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Showing posts from December 3, 2017

piano+guitar 1

Piano and Guitar duet v.1 Because this is based on Linda Catlin Smith's gtr/pno piece Drifter, I know the general 'feel' of it but not the details. I know there'll be lots of moving between unisons and broken unisons, but what's the basic material, and how do I vary it. Unlike Smith I'll also be using a lot of different piano/guitar timbres; guitar harmonics, prepared guitar, and prepared piano, etc.

It took me a while to settle on a pitch strategy. Initially I wanted to use a random number system to generate the pitches for a motif/harmony that I could re-order and sequence. And I'd use a system of weighting to make sure that some pitches are more prevalent than others, to give it a more coherent harmonic identity. At this time I also decided to avoid traditional metric notation and instead use stemless notation, with points of togetherness (connecting lines): this means I can have a notation that implies togetherness but allows the parts to drift (both p…

Initial thoughts

My first thought is to look to the instruments for inspiration about how to approach the piece. The ensemble is by volunteer so from year-to-year we never know what we have to work with, but this year's line-up is more bizarre than normal.


3 flutes 2 clarinets (I'm hoping one can double bass-clarinet)  saxophone (probably alto but I'm hoping tenor also) trumpet, cornet, euphoniumpercussion pianoclassical guitarcello
Clearly I can't approach this with classical orchestral 'choirs' in mind; there's no string group, and a real lack of bass instruments across the board. My instinct is to divide the piece into solos, with the rest of the ensemble supporting in different ways as a group. Here's my first attempt at thinking through how to approach the ensemble.
piano & guitar duet.I was inspired by Linda Catlin Smith's Drifter for guitar and piano. In her piece the two instruments play in a broken unison, constantly drifting in and out of time (and pitch…