Saturday, May 3, 2014
52.) Purple May 1, 2014
Well, this is the final piece of the project. I'm filled with many emotions, but I'll save that for the final reflections post, which I will write immediately after this post.
Purple utilizes just one transposition of Messiaen's fourth mode. I enjoyed constructing major seventh and minor seventh chords out of it. The piece has a discernible melody, but still brings emphasis to the ringing of the piano, at least this was my intention.
Speaking of that, I would like to mention a little of what's been going on in my compositional mind for the last month or so. If you've been an avid follower of my stuff (thanks!), you've read a lot about my dealing with outside influences. Well this last month has been more about dealing with inside influences. My piece, Soil, from April 5th, is very special to me. It's something that I could write only after composing a weekly piece for almost two years. It's a culmination of many things for me. I have some really ridiculous ideas about that piece. I keep having thoughts that it might be a moment of important realization. It might be the pinnacle of everything I've ever written. It might be a turning point. It could be the moment in my work where everything came into focus. It's my Rothko rectangles realization, or my Morton Feldman long and quiet repetitive pieces realization. This is what I'm going to do from here on out! These are scary thoughts to admit, actually. Can I possibly know if it really is such an important piece at this time? Can I really be this objective about my own work? Am I crazy? The piece is just a handful of measures, how can it be that important? Well, part of me really wants to believe that Soil is one of those moments. And I want it to be so badly, that I in a way forced myself to write the rest of the pieces in line with it. It was not necessarily difficult to compose in this style - slow, repetitive, with an emphasis on the overtones of the piano, because I love it so much. However, in regard to time, it was somewhat forced. I had to push these ideas out, rather than let the emerge naturally. I kept looking for something in line with Soil, but unique enough in itself to feel as important to me as Soil did. None of the pieces afterward did that, although I like all of them. If I'm going to write something that meets that criteria, I think it's going to have to emerge more naturally. Soil really came out of nowhere in a way. It just happened upon me. If I chose to go forward with this style of writing, I think it will need to happen at a slower pace.
It's quite interesting to me how I've needed to deal with my self in this regard. It seems that I've managed to inspire myself to a questionable point. Can I really take myself so seriously? This is the same thing that I dealt with back in the Weekly Composition Project, when I would hear an inspiring performance by a colleague, and then unnaturally imitate it in the next several improvisation, usually to ill effect. And now I've run into this problem with myself. Life is cyclical, I guess. How entertaining...I love observing the process!
Anyway, Purple gets it's title from the some of the most beautiful tulips in my neighborhood. These things seem so happy it's Spring - holding their heads high and proud. I've been walking past them every time I walk the dog.