Starting to Write for Flute and Piano: 1/14/14

Journal entries by composer and pianist Laurie Conrad

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Starting to Write for Flute and Piano: 1/14/14

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Image: The CD cover for the Unsung Songs cycle

A Composer's Journal Entry

Tuesday January 14

Today some rain here and there; a very gray, mystical, mysterious, and magical day... the trees, now shorn of leaves, more like shadows than their usual selves. Mist covering the nearby hills and hovering in the small woods. In the forties, must be our January thaw. Flooding last week, the waterfalls down the street are still overflowing - roaring even in daytime, over the sounds of the day...

Have been working on the covers and inserts of the Unsung Songs CD with Diana; sometimes I wonder if this project called Unsung Songs will ever come to a close. Diana still has to change the bottom line on the CD cover to "set to" the haiku poems of William Hurley, instead of "from the". Dane finished his sound engineer work on the music; Al remastered the CD for the internet, brought out the bass and boosted the volume. Dane's version is more delicate, and I will use his version for the CDs produced for sale in stores. (To hear tracks from the new Unsung Songs: Songs of the Earth CD you can go to or , just type in my name in their search feature.)

Spent a few days cleaning the house and reducing the clutter left over from autumn in preparation for more composing. Spoke with my flutist, Laura Campbell; we agreed on a piece for flute and piano for a concert and recording. Possibly because of working with Hurley's poems for the Unsung Songs, a few weeks ago I took out an old notebook and started scribbling down a few lines of poems, images for the new flute piece. Decided on three movements, although that could change.

A week or so ago, my friend Frieda the dancer wrote me for the first time in many years - she had heard a few tracks from the Unsung Songs on the Internet and wanted to choreograph dance to my music. Frieda and I gave music/dance concerts many years ago, here in Ithaca and also in New York City. One memorable dance concert was in a loft in the Village, someone from the New York Times came to review it - I never saw the review but heard it was favorable. After her message I decided to write her a poem - and today I decided a shorter poem about a dancer could be the image for movement III of the flute piece, which for the moment I am calling Glimpses...


I. The Flute/The Glimpse

Laughter in the woods,
Distant and carefree-

Sunlight brilliant,
Through the leaves,
Against the deep green,
Of the forest floor-

As though two worlds met,
Both perceived for an instant...


Beauty everywhere-

III. The Dancer

In a hidden glade,
A solitary dancer.

This afternoon, the soft light coming through our front windows, I put a few sheets of manuscript paper on the piano rack and began finding motives and melodies for the flute. And then a piano motive in the bass for the second movement. A few days ago, I had ideas for the first movement, that are still in my head, not yet written down. The first and last movements will be mainly playful, light... Or at least that is my idea for them...

It has begun.
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