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This morning, I prepared the piano version (that is: fl/va/pf) of Bicycling Into the Sun (Feel the Burn).

Tomorrow (if I wait until tomorrow), shall I set to serious work on A Heart So White. The fixed media has been ready some little while, now.

Karl Henning | The Unquiet Castle - YouTube
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Gentle Reader, although I myself suggested here, that the sand dance which I wrote for that call long since, is a "bagatelle," that noun does the music an injustice. In fact, it has a wonderful intensity and gravity, so that (we might say) the music has waited for its proper environment, so that its new role as the Arrival Point of  Bicycling Into the Sun (Feel the Burn) is something of an artistic consummation.
Only yesterday, I posted that the trio should be done in a week, so, yes, I am a little surprised (and greatly pleased) that I muscled through, and wrapped it up today.

To recapitulate, I have written three pieces for Ensemble Aubade (fl/va/hp):

Oxygen Footprint, Op.138
Swiss Skis, Op.161
Bicycling Into the Sun, Op.163

I shall soon attend to the alternate version of the Op.163 (with piano)


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I have brought Bicycling Into the Sun (Feel the Burn) to almost the two-minute mark, so I think the piece should be finished in a week, just by chipping away at it day by day.

And I have added the few slight percussion gestures to Scene 11 of White Nights, and I am now content that the Scene is done.

Now that I know exactly where I am with White Nights, my immediate plan is:

1. Finish Bicycling Into the Sun (Feel the Burn).
2. Finish A Heart So White, so that I can get the music to all the participants by the beginning of August.
And then:

3. Wrap up White Nights.




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Gentle Reader, as noted here, I have come to think of this recovery period in light of an opportunity to concentrate on finishing White Nights.

So, just where am I?

I reconstruct the grand outline thus:

White Nights Outline Rebuilt 12 July 2019

Overture Op75/1 10'30 10'30

Night the First, Scene 1 Op75/2 12'45 23'15
Night the First, Scene 2 Op75/3 06'00 29'15
Night the First, Scene 3a Op75/4 06'00 35'15
Night the First, Scene 3b Op75/5 08'00 43'15

Intermezzo I Op75/6 06'00 49'15

Night the Second, Scene 4 Op75/7 02'30 51'45
Night the Second, Scene 5 Op75/8 13'00 1h4'45
Night the Second, Scene 6 Op75/9 1'30 1h6'15
Night the Second, Scene 7 Op75/10 10'00 1h16'15
Night the Second, Scene 8 Op75/11 09'00 1h25'15
Night the Second, Scene 9 Op75/12 07'30 1h32'45
Night the Second, Scene 10 Op75/13 03'00 1h35'45

Intermezzo II Op75/14 06'15 1h42'00

Night the Third, Scene 11 Op75/15 06'15 1h48'15

Intermezzo III Op75/16 06'00 1h54'15

Night the Fourth, Scene 12a Op75/17 03'00 1h57'15
Night the Fourth, Scene 12b Op75/18 04'00 2h01'15

Intermezzo IV Op75/19 02'15 2h03'30

Morning, Scene 13 Op75/20 06'00 2h09'30


As noted here, Intermezzo III is complete.

Here, I talk about work on Scene 11, but I do not seem to note completing the Scene here on the blog: or did I, and I just haven't found that post.  I have just opened the Sibelius file for Scene 11, and I think it may indeed be done, perhaps I was waiting to export a sound file before making formal note on the blog. I shall take another day or so to reflect.

What have I changed, tonight from the outline as I had updated it in July of last year?
I have a specific idea for Intermezzo IV, and I trimmed its duration accordingly.
Also, I have decided that Scene 13 should be somewhat shorter than originally budgeted.  In general, I am feeling that much of the earlier part of the ballet has been sufficiently long-breathed, and that I want the final sequence not to dawdle.


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I have made a good start on Bicycling Into the Sun (Feel the Burn) am now at the 75-second mark (so, one-fourth done), the piece has assumed its own character,  and I am at a point where I consider just what turn I want to take for the next section.

One thought I have had turns upon two bagatelles I drew up for specific calls three years ago. I thought of the one-minute piece, Out From the Unattended Baggage, and I considered how I might, true to its title, draw it forth from oblivion.

I wondered, in fact, if it might be subsumed into Bicycling... but on reviewing the piece, its pitch-world is entirely alien to my present trio: it is a graft which would not take.

But both the material and the notion are worthy, so I have another destination in mind for Out From the U. B., about which, more later.

The pitch-world and vibe of the other of the two bagatelles, the Sand Dance for flute and harp, make it ideal for such a transplant, and so we have found the perfect home for a short patch of music of which I was always fond.


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Peter H. Bloom and I were on the Red Line on our way to King's Chapel in the spring of 2016,  when we talked about my writing a piece for Ensemble Aubade, and the piece which sprang forth from the mulch of this conversation was Oxygen Footprint. When we talked about what duration the piece should be, Peter gently expanded the invitation, with the suggestion that eventually this piece should be one of a set.

As reported here, I completed the second piece of the set, Swiss Skis, this past March. While I do not believe that the Ensemble have yet had opportunity to work the piece in as yet, Peter's immediate enthusiasm on its behalf was encouragement for me to begin considering the third piece of the set. A week or so ago, I made a start on the piece, called Bicycling Into the Sun (Feel the Burn). Close readers of the blog may note that I have repurposed this title which I originally coined for one of the Opus 114 duets. This present piece for Ensemble Aubade will run about five minutes.



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For some little time we have meant, as the k a rl h e nn i ng Ensemble, to play the program we have labored to prepare more than once, to get more play time out of the endeavor, and to get the music into more ears. And so we did, on 30 June, reprise our 14 May King's Chapel program, with the addition of the world première of Timothy Bowlby's Laurels for solo flautist, to a warmly appreciative audience at Holy Trinity UMC in Danvers, Mass.  We shall be sure to return.


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Once I was ready to apply myself to Mistaken for the Sacred as I originally meant it (that is, percussion solo and fixed media) I felt that I wanted a new mix of the fixed media.

We had used the original fixed media for the alternate version of the piece, Op.141a, with four winds rather than percussion, and the original f. m. is fine. But I reasoned that a percussion soloist is capable of a great deal more noise than is a quartet of winds, so I felt that it was reasonable that each version of the piece should enjoy its own version of the fixed media, and I wanted to give the percussionist some more-unruly noises to "bounce off of."


So, I created a modified fixed media sound file, and then prepared the score-cum-guidance-for-improv for the percussionist; then, my laptop's OS crashed. I thought that this new sound file was lost, an that I needed to rebuild it. But,I had sent a file-share link for the new fixed media, and I did manage to recover it.

I did, nevertheless further modify the fixed media, so the final result means that the work was nothing superfluous.


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As, essentially, a revisitation of the program we performed at King's Chapel in May, this morning's dress rehearsal proved fairly light duty, and highly gratifying, and the church is a wonderful space to play music in.  Looking forward both to the performance, and to the conversation afterward.

Peter and I also talked about Bicycling Into the Sun (Feel the Burn), and settled that it should be five minutes in duration.  I shall work on that, while I sm hunting up my White Nights folder.


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Per this post, one of my first new pieces this spring I composed for my handbell choir to ring on Easter morning:
Henning He Is Risen, Op.162# 1 - SoundCloud
(282 secs long, 12 plays)Play in SoundCloud
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