No. 4! Half-way!

Another surprise piece – they’re just popping up like rabbits! Today’s offering is a piano piece for Francis Western-Smith. I think it will do well on the organ too, but it’ll need some work – as it stands I think some parts are out of range and others are just going to sound muddy, but it should work just fine on piano, so I’m sending it as is and will see if I can manage an organ arrangement in a couple of days.

If you know my piano eggs at all then the style of this piece will be familiar to you – it’s Egg the Eleventh, if you’re keeping score (only 2 more to go and I’ll have the Baker’s Dozen I’ve been planning for my CD-in-progress) – and this one is a naughty fugue. Not naughty in the show-your-knickers sense, but naughty in the sense that it started out being a fugue, and it is mostly a fugue, but I’ve rather taken liberties with it, so it’s by no means strict. It consists of flowing melodies with syncopated moments and I’m hoping Francis will be able to have some fun with it. We Shall See…

This is also exciting, because with Sam’s piece being now more than half-done, I am officially halfway through the project! Add in the improv piece I wrote for myself before I started this, and I’ve written 5 1/2 pieces this month – which is 1 1/2 more than I originally planned to write. And more pieces (indeed, more minutes of music too) than I wrote in the whole of last year. Go me!

Today, I have to say, has been MASSIVE. For a quiet rainy Saturday at home it’s really been very exciting. Because I had an email from a friend in Limerick saying that she has chosen my Three Whitman Songs for contralto and piano to be performed at a concert her ensemble is giving in April. This is super-exciting because I never expected those songs to be performed. They were written over a long period of time – The first two songs were the last thing I wrote before freezing up and not being able to write anything for a couple of years, and the third was the first thing I wrote during my recovery. Because of my low mood at the time, I couldn’t see the point of writing for any ordinary voice type. I wanted to hear what I’d written, so I wrote them for my voice, which is unusually low, so I never thought I’d find a proper singer with a similar range, but LO! There is one in Limerick! I can’t wait to hear what she does with the set because frankly I’ve made a bit of a hash of them, being an untrained singer and out of practice toboot.

The other exciting thing was that today was the day that the London Contemporary Chamber Orchestra was having their first read-through of the pieces for their workshop at the end of March – including my Carrion Comfort. And most unexpectedly, I started chatting with a new friend on Twitter and discovered that she’s in the orchestra! So she trundled off to rehearsal and was kind enough to give me some feedback afterwards, saying that it went well and sounded very solid. She was even kind enough (after asking if it was a new piece or if it had been played before and getting the answer that it’s shiny and new and my first real attempt at an orchestral work) to say that it didn’t sound like a first attempt. Well chuffed, I assure you. Can’t wait for the workshop. And it’s on my birthday too!

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