Thursday, December 29, 2011

for three (score excerpt)

I have written the first three minutes or so of for three.
I'm not totally happy with it, but this gives a flavour (click on the image for a larger version):


Multipliers above a rest indicate that the performer should multiply that rest by that number (e.g. if a semibreve rest has a 'x 4' indicator above it, this indicates that there should be four semibreve rests).
A '+' or '-' indicator above a note indicates that pitch should be sharper or flatter (respectively) by this many cents.
At the moment, all dynamics are balanced and as quiet as possible.

About the piece:
I may reduce the speed to something more like crotchet=52 (or slower) and I'm not quite sure how I feel about the nature of these awkward durations. This may be revisited. There may also (when I complete the piece) be alterations to durations etc. down to the progression of this section from these isolated utterances to the smooth overlapping texture.

The name Petrus Abaelardus and the title of his work which includes his allegedly heretical teachings on the doctrine of the trinity, Theologia Summi Boni, have been used to structure the durations of the work. I've always been interested in Abelard. Initially, his relationship with Héloïse was what grabbed me, but as I found out more, his relationship with his son and with Bernard de Clairvaux struck me as interesting. I've been thinking for a while that I'd like to do a series of music theatre clusters around a series of figures, and had thought that they would coincide with decades in my life (An Evening with Ezra Pound was supposed to mark my 30th birthday (3 years ago), and An Evening with Peter Abelard was going to mark my 40th birthday)*. I don't really know how I feel about all of that now but I do think that there may be a cluster of pieces around Abelard and I suppose this may as well be a start. The connection came simply because of the title and the indeterminate instrumentation as related to his theoretical writings on the Trinity, which got him into such hot water with Bernard de Clairvaux.

It's beginning to get to the point that, in order for this project to have a place in my research hours, I'm going to have to come up with a performance. If I don't, then I'll carry on in my spare time, but I'll have to prioritise other projects. Sad but true.

*The final Evening with was going to be Alan Turing. We shall see.

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