Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Symphonia's Performance and Other News

Ugh. My hard drive is crashing. About a week ago, it seemed to be having incredible trouble booting up when I turned it on, and it started making a horrible clicking sound that I reluctantly identified as the click of death. My computer is considerably slower, but while this has put a bit of a dampener on the efficiency of my work, it hasn't succeeded to crush my spirits! I ordered a new hard drive for a very modest price on New Egg, so hopefully things will be back to normal soon.

There are only a few days left until the Symphonia Orchestra performs my composition live at Concordia, and I can't tell you how thankful I am for this opportunity. I'm extremely excited to have "Shards" performed and recorded, but I must admit that I'm also very nervous. Symphonia has done an admiral job overall with trying to prepare and coordinate such a difficult piece of music, and there are so many things being done well, I feel bad for demanding more polish. Many sections still sound sloppy for various reasons, and the biggest problem at this point is the tempo, which always seems to drag and sound muddy in places. Monday is the final tutti rehearsal before the concert, so I'm hoping things go well! Stay tuned for my report on the concert. UPDATE: Today's rehearsal went significantly better than the last time we played through Shards. Most things are sounding fairly smoothed out now, although the timpanist is having a hard time keeping up to speed. I'm concerned about that, since the timpani part is really the most important rhythmic part of the orchestra, and when he drags, the rest of the ensemble is pulled down as well.

Using Audacity once again, I recorded the Finale 2007 playback for "Shards" and uploaded it to Youtube as a demo of what Symphonia will be playing. This video can be found embedded at the bottom of this post. I also uploaded a terrifying slide show video of "The Snarly Song," a short and random recording I made a few years back. The lyrics have absolutely no significance to anything, so don't ask! Some of the horrible artwork comes from my friend and accomplice, Bryan Folstad.

I'm starting several new composition projects in addition to everything I'm already doing, which makes me think that perhaps I really am out of my mind, trying to write so much music at once! I'm nearly finished with "Ellipse," my ambitious percussion ensemble composition, and I'm beginning work on a choral composition for four male voices. Working with all male voices will restrict the range I can use significantly and add a fresh challenge to my plate, but first I need to write a poem to set to music! My roommate and his friend have asked me to compose a duet for alto saxophone and trombone, for them to perform at a spring recital. In addition to these projects, I've started drafting musical ideas for a ballad my girlfriend and I have been working on. It will be written for piano and our two voices in tandem. It's quite a surprise that I still find time to sleep and eat amidst all this music!

Here's the video I mentioned earlier in my post. It's the Finale demo for "Shards," my orchestral composition. As always, I'd love to hear feedback! Have a nice day :)

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