Today’s tune sounds like a national anthem. Or school anthem. I wanted to compose in a major key, to thwart my minor impulses. And found I could tie up in a nice bow the ends of phrases , but wondered if there was any real content (beauty ) in the thing. I’d be content with being able to do a Thomas Tallis tune, a Schubert Serenade; did they know how good it was when they composed; was the tune in their heads or did they just start putting notes down, like I am doing? When I hear irish music I generally know after 1 or2 hearings, if it’s a special melody.
If I were a asked to compose a tune for an anthem, I think I’d struggle to get the feel of the thing. But yesterday, I determined to compose in a major key, to do something other than my instinct. (Why do something other than my instinct? that is the contrariness of my mind function; the protestant work ethic of composing; don’t proceed with what feels natural, because that is too easy and obvious), and I kept playing with the opening interval of the d to the b, a sixth, then noodling around and what I’d come up with and the ideas I’d get on Finale were fine, but I couldn’t know, whether it had anything meaningful. And I don’t think I will know if it is meaningful as I do it, because it takes awhile to hear the tune; but back to yesterday; I am not an anthem kind of person. That call to rank nationalistic patriotism does not feel true. It always feel so forced. The anthem; another rallying cry to herd the masses. And I always feel uncomfortable when I find myself at athletic events, and everyone stands to the song. Probably because I am not a comfortable conformist, unless I think the underlying reason is legitimate and presented well. /conforms to my sense of the correct trappings. Like music in general.
So here I went and composed something that is not something I’d want to play again. I got it down on paper, because I had to produce something within 5 days, and I’d started with small 2 measure ideas, and wanted more breath or length to the phrase. I’d just worked on Nouvelet Déjà Vu, which was a 4 measure phrase, and I wanted to push for a longer line. Why does that matter; it is a forced restriction I put on myself without knowing whether to do so was a good idea. And so just pushing myself not to end the line in a few measures, I ended up with two, 8 measure phrases that sound to me like an anthem. But I am not changing this, because I want to complete it, and get credit in my mind for having produced something this week.