer to test things out.

Working with a flautist last time helped me to realize that some techniques were simple in theory but unpractical in reality. For example, overblowing a note on alto flute is a bit more difficult than with the C flute in the sense that the notes often jump into the next octave instead of creating a turbulent, windy effect. After learning about microtones on flute and alternate fingerings recently, I am hesitant to use them for fear that they may come out to be impractical too (such as novice/ambiguous fingerings for string harmonics–annoying). I’m sure I can find some fingering charts online, but that will definitely be a crash course in the matter. I find the effect attractive though, so it may be well worth the dare.

One thing I recall from a lesson with Dr. Suter right before I started my latest quartet piece was this:I should take in as much music as possible related to what I plan to do, and then wait to start when I am overflowing with ideas. Good plan. But will two days do trick?

Even if they don’t, my current plan is this:

Today–Absorb knowledge like a sponge. Brainstorm with words, and use simple sketches where necessary.

Tomorrow–Get up super early, write the piece. Get a good start on engraving it.

Tuesday–Get up early, finish engraving it, proofread it. Turn it in.

And I’m gonna have fun doing it all!

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Hold your horses, Sakari.

  1. Best of luck to you, Sakari! :] Shannon C is well-versed in contemporary flute literature and techniques and is usually quite quick to respond, so if you end up having any questions you might want to shoot them her way!

    Like

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s