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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2007 7:25 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2005 12:45 am
Posts: 535
Location: Ithaca, NY
Twelve Tone Music: Further Discussion with Mark Gould: A Composer’s Journal Entries May 2-May 7, 2007

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Wednesday, May 2

Received another e-mail from Mark Gould today:

Hello Laurie

Work keeps me from my task of continuing my thoughts on 12-note music.... And painting too... For some reason last year I felt the need to carry out my idle dream of many years and buy a few paints and things and try out oil painting.... I am still much of a beginner... But now my garage is an impromptu studio.

The 'dodecaphonic dialogue' is very slow in coming. I am trying to distill the essence of what attracts composers to the technique and to the state of 'mind' that a 12-note composer experiences.

You mention the increase of tonal elements in your own work. I believe that this is entirely natural - I don't think there is any distinction - merely that these two dissimilar methods are opposite sides of the same coin. I imbue my own rows with tonality, always have done. For example here is the row for the second Piano Trio:

G C B-flat D-flat E-flat A F D E B G-sharp F-sharp

I have sketched a few 'shapes' and 'characters' but yet to have a good starting 'action'.

I have been reading your own journal also, A Composer’s Journal - you are saddened by your loss of many close people and wondering why you have remained behind after your accident... Perhaps you still have something to do here in this earthly life? In all my reading of the lives of creative artists there is a sense of completeness in their work - never a sense of too soon an end. If I intrude in a painful area, I apologize.

It is never that a person lets go, but that the next world wishes it.

Mark

LC: Hello dear Mark, and thank you for the update - and your clear examples. And your personal message to me.

You wrote: "You mention the increase of tonal elements in your own work. I believe that this is entirely natural - I don't think there is any distinction - merely that these two dissimilar methods are opposite sides of the same coin." I wonder if many twelve tone composers do return to tonality; I would have to research this in order to answer you. As for both methods being opposite sides of the same coin: I am not sure that I would put it that way, but it is a good image. Are you putting the overtone series as the coin? And that composers then can choose how to use the natural laws of sound of this earth, choose which side of the coin to use in their music - i.e. tonal or atonal, atonal or serial, bitonal or polytonal etc.?
I think I do still have work here on earth. The problem is that being clairvoyant, I see into other realms - and many of them are so very very beautiful ... we cannot even imagine it.

Best wishes dear Mark
Laurie


Friday, May 4
Wrote Mark another e-mail today:

Hello dear Mark! I have been thinking further on your sentences : “ The 'dodecaphonic dialogue' is very slow in coming. I am trying to distill the essence of what attracts composers to the technique and to the state of 'mind' that a 12-note composer experiences. ”

Not an easy task. I think it would be best if you spoke mainly of your own feelings, why you chose the twelve tone system. How could you possibly speak for all composers? It seems to me that some composers would choose serial music for its sound; others for the compositional technique or the theory behind it, Schoenberg’s original philosophical concept. For others it would be purely an instinctive affinity, perhaps a memory of some sort. The reasons would be as varied as the stars in the sky.

A wonderful spring day today; the back garden is just breathtaking: bluebells, daffodils of all sizes and shapes and tulips, forget-me-nots everywhere. And one deep red rose, a bush I just planted, like a jewel in the sun. Music, the music I wish to write ...

Best Wishes
Laurie

Sunday, May 6

Spent some hours at Windgarth House. Another perfect day; and the warm breezes and waves suggested new music to be written ...

Monday, May 7

Met with Myra Kovary on the Commons today; in the low seventies, sunny. We sat at the outdoor tables near 14 Steps, and talked about rehearsals for Images and the harp cadenzas for the Unsung Songs cycle. Petals were falling from the trees like short bursts of snow ... Am still feeling a bit dizzy, this last illness has not yet fully passed. Perhaps when M. is gone for ten days, starting the 17th, I will be better and able to compose again. Hopefully before then ...


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