Saturday, September 26, 2009

Blogging for the MCE: Evidence of Compositional Activity

Before I trot out the evidence that I have, in fact, been writing music for the MCE as well as reading the newspaper and then blogging about it, there's just one more quote I would like to share with you that relates to yesterday's topic (integrity of musical idea versus the practical concerns of performability).

Of course I did and do maintain that it is possible to keep your authentic voice while still writing music that is performable.

Wuorinen's distinction is not quite the same—he writes about the difference between entertainment and art. Here's the quote:

"In any medium, entertainment is that which we can receive and enjoy passively, without effort, without our putting anythin
g into the experience. Art is that which requires some initial effort from the receiver, after which the experience received may indeed be entertaining, but also transcending as well. Art is like nuclear fusion: you have to put something into it to get it started, but you get more out of it in the end than what you put in. Entertainment is its own reward, and generally doesn't last."

Charles Wuorinen, b. 1938

Oh no, I just allowed this blog to mention transcendence, which can be rather a large ideal to live up to. Let's do an about-face and talk about something more mundane, like music engraving. Here's what happens when I import a prelim
inary version of the first two pages of the new MCE piece into this space ... this is page 1:

Yes, it's tiny. I apologize. I did select "large" when asked to choose image size, and I got what you see above. I then tried to drag the edges of the box to make it larger, but then everything got blurry ... so if you want to see what's going on, and you're really, really obsessive compulsive, you may have to print this entry out and blow it up on a photocopier. I'm sorry. Seriously.

Note that this is in no way a final version, but I thought you might enjoy seeing what happens when I sit in Starbucks
for a couple hours typing in notes and telling Finale how much I loathe Times New Roman and begging it to put everything in Pristina or Garamond instead ... we now have the template for this piece, and a few measures of what will be a recurring motif, and all sorts of good things. Let me know your thoughts, questions, and other comments of note!

Here's page 2, comprising three measures of cheerful compound melody:

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