lento ma non troppo

Well, I’ve not exactly been setting the blogosphere on fire! Life seems to have been pretty full, although there always seems to be a list of things I still have to do. Main sources of time-passing (some more fruitful than others):

  • Dad’s finances
  • Beginning stages of fixup work on Dad’s house (roof, with walls, electrical, windows, plumbing and painting still to come)
  • Getting my 2005 ASCAPlus list done and submitted
  • Making an SATB version of a recent men’s piece (I tried it with the choir last night; it looks to be very successful)
  • Did I mention Dad’s finances?
  • Looking into some additional sources of income, including a couple of part- or short-term teaching slots (but either they’re slow or I’m not in the running!)
  • Dealing with an overbooking at the Kauai condo (communication is REAL important)
  • Have I brought up Dad’s finances?

It seems like music is getting slighted. But I have some thoughts on a couple of upcoming projects…

Project 1

A couple of weeks ago the children presented a musical as part of worship (Sermon on the Mound). It was cute. The kids clearly enjoyed themselves, and had a number of strong moments. The adults who assisted and guided the project also did wonderfully. The song Out in Right Field, recorded by Peter, Paul and Mary, is featured–it’s a great moment.

So I started thinking…is it time to write a musical for the kids myself? I’d have a good six months to work on it. I noticed some areas in this work that could be improved upon:

  • The vocal range is too great for kids (at least a 10th, I think). It should be kept within an octave, and not higher than c5 (an octave above middle c).
  • Through-composed or complicated melodies should be minimized (“Right Field” worked–a great example of story-telling in song–but it was sung by an adult). While one doesn’t want the piece reduced to a set of simple choruses, simplicity is important.
  • There’s an almost glib use of bible verses, reflecting the evangelical focus of the author and composer, I sure. Less would be more, I think.

Project 2

I’m playing organ and/or piano for a wedding the first weekend in August (the organ isn’t much). The bride is the daughter of a good friend of high school vintage. I may play more piano than organ, and so I’m thinking of writing a postlude. Probably along the lines of a trumpet voluntary, but for piano rather than organ. Could be a fun challenge.

…and I thought of a project that is still in progress that I’d like to say a few things about: a setting of Isaiah 6:1-8, originally written for chorus and organ, but arranged for chorus, organ and cello. I’m thinking of some comments on the process of transcribing for different resources–both in my music and in some interesting works for violin and organ I purchased recently.

As usual, it’s music to my ears…

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