Nouvelet Deja Vu: My first composition/arrangement for the Odyssey. Casting off into definite uncharted waters. I proceeded with great caution, using an arrangement by Corkey Christman of Noel Nouvelet as the influence for Nouvelet Deja Vu. Sort of like sailing near another boat and following their tack, and their trim of the sail. Not sure if my trim of the sail is correct, so watching and taking my cue from an older, more experienced sailor. To cast off from the dock, I have to let go of the dock lines, let go to start, free myself from the shore. The safety of that shore that is getting farther away from sight.
1/4/15 and oh my gosh, what did I get myself into with Harness Your Muse. I read over my notes, and its seems overwhelming; especially the submissions, and the daily reporting and reflection and effort. At this point in my life, I am not sure I am a person of such focus and desire and application. I have cultivated a general lassitude, and avoid the high ouput, high operation way of life; I would prefer to stay under all radar, removed from the intensity of application.
1/10/16 still, still at the Nouvelet Deja Vu; steal like an artist; yes I am using the Noel Nouvelet arrangement as my template, and I have discovered some things from the exercise. The original arrangement was strong and compelling and beautiful. My question was could I use the bass line, the rhythms, and the variations to fashion something that was as compelling, (but, not as original). I inverted the melody line to the extent that was possible, trying to go up where the original Noel Nouvelet melody went down. I was unable to follow this rule perfectly, and there must be some music theory/mathematical principle that requires adjustments to the melodic line which is going in the other directions (I think/intuit that it is because of the 7 note scale and the relationship of whole and half steps. If I invert the motion of the melody, using the same intervals but in the opposite direction, at some point the sound/feeling breaks down, and I have to follow what sounds good to my ear, and not the “given pattern”. The inversion of the melodic ideas can work for several notes, but then I bet it is the half steps in the scale, and the dominant, sub-dominant and the tonic that interfere with a pure reversal of melodic ideas).
So much time expended with variations on any one melodic measure. There are so many variations on a musical idea, and I am not sure how much is gained by plumbing for that perfect phrase. When I hear an arrangement that is strong I know it, but may not be able to hear this in my own arrangement. By the time I have played the measure and its variations, it is not so clear what I prefer. Several times this week I stepped away from the endeavor, and coming back even 30 minutes onward, I was fresh, and seemed to be able to choose, because I hadn’t worn the ideas down to a mash.
In the past when I was trying to choose the right/the best accompaniment, I was told to just choose, as you have to go with something, and can change it later. But I didn’t want to waste time learning something that wasn’t as good as it was going to, or could be. I thought the arrangement had to impress the listener in such a way that the listener could not imagine any better mix of rhythm, harmony; it would be as if the composer had found the sweet spot of the music, and it was so beautiful, it was the right and perfect composition (the heavy footprint of my classical background). It is trying to get that perfect sublime thing (I think it was the impression made on my younger brain that read about Beethoven having the genius to present that “unexpected modulation”, etc.; it is the impression that was given to me at a very young age about the Great Composers. the classical training ; knowing when its good, knowing when its better, knowing that there are many ways of conceiving, conceptualizing and hearing the same tune; but I realize there is no end to this; always a chance it gets better, or just different, and its individual; Now I am beginning to wonder when I listen to great classics, well, if it went this way, maybe it would be better; the music is not indelible even though this is often the message presented, and it often feels that way.
And along these lines, music implants itself in your memory, pulse, and it is hard to shake what has become ingrained. Difficult to imagine something different and (perhaps)better.