I managed to find myself completely backed into a corner in the orchestral work last Thursday, one of those moments where it is not so much about being unable to find a way out as wondering how on earth you ended up there in the first place. The slow section was coming along nicely, I added in some new material, and then nothing.
After a while trying to work out what was going on I asked myself what I would tell myself if I were my pupil, and I came back to that thing about being able to craft oneself out of a problem, about being able to generate new material from that which is already there. I took my own advice, knuckled down, and put together a small pool of ideas.
It was not much, only ten bars or so of bare rhythm, but then I went working with it, using a slightly new approach to the melodic design of the section, and it felt as if it was working decently enough. It certainly was not what the final version will be, but it was there and it was enough to be getting on with.
I then extended that melodic thought to create various harmonic structures underneath, at times working with the melody and at times against it, and even more ideas came to me. I had, it seemed, sketched myself out of the impasse, and while I may not have come up the solution itself at least I had come up with some possibilities, which was more than I had had before.
So on we go with this, also with the idea that maybe I should turn around the layout of my days ever so slightly. It had been my intention to try this earlier in the year, but then the virus and all that it entails got in the way, so better late than never, and, again, while this might not represent a solution, at least it will shed light on some possibilities.