Friday, May 26, 2017

String Quartet No 4

It didn't take long to make a string quartet out of Labyrinth. In the end, I went back to the three main movements, and discarded the interludes. The middle and last movements are a straight transcription, but I made more extensive changes to the first movement. I took some things out that I didn't think would work with a quartet. They may stay in the double concerto, because there are more instruments to create the effect that I wanted in the octet.

I've sent the result to a quartet, as well as a competition. They wanted a recording, which isn't possible at this point, since I don't have a performance scheduled. I did, however, spend some time trying to make the audio file from Sibelius work. Until now, I haven't tried the quartertone playback plugin. I seems to work, except that sometimes the pitch bend doesn't turn off, and you get whole passages a quartertone out. I got around it by going back and inserting a lot of redundant OFF messages until it sounded right.

So what is next? If there is any interest in the quartet, I might go back and typeset/revise my first three quartets and publish them as a set. No. 3 is "quartertone city." It's a protracted progression in C major with quartertones thrown in to obscure it. I initially wrote it for a competition that wanted pieces in sonata form in C major. I don't think they were expecting this. In any case, I lost the info about the competition and never sent it in. The Aureole Quartet premiered it, but no one ever sent me the recording. No. 2 was never performed. I started it as my first quartet, and it has loads of textural layers. The quartet that it was intended for was in the process of disbanding, and they didn't really spend much time on it when they "read it down." The first quartet has a lot of really cool effects in it, but I need to go back and revise the things that weren't cool.

That's something to think about, but I need to write something new, perhaps the wind ensemble piece or the songs. I'll have a better idea when I learn what my typesetting load will be this summer. I should find that out on Monday, when my main editor gets back from his holiday/study-leave.

I could, of course, write some fiction, which is something I do, when I don't have any pressing composing to do. Let's see where the inspiration comes from.

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