What just happened? It’s like all I did was blink and now it’s been half a year since the last time I blogged. Well, no matter…I’m back now!
I had planned to write a post about my new brass quintet piece, Maneo, around the time I released it, but I just never got around to it, I guess. Honestly, other than the program notes (which you can read here), there’s not a lot I can say about it without going into analysis-paper-writing mode (and nobody wants that, right?). Oh, except that by some strange coincidence, the theme of the first movement is almost identical to a piano piece I wrote in elementary school (5th grade, maybe?). I promise I wasn’t even trying to do that! But it’s kind of neat that it ended up being a grown-up take on my grade-school creation. (My apologies for the terrible hissing in the recording below…it came from a cassette tape I made 15 years ago…)
Maneo was premiered by the Metro Brass Quintet on April 24, and I’m so proud of my quintet buddies for a fantastic performance! You can check out the video by clicking on the picture below:
So what’s next?
I recently started a new Psalm Series piece (this will be number 4!) based on Psalm 77, which is one I’ve been wanting to tackle for quite awhile. (You can read some of my thoughts on this psalm here and here.) It’s starting to take shape even though I’m not super far into it yet, but it’s kind of on hold at the moment because…
I’ve also begun a new recording project that I’m especially psyched out of my mind about – you know, it’s one of those ideas where you’re just like…YES! (Elf reference, anyone?) Musically speaking, I feel as though there are two contrasting sides to me – there’s the classical composer of concert music, and then there’s the contemporary singer/songwriter/worship leader. As much as I love to embrace each extreme on its own, I thought it would be fun and challenging to come up with a way to reconcile those two sides of me and create something that encompasses both.
I decided to revisit the slow movement of my first Psalm Series piece, Proclaim, but approach it the way I would approach arranging and recording a contemporary song. I obviously don’t have a whole wind ensemble at my disposal, but by combining multiple tracks of the instruments I play (voice, trumpet, piano) and applying techniques like reverb and panning, I can create an interesting variety of textures and timbres. And since the original piece is based on Psalm 19, I plan on singing the words as a vocal line.
I’ve experimented with multiple piano and vocal tracks before, like on It’ll Come and Venite Adoremus, but this is going to be on a much larger scale. I’ll probably need two or three GarageBand files to hold all the tracks (each file holds 16 tracks). And while I’m excited about the outcome, I think this project is more about growing and stretching myself in all aspects of who I am as a musician. Another bonus is that it gives the piece new life and makes it more accessible to people without it having to be rehearsed and performed by a wind ensemble.
Well, thanks for tuning in! I’ll keep you posted, and I hope to be able to share my new project with you soon!
[May 20, 2015]