First Composition Workshop

Today I finally managed to get to a Composition Workshop class at TVU. I felt a bit nervous going in – after all, semester’s been running for about 5 weeks now so it felt a bit weird to just be sauntering in so late in the term, but I needn’t have worried. It was an interesting session – I can tell I’m going to learn all sorts of unexpected stuff in this class. Today’s 2 hour lecture-demonstration was on creating a dubstep remix of Pierre Schaefer’s 1948 musique concrète work Études aux chemins fers with particular focus on the artifacts of time-stretching, so it was all about pulling the base sound around and listening to the weird and fabulous effects created as Logic attempts to fill in the gaps created by the stretching with granular synthesis. Way cool. Not that I actually know what dubstep is. Guess I should go and look that up, huh?

Made a little progress on the new piece. Another 10 seconds. And I seem to have found a text too. Gerard Manley Hopkins’ Carrion Comfort:

Not, I’ll not, carrion comfort, Despair, not feast on thee;
Not untwist — slack they may be — these last strands of man
In me ór, most weary, cry I can no more. I can;
Can something, hope, wish day come, not choose not to be.
But ah, but O thou terrible, why wouldst thou rude on me
Thy wring-world right foot rock? lay a lionlimb against me? scan
With darksome devouring eyes my bruisèd bones? and fan,
O in turns of tempest, me heaped there; me frantic to avoid thee and flee?

Why? That my chaff might fly; my grain lie, sheer and clear.
Nay in all that toil, that coil, since (seems) I kissed the rod,
Hand rather, my heart lo! lapped strength, stole joy, would laugh, chéer.
Cheer whom though? the hero whose heaven-handling flung me, fóot tród
Me? or me that fought him? O which one? is it each one? That night, that year
Of now done darkness I wretch lay wrestling with (my God!) my God.

It’s raaather longer than I had been thinking. Indeed the whole piece seems to be thinking of itself on a somewhat epic scale, but anyway, I’ll see how it goes. If it’s coming along well but is incomplete, it may be appropriate anyway for Manchester. I can write to them a little closer to the date and see if that would be acceptable.

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