Can you believe it's been 5 weeks? I've been reflecting this week.
"Angels Sang to Me" (soprano and string quartet) was my first "grown up" piece, stretching me to compose music I didn't know I was capable of composing.
"The Sun Will Rise" (vibraphone and string quartet) is my next major piece. This work felt like it was reacting to "Angels" and trying to find the balance between finding what worked in "Angels" but not replicating it.
"[Piece yet to be titled]" (soprano, viola, and piano) is what I'm currently working on. I've learned I very much prefer to write for voice. I turn 31 in a week and I feel like I'm starting to relax into writing and not worrying about style, as much as writing for the performers and staying true to the text.
Now what I'm working on is trusting my ear. I rely too much on other people to tell me if my music is "good" or not. I struggle with confidence. But, I'm working on it.
Update on the piano front. I bought a Kawai digital piano and I LOVE it!!!! When I bought the piano from Schmitt Music, I got a $100 gift card! So, I bought piano etude books (Hanon and Czerny), Keith Snell's “Essential Repertoire" level 2, violin Suzuki books 7 and 9, manuscript paper, damp-its for my violin and viola, and wall mounts to hang my violin and viola.
The piece I'm working on composing is for soprano, viola, and piano. Not gonna lie, the piano intimidates me. SO, I decided to up my piano game. I'm really trying to slowly but surely train my fingers to think like a pianist. I've always wanted to consider myself a "competent" pianist, so here I go! Trying to do an exercise each week from the Czerny and Hanon. The Hanon reminds me of the Sevcik books for violin/viola. I like the Czerny better. The Hanon is predictable. You can memorize the pattern easily. The Czerny requires more brain power. I enjoy the thinking. I've done a couple exercises already and the hardest part was remembering which fingers were which numbers!
I've always been more of a melodic writer and don't think harmonically. Yesterday I sat down with my melody and came up with harmonies at the piano. The harmonies I came up with were much more creative than what I would've done just writing in Finale. I love being able to sit down at the piano and plunk out melodies or harmonies.
The other exciting thing this week is my husband bought me a new tablet! Part of my compositional process is to print all my parts and play them on my viola/violin or piano. With writing more frequently and in a larger scale, I ended up wasting a lot of paper. I'm super excited to be able to just send all my parts to my tablet and play and edit from there saving oodles of paper!
For the past couple months I've been rapid cycling (bipolar). I've been hyper-productive during this period. I'm in love with what I've been writing. Now the question is, is it actually good or is it the hypomania thinking I'm on top of the world?