Sunday, December 5, 2010

The End

In the time since my last blog I've finished the Overture for trombone quartet. I find it to be sort of a strange piece because I was pulling it in a couple of different directions. What I wanted to do was set a tone for the rest of the piece (which ultimately I plan to write) however I was also trying to use the motives from the later movements in the overture. I think that this was not the best course of action but by the time I realized this it was too close to the deadline to try to fix it so that will be a job for another time.That said, I think that the piece turned out very nicely for what it was.

It was in sonata form but only loosely. I made a couple of changes like making the codetta at the end of the exposition into a sort of altered exposition repeat. Also, the recapitulation is very short and doesn't really give that sense of resolve that comes from closing by return.

I wanted to write this piece in a tonal sort of idiom as I don't have a whole lot of experience writing tonal music. I also wanted to plan the piece out as much as possible ahead of time as I always feel like when I compose I'm just feeling around in the dark and not really being entirely in control of my work and not knowing where I'm going with it until I'm there. I still experienced some of this sensation but not quite as much.

I began by writing the four leitmotives that would represent the different aspects of the story, those being the man, the boat, the sea, and the storm. Then I made a rough formal outline which I changed to sonata form shortly after. Then I dove in using a rough harmonic plan that I made up, but that was one of the things that wound up kind of getting tossed out the window.

This piece uses a lot of chromatic mediant relationships and some doubly chromatic ones, I found that these types of chord changes have a very dramatic and colorful sound which is exactly what I was going for with the piece. There are also some instances of chromatic planing which I found to also serve the colorful sound.

I wanted to write a piece that was in the tonal realm, was more or less planned out, and was generally accessible but still striking to the ear. I actually feel like I more or less accomplished this with the Overture. Although I think that what I may do in the future is break it down and use the different sections as material for the other movements of the work and write a new overture that isn't based so heavily on the same material and is more of a mood setter.

Anyways, that's all for that piece. I'm very much looking forward to hearing it performed in the new year.

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