Wednesday, April 29, 2009

October Dream

The Osaka Guitar Quartet performing my piece "October Dream." I have a video of myself performing this piece when I had long hair- I'll post it if I can find it.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Lyrics?!! Crying seafowl?

Do fish cry? I just finished writing two pieces for piano and two sopranos. I wrote the words to one of the songs and the other is based on a haiku by Japanese poet Matsuo Basho. The jury still isn't in on my lyrics but the Basho poem has wonderful imagery of a fish's eyes filled with tears.
Vocal music can be so difficult because of those pesky little words and their pesky meanings. I often start out wanting to write a certain kind of piece and then find a poem I love to set to music only to realize that the poem dictates a certain type of music different from the music I wanted to write. On top of that, even if I wanted to use a modern text say something written in the past 75 years then I'd have to get copyright permission. So then I think maybe I should just write a vocalise(a song without words) but that sort of defeats the purpose. There's also the problem that most poetry stands just fine on its own- it really doesn't need any music muddying it up. I love Sylvia Plath and Dylan Thomas' poetry but I could never set them to music- they're work is just so perfect as it is. So, I decided to write a short text and repeat it over and over out of context so that the meaning of the words become secondary and subservient to the whole. Haikus work brilliantly as they are so open to interpretation.
Oh and here's a little bit of trivia about Basho- he was supposedly a ninja in diguise as a travelling poet- take that in your pipe and smoke it!

Rolfe's Barber Shop