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  • dtoub 4:52 am on Tuesday, December 18, 2012, 4:52 am Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , open instrumentation   

    for four (2012) 

    In late November, I had some time to improvise and managed to come up with the raw elements for two different pieces. One of these turned into two voices. The other improvisation was slow and quiet, basically just half notes followed by an eighth note rest. This was restructured into a new piece called for four. There are a maximum of four voices at any given time, so it could be performed by four instruments (eg, two violins and two celli) or for piano. The score includes a piano reduction along with the same notes displayed on four individual staves. It’s ppp throughout, and the tempo can be a low of quarter = 20 to a max of quarter = 40. Thus, depending on the tempo chosen, the piece can take as little as 23 minutes or up to 46 minutes to play.

     Screen Shot 2012-12-18 at 12.33.38 AM

    By coincidence, the composition of the work overlapped with the horrific deaths of children and adults at an elementary school in Newtown, CT. I mention this, because it struck me that the slow final section of the piece flutes and trombone was composed around the same time as a similarly terrible gun-related massacre in Aurora, CO.

    for four was originally improvised in Palo Alto, CA in late November, 2012 and restructured into a composition in Wyncote, PA and Palo Alto between 12/13 and 12/18/12.

    The score is here. The audio file (piano version) is here.

  • dtoub 3:56 pm on Wednesday, July 2, 2008, 3:56 pm Permalink | Reply
    Tags: open instrumentation,   

    new arrangement of ”this piece intentionally left blank“ 

    I wrote a piece in 2006 called this piece intentionally left blank. It was improvised with only a handful of very trivial tweaks afterwards, and is written as an open instrumentation piece. That is, it is intended to be played by any keyboard or group of instruments, and I have no issue whatsoever with anyone transposing notes to keep within a particular instrument’s range, or otherwise taking necessary steps to realize the piece. Indeed, I know of one person who is keeping within the spirit of the piece and using it as a starting point. In other words, while it’s fully notated, and conventionally at that, there is nothing wrong with viewing it in the same way as one views a ”graphically notated“ work; it’s a starting point, and there is room for the performer(s) to interpret and make each realization a unique experience.

    There are two versions of ”tpilb” on my site. One is the original improvisation done with Reason 3, using a synthesizer patch. The other is from a live performance in California on 5/8/2007 by the Diverse Instrument Ensemble, as realized by Paul Bailey and conducted by Lloyd Rogers. 

    Well, now there’s a third version. This one is for flute, violin, cello and piano. It’s not an easy grouping to score for, and I really took great pains to avoid continuous music in the flute since most wind and brass players generally take one look at some of my music and think I’m nuts (yeah, I get it—humans need to breathe. But that doesn’t stop didjeridoo players of all shapes and sizes, so perhaps if more flautists learned to circular breathe…well, I’ll stop here before getting into a diatribe). In other words, this arrangement shouldn’t pose significant difficulties for performers other than not getting lost. And I made the score even easier by using the usual repeat signs rather than writing each identical measure out (as I did for specific reasons in the original score). Finally, Paul Bailey made some helpful suggestions regarding layout and performance that I’ve incorporated into the score. Always nice to have feedback from an expert musician and fellow composer. 

    So the score is here. And the mp3 is here. Let me know what you think in the comments below. And if anyone wants to make his or her own realization either electronically or in live performance, let me know

    • J.C. Combs 10:54 pm on Wednesday, July 2, 2008, 10:54 pm Permalink

      That is one of my favorite works of yours. The only word that comes to mind…, badass.

    • david 6:52 am on Thursday, July 3, 2008, 6:52 am Permalink

      Thanks–I suspect others will come up with additional descriptors, some of which are probably less generous! Much appreciated!

    • ks 7:30 pm on Friday, July 4, 2008, 7:30 pm Permalink

      I love this version. I think I respond much more to the “feel” of this performance – can sense the interplay between the different voices, and the tension is increased as a result. When things open up around the 8-minute mark, it’s quite magical. And hey, my name’s on the score! That’s so cool.

      Nice job.

    • david 10:29 pm on Friday, July 4, 2008, 10:29 pm Permalink

      Thanks, Kel. Hoping it gets played in December, and if so, you and Chris are invited 😎

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