Well it’s been a while. I’ve had the incredible opportunity to write music for the Nashville Shakespeare Festival’s 2019 Pericles. And this has taken up all of my time for the last couple of months. There hasn’t been spare time to catch a breath much less blog about the process. I’ll try to sit down after it’s over and reflect on the experience as a composer .
I’ve started having skype sessions with retired composition professor Alan Belkin. He’s marvelous because he has managed the alchemist’s task of turning the intuitive composition work of managing energy and momentum and narrative into something articulate and clear. I really appreciate the opportunity to work with him. Particularly because I had been feeling that it takes me a long time to write, I tend to create through a process of elimination, but composers often have to write quickly. Shows open when they open, the music just needs to be ready. Having a more articulate process for crafting narrative is incredibly useful.
And to today’s song. This is a phone recording of a rehearsal so there are some ‘moments’, in the normal way of these things.
Now that we’re in Nashville, I wanted to try something a bit appropriate, so the harmonies are bluegrass inspired, and there aren’t very many more than three primary chords. Ofcourse it’s modal, because I’m still me!
it’s in 4/4. In F Mixolydian.
This is SATB. Our Sara singing tenor, as you’ll hear is a contralto with a serious bottom range, so she often sings tenor in mixed choirs. If you are doing this without a Sara, you may wish to give the tenor line on page 5 which gets pretty high - to the altos, split the top two lines between sop 1 and 2, let the tenors sing the bass line, and the basses can have a well earned beer, and rejoin on page 6, at the chorus.