I have returned from the Great White North. Canada really is a beautiful country. And hopefully, this summer, (when it’s warm) I can visit more of it. I have applied to two summer music programs, one in Toronto and one in Montreal. Hopefully, the odds will be in my favor and I can spend some more time in Canada. Below is a picture from Winterlude of a piano made of ice! Because Canada! You can follow me on Instagram to see other pictures from my trip, as well as daily musings.
In other news, this September, a friend of mine from school is getting married. I am always glad to share in my friends’ good news! She as asked me to play piano at her wedding, which is awesome! I’m in the process of creating an arrangement of a piece that another friend of hers wrote for the ceremony. The original file is for piano, guitar, voice, and percussion and I’m making into a piano vocal score. This is turning out to be quite the learning experience for me because, while I dabbled in some arranging in my orchestration class at Campbell, that is my only experience with arranging. So far, at least, I am enjoying the project. The song is beautiful and figuring out which voice should play which part is kind of like a puzzle that I’m enjoying putting together. But it is turning out to be a long process. I’m about halfway done with the notation. The next step is to print and see what is actually playable and what I need to tweak to make more accessible. And then it’s just practice, practice, practice until September.
So I’m still in Canada for a few more days. And it is still cold and I’m sill wrapped up in various blankets. We got quite a bit of snow yesterday. Giant, fat flakes too. And while I see a Winter Wonderland, my Canadian friends see shoveling and work and a nuisance. One day, I’m sure snow will lose its magic for me. But today is not that day.
Last Friday, I posted a new thing on my Facebook page called Feature Friday, wherein which I wrote an in-depth blurb about Jabberwocky. This is going to become a monthly feature on my page. The first Friday of each month, I will feature a piece that I have written. So look forward to that and you can get notifications about Feature Fridays and other things by liking my Facebook page.
On to the other fun. I am putting the finishing touches on my SATB version of Dreamland. And in writing the piano reduction, I’ve realized why composers avoid voice crossing. But it’s okay, because I’m a rebel. I have also made some progress on The Lullaby of the Duchess. Personally, I’m loving it. But I’m a bit biased.
In other news, I’ve just begun an attempt at electronic music for a theme song for my mom’s videos. Surprisingly, Finale Notation Software has opened up a few (limited) doors for this endeavor, but in the future, I’ll be looking for programs that I can use to do it better. This will open up the door for more commissions in the future, so I’m excited to move forward and expand my musical expertise.
Anyway, that’s all for now.
That’s right, friends! I’m visiting Ottawa for the next week and a half. As a southerner, I have spent the last four days wrapped in various blankets because here’s a secret: Canada is cold! But it’s okay. Because I’ve been using this vacation time to do a lot of writing. I have made a lot of progress on my Lewis Carroll suite. I have also watched a lot of Netflix. But I think that’s irrelevant.
It’s January 28th. I have been done with school for about two months. And I’m in that terrible waiting period. Waiting to hear from jobs I’ve applied for, waiting for my upcoming two week vacation from my current retail job (four days, but who’s counting?), waiting for the next big step in my life. And I have this to say: waiting is BORING!
So, what have I been doing?
Well. Not much. But I am working on a few new projects.
- Mama’s Girl
- Mama’s Girl is the musical I started writing. A few pieces are completed and were premiered in my senior composition recital last October. But now I have moved on to writing the stage directions and the dialogue and whatnot. This is the hard part, because I have only ever been a consumer of musicals. I have never been in one. But I have good friends who are willing to help me out and that’s important.
- Jabberwocky Companion pieces
- Jabberwocky, which also premiered at my recital, alone is one of my favorite pieces I’ve written. And I had so much fun writing it that I thought I’d try to keep the magic going. So I’m writing three companion pieces for Jabberwocky, to other Lewis Carroll texts from Alice Through the Looking Glass. I’m writing settings for The Lullaby of the Duchess (SSAA), The Lobster Quadrille (TTBB), and Epilogue (SATB). However, I’m finding that I love Jabberwocky so much that I’m almost scared to write anything else for choir because it won’t measure up. But have no fear, because I will get over that hump.
- One-a-Day Piano book
- This has been a project for over a year. But I am writing a book of short etudes for the beginning pianist. It’s… well, it’s a work in (very slow) progress.
But that’s how things go, I suppose.
Happy “Snow” (ice?) day from North Carolina!
About a week ago, I submitted a few pieces for publication on the Sheet Music Plus website. And they are now available for digital download! You can now purchase Jabberwocky and To a Stranger for your own use!
You can either go to the Scores page on this site, or you can visit this page to see a list of scores that are ready for purchase!
So. We bought a bass guitar the other day. And like the proverbial moth to the proverbial flame, I am drawn to learn how to play it. I mean, I only play like six instruments. What’s one more? Right? I think I have a problem.
Anyway. I discovered the preset songs on my keyboard are a great way to learn to play along. So that’s how I practice bass. And now, a week later, I have some killer calluses to show for my efforts. Plus, I can play “I Don’t Know Why” pretty darn well.