Monday, March 26, 2018

Lighter Blogging

I'm currently out of town, visiting family in Virginia Beach and this is what it looks like:

Click to enlarge
Plus, it is damn cold! It was warmer when I was here for Christmas a couple of years ago. But I am looking forward to hitting some fine seafood restaurants. That's one thing I miss in Mexico, living far from the ocean.

Friday night we had a little workshop concert. My violinist and I played a couple of transcriptions from Rameau keyboard music, La Triomphante and Les Tendres Plaintes, I played Sofia Gubaidulina's Serenade (1960) and we did a tryout of my new piece "Dark Dream" and come to think of it, I'm not sure if I even announced the title! It went ok, though we discovered several new mistakes we hadn't made before. I haven't listened to the recording yet, but if it is not too embarrassing I might put it up in a post. Or not!

It was interesting--some said afterwards it was "ear-expanding." Honestly, I have been trying to avoid doing anything radical for years now. I rejected the typical avant-garde gestures years and years ago and have been trying to find a way of returning to the roots of music. But using tonal gestures and ideas has not been getting to where I wanted to be. So I finally decided to strike out in some new directions and it is working so far. I see what artists mean when they talk about going where the material takes them or being a reluctant innovator! That's me, a reluctant innovator.

I don't think you really have a choice. I am starting a new piece, for violin, guitar and percussion titled "Dark and Light."

This is a 2006 piece by Sofia Gubaidulina, Light of the End, part 1, London Philharmonic, cond. Kurt Masur:


Will Wilkin said...

I'm very glad to know you are composing more music for violin and guitar! I think it was about a year ago I bought the score for your "Four Pieces for Violin and Guitar," which although I found it too hard for me to play just yet I LOVE the recording I downloaded with it!

It must have been a pleasure to play Rameau last Friday, certainly I had great pleasure the next day seeing his opera Pigmalion performed live in NYC! A lot of nice dancing with it, the French thought op[era and dancing belong together.

Marc said...

"Ear-expanding" sounds like a very good thing, at least occasionally. Enjoy the ocean and the family visiting.

Tenebrae of Holy Thursday here tonight as Holy Week reaches its culmination in what is called the 'sacred Triduum'-- best wishes for a happy Eastertide to you and everyone who comments here.

Bryan Townsend said...

Thanks so much for the comments! Yes, I would count the performance on Friday a success as no-one actually threw any vegetables. Though one person, a Canadian composer, said she found one passage with loud minor seconds a bit tormenting. Well, it was supposed to be, I guess! Sorry you found the Four Pieces difficult. They don't look hard, but I had to do some real practicing on the guitar part when we recorded them!

Best wishes to you both for this Easter week.