Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Twenty-Ninth of November

For piano. PDF file (52KB) here.

Idle hands in a waiting room make for facile play. Or maybe not.

This project (30 pieces in a month with 30 days) has been, in part, about compositional efficiency in the face of a lifestyle that yields almost no "free time" to compose and what precisely the adoption of such efficiency might apply to musical quality. Entering this score, for example, into the computer (point, click) took more time than sketching the piece out (uni ball micro on the backside of a patient's information form). [Switching back to manuscript actually seems a real alternative, if speed is the only problem.] This pace has encouraged one good trend and one possibly bad trend: the good trend is that of moving toward the automation of habits, which has, paradoxically, made me more aware of, and less likely to give into, the habitual. The possibly bad trend has been a tendency to accept the first possible solution to any problem that arises rather than to be patient and wait for a better, if not the best, solution.

These have largely been unedited performances, and each is an experiment in doing something I would not otherwise have done (or at least done in public): a chorale, or a bit of classicism (neo- or not), for example. The pieces have also tended to have minimal length, to be more examples, as might be expected of experimental results, rather than finished product, but that's not automatically a bad thing. Putting the label of the experimental on this work is a bit of an alibi, I admit readily, in that it allows for both failures and successes (and much of the muddiness in-between), as well as for moving outside of one's usual proclivities, many of which are intimately associated with the professional identities that are so important nowadays.

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