Noel Nouvelet, arranged by Corkey Christman. The inspiration and influence for my composition Nouvelet Deja Vu: to be premiered in my next blog entry. Note the DHC-approved background.
Embarking on this odyssey. With trepidation, I had decided to take the next year to compose music for the harp; aware of my apprehension, that I didn’t feel fully on board (yes, pun); yet still excited and thrilled at the prospect of working with DHC and other harpists in a year of immersion. But my days of ease would be upset, and for the long haul of a year, not just a 10-week DHC webinar.
Now what looms over me is this step I have taken. I have committed to a practice of harp composition; of working at it, at least 5 days a week; of writing about that experience; and of working with other musicians, and DHC.
I do not like committing, and have carved out an existence that endeavors to avoid as much commitment as possible. If I am asked to do something, I have to check my calendar at home. There, I can summon up plausible reasons why I won’t be able to get together, while asserting that I really wish I could. I have no cell phone, because I don’t want to be available by phone at all times, and I don’t have immediate access to a phone calendar, which would put me on the spot to answer.
Journal entry from 1/3/16: Holidays over and though doing less than ever, its all still too much. A frenetic energy up to the day, and then the weariness, and general unwillingness to do anything.
For the past 3 days I practiced a beautiful arrangement of Noel Nouvelet, by Corkey Christman. This is a piece that I have worked on for many past Christmases; I decided to use this tune and arrangement as the influence/template for my composition of the week. The tune is short, with two, 4-measure sections, and follows an AABBA form. My approach is to “invert” many of the notes, ideas, intervals, progressions and patterns. (Eg. The tune starts out with 2 eighth notes, moving from g to d. My melody uses eighth notes, too, but the first 2 notes are reversed, starting on d, and going to g). I am using the ideas of the Christman arrangement of Noel Nouvelet; the rhythm, particularly, and many of the chords; although I am not “inverting” the accompaniment as I am generally doing for the melody. I am interested to see what my composition will sound and feel like, especially up against Christman’s arrangement.
I question whether this really is composing? I recently read several pages of Steal Like an Artist, which encourages building on the ideas of other artists, asserts that all art is influenced/copied in part from other artists, and exhorts that the artist should feel free to steal. Each of the past 3 days I have enjoyed my endeavors, though it has started to consume me.