Sunday, January 24, 2010

A new anthem

I have just composed a new anthem for chorus. I'm calling it Love, and it is setting of a poem by Amy Carmichael. Think of something like Rutter's "Open Thou mine eyes". I would say it is similar in effect. I love Amy Carmichael poetry, as it is always very inspirational and deeply spiritual. Love will be the fifth Carmichael poem I have set to music (one of them will probably never see the light day). Three of them are a cycle I called Silver Moonlight. The current I think I will leave separate as I think it more effective that way.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

At the cry of the first bird

Samuel Barber wrote a wonderful setting a text translated from the 12 century The Speckled Book, a rather chilling account of the crucifixion. I was so inspired by Barber's setting that, lying in bed one night (when inspiration often comes), I decided I should write my own setting of it. The next morning (Dec. 6) I set out to accomplish the mission. My inspiration was to write a choral setting as opposed to a vocal solo like Barber's. In a day I virtually completed it (that usually what happens when ideas are flowing on a miniature project like this, you've got to take em' while they're comin'!).

I know, it would be ridiculous for anyone to try compete with Barber on his own territory, especially a green horn like myself. However, I think my setting is quite is different from his, though I hope it has a similar effect/evocation of the text. Mine is a choral setting lasting maybe 3 minutes or so. I have chosen to adopt the first line of text as the title: "At the cry of the first bird".

I'm quite excited about it, and hope to get it performed soon. It's one of my best choral works to date, in my opinion. I'll let you know when I find out a performance date. I have some choir friends that will probably take it on. Mean look up "The Crucifixion" by Sam Barber on you tube is something, it's amazing stuff!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Digression Into Orchestral Music

After writing choral music (a cappella choral music at that) almost exclusively for several months, I recently found inspiration to write a new tone poem entitled "Twilight At Sea", based on a poem by Amelia Welby. My first version was for piano trio (piano, violin and cello). I orchestrated it shortly after its completion and was quite pleased with the result, so I set out to orchestrate some more of my chamber music: first my Equinox, and then my other poem for piano trio ("Jouets"). I'm actually very much enjoying my orchestral versions! I'll try to post some of them for you hear on my Facebook page soon.

Hello, Everyone!

Inspired by my good friend Joel Thompson, who has a very interesting blog (, I have created my own blog to give you periodic updates on what's happening in my composition studio (also known as my bedroom). Come and visit every now and then!