Monday, May 16, 2011

Orchestral music, finally

Last month I finished my first composition for full orchestra.
A big deal? Yes.
Hard work? Yes, absolutely.
But what a blast I had, working mostly at night for over 6 months, after the kids were in bed.
I spent some time listening and following along to some beautiful music.
Debussy's, "Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun".
Beethoven's later symphonies, some Brahms.
Stravinsky's "Petrushka", which I have always loved so much and "The Rite of Spring".
I also very much enjoyed Michael Gandolfi's "Garden of Cosmic Speculation" and was thankful that he made the score available on his website.
I even read through the good old "Principles of Orchestration" by Rimsky-Korsakov.

The piece started with a simple melodic idea, the pitch content of which my friend Paul mentioned, is the same as the old song "I've Got Rhythm". Now, I certainly would never claim to have rhythm, but I did the best I could with that pitch material. The inspiration for the melody of the piece comes from the music I made for a short film a number of years ago. The imagery that I found so inspiring was that of a misty Autumn day on Mount Holyoke in western Massachusetts . Here is the original musical idea.  a meeting like this by Evren Celimli
So the next step is to get my 15 minute orchestral piece "Colorful Mountains Cry For You" performed. I have sent it off to the Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute and will hear back from them sometime this summer.