Words to Song IV, The Storm: May 24-27, 2007

Journal entries by composer and pianist Laurie Conrad

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Words to Song IV, The Storm: May 24-27, 2007

Post by figaro » Tue Jun 19, 2007 3:19 pm

Words to Song IV, The Storm: A Composer’s Journal : May 24-27, 2007

Thursday, May 24
2:30 a.m.

Hot today, over eighty five degrees. Christina brought the small air conditioner up from the basement, so the computer room is bearable tonight. The downstairs has been cool because I open all the doors at night, close them during the day. When the nights become hot we will have to bring the other air conditioner up, for the downstairs.

Finished the revisions to song V. of the Unsung Songs cycle, Sailboats. I still can’t settle on a tempo & decided to wait until Myra returns from New York City, I need to hear it on the harp before deciding. Therefore, I will not copy out the final changes until after our first rehearsals. Wrote Robert Spear, to see if he now has enough string players for a read-through of Images and the Songs. If the tempo is slower, the voice parts will stay as they are. If the tempo is faster, the rhythms in the voice parts - & therefore in all the instruments for those measures, will change. Which means quite a bit of rewriting in the score. It is not as easy to add as to subtract notes in a score; to add notes often means rewriting entire pages, not just making changes to a single page.

Saturday, May 26

Began looking at the last song in the Unsung Songs cycle, The Feather. After I am done, I will go back to Song IV, The Storm. And then will copy out the last three songs, make changes to the main score.

I am tired. My original plan was to also orchestrate Trois Prieres and finish the orchestration of Chansons this summer. But now I think I had better wait until fall or even the cold clarity of winter. If I continue working at the pace I have been, my ideas will suffer. I am already wondering if I should wait to finish the revisions of the Songs. Facing my own mortality has been spurring me on, but now I am thinking it might be best to leave some things undone if I am called to other realms - rather than leaving tired, hurried pieces.

Sunday, May 27

Finished revising the words to The Storm. Decided to finish that song first, before continuing on to The Feather. The words might change as I put them to the music - the music often dictates the changes. The score, as it stands now, is 42 pages long. Because the words have changed - so will the music. What a task ...

Words to The Storm:

Such a storm!
The careless rain changes
pitch and direction
with the heartless wind

And now the thunder
of crashing clouds,
as though the olden gods
strode above us!

The wind and the rain
beat and swirl
into the wordless Night,
The moon hidden
beyond the bowed and
trembling trees.

We can barely see
the way before us -

And next to me
your silent tears
mingle with the storm.

Verse II:

Still the crashing
clouds above,
The gusts of wind and rain
grow wilder -
we cannot see the path
before us.

My love,
are you thinking of
the life we have shared
so easily, so sweetly -

The children
and their joyful laughter
and groundless fears -

Or do your thoughts
now try to grasp
vows we took in other realms,
vows I now
cannot remember.

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