The Composer Prepares & A Note from Mark Gould 10/31/07

Journal entries by composer and pianist Laurie Conrad

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The Composer Prepares & A Note from Mark Gould 10/31/07

Post by figaro » Wed Nov 28, 2007 3:44 am

The Composer Prepares for Work: A Composer’s Journal Entries: October 31, 2007


Wednesday, October 31

Received an e-mail from Mark today:

Dear Laurie,
Apologies for the long delay in getting back to you - I will post my reply later today - I have had a chest infection lately - probably caused by having to work far too much in the office.

I will also be giving some thought to other issues in the twelve-note domain, especially after your comments about moving away from the tonality/twelve-tonality sphere of discussion. I am interested in knowing how composers respond to writing harmonies that are not 'tonal' how they feel about these chords and how they might sensibly combine them in composition.

I have also be refreshing my memory on the work of Le Corbusier - especially with regard to the principles of proportion and form. Form is fundamental to music, and architecture, being the interplay of three-dimensional formal elements, invites comparison with music.
hope you are enjoying these days of the Fall before Winter rolls in,

kind regards

I answered Mark, saying that I needed to think on what he had written and thanked him for his e-mail.

Weather cooler, although we haven’t yet had a frost. Unusually warm, in the sixties tonight. Am getting ready to compose music again.

Last night I began cleaning up the back room; cleaned all the books on the shelves, individually; straightened them up, reorganized them. Washed the wooden box down. Windexed the photos on the walls. Took the oversized Chansons score that I want to finish orchestrating this winter, sheets of empty ms paper & written sheets of ms paper that have been sitting on the wooden box in the back room for almost a year, outside & aired them out a bit, dusted them all off. Decided to buy a container for all the cats’ toys.

Today I tackled the Steinway grand in the living room. Took all the pieces of ms paper & folders on the music rack outside & aired them out, dusted them. Did the same with the stacks of music on both sides of the music rack. Found notes to myself on yellow post-it notes & torn, dusty pieces of ruled paper; a note to contact WSKG; Sarah’s architectural plans for new houses; a note about musicians for my mother’s memorial service; the twelve tone square I used for the Prayer to St. Michael & some scattered sketches scrawled in pencil; volumes of Chopin Ballades & Etude; Rachmaninov Concerto II; J.S. Bach & Prokofiev piano scores; unlined paper with some rhythms written in pencil; empty legal-sized ms paper with small rectangles cut out of them, undoubtedly from when I was cutting & pasting revisions; more notes to myself: Myra changes to #7 & #5, record Visions; make recording for grant (i.e. String Quintet II). A flyer for Windgarth. Liszt’s Transcendental Etudes; some of my favorite transcriptions: Paraphrase uber ein Thema aus der Oper Lucia von Lammermoor, a very difficult & wonderful virtuoso rendition I probably found at a garage sale; a transcription of Wagner’s Walkure; Jeaux d’Eux by Ravel; volume II of Beethoven Sonatas, Schnabel Edition; a Cadenza by Bendel for Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody II; untold original scores & fragments of scores - some quite small, on torn pieces of ms paper - of my own music, some marked up & corrected, others mere sketches, some in folders, some random pages in various stages of writing; in pencil, in pen; a few measures; entire pieces. Words for songs. Found a piece for flute & piano I had started, themes & motives; decided to finish it.

Threw out a nice pile, I hope nothing of value. Made a few stacks to go into the music studio, on shelves; put some of the piles back on the piano.

Cleaned the piano.

Almost ready to begin.

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