After all the excitement of the past few days today has been much calmer, thus far at least. I have spent most of the morning doing some work for the Parliament Choir concert next month. We are back rehearsing today after the Easter break, and I have a feeling that things will get busy if I do not have this work complete ahead of time.
I have also sketched some harmonic progressions for the work for string orchestra, using various materials I had gathered together towards the end of last week. Taking on one or two ideas gleaned from John Morton’s book I have found that my part-writing has become a little more fluid and intuitive, and I hope that this will mean that I will be able to smooth out those angles which have occasionally bothered me about my chordal progressions in the past.
Although I intend to write as much as possible of the basic material of this piece away from the piano, I must admit that I did give in to temptation yesterday evening and play through a couple of extracts, not because I wanted to check things, but rather because I was extremely curious to hear what I had come up with. Although the extract was only five or so bars long, it was the harmonic progression and its interaction with the melody that I really wanted to hear, and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised, also that I did not subsequently change anything.
Still in the vein of preparatory work I have fleshed out the same section a little more this morning, adding transitory and passing chords to the basic harmonic skeleton, and I intend to continue this work over the next few days.
I have also assembled some very basic material for my new choral commission, scales and the like, as we are still some way from having a text to set. The choices made before the composition proper begins are so critical to the sound world of the piece that it makes perfect sense to spend a decent amount of time playing around with different ideas before letting that 1% of inspiration take wing.
It has been a productive few days and, for all the ups and downs, encouraging, not just in terms of the new commissions but also in terms of how I am approaching and thinking about my writing. I have tentative hopes that these latest developments represent the first steps in a new phase, both in terms of my own technique and my reputation within the compositional community.