Music composition activities: an update (emphasis on separable miniatures)

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I want to provide an update of my music composition activities, particularly with respect to preparing miniatures that are performable on solo piano or (for practical reasons) by organ transcription.

I had discussed some of this on Nov. 25, 2015.  On Jan. 28, 2015 I described the progress of my Third Sonata.  On Aug. 21. 2016, one of the miniatures was played.

Here is a list of the items I have worked on.  For each element I have a print PDF, and MP3.  Some slower tempo items are not effective when played by the computer, as they need human nuance.  The fast pieces, toccata-like, sound effective.

“Losing It” (a curious title that I won’t explain here, other than it comes from my dark days at NIH in the Fall of 1962, about the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis), is a three-stanza hymn without words in B-fat Major.   The tempo is moderately slow.  There is a middle section in F minor.

The elements are LosingItRev2, LosingItConc (concluding a dour middle section) and LosingItClose, which recasts the original tune a little more cheerfully.

The song (originally numbered Su506Bf, had been originally envisioned as an interlude in a “choral song symphony” back in 1974.

The first stanza was performed on Aug. 21.

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The other pieces in the best shape are the “PolyTonal Prelude” (PolyTonalPreludeV2 and Coda) and the “Adagio Religioso” in B Major (Sonata3Mov3MReligioso) which is a middle section in the slow movement (third) of the Third Sonata,  This section was conceived in the spring of 1962 after a college friend at George Washington University was struck by a car near campus and killed (one of the outstanding students in the chemistry class).

I’ve added a section where the chorale religioso theme is reharmonized, with a lot more outright dissonance, near the end of the slow movement (Sonata3Mov3Da2).

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The “Hymn tune” in the Finale (of #3) first appears quietly but with restless harmony (HoldApplauseHymn2)

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That’s some time after the playful Toccata-like introduction (MSonata3FinaleS1) , which is surprisingly self-contained.

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I’ve added to the cadenza before the coda in the finale  (Sonata3Mov4Cad), which is very toccata-like and plays well on the computer.  There are some invocations of the Scriabin “Black Mass” motive, and the music progresses through atonality before settling on a G#-minor chord, before the Coda, which will start in F# Major and finally migrate to C.

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The Coda is on two files (Sonata3Mov4Coda1a and Sonata3Mov4Coda2b)..  I’ve marked the hymn melodic line in blue, and a secondary melodic line in pink.  The “Hold Applause” theme (which came to me in a dream in 2011, shortly after mother’s passing) is supposed to be singable.  There is a little bif of reference to Chopin (the A Major Polonaise, and then the Op 61 Fantasy) except that the descending interval is a major third, not a fourth (Chopin’s Op 61 sounds almost like a Scriabin Sonata to me).  But then there is a “double fist take” to settle on the final C Major outburst, with the toccata-like themes earlier in the Finale played over rising bass figures, taken from the conclusion of the Bruckner #7 and the scherzo of Bruckner 8.  The final 12 measures try to pile the history of postromantic music on top of one another in a skyscraper-like structure.  Finally, the work crashes to a close on a major third (C).

Coda Part 1 Page 1

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Coda Part 1 Page 2

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Coda Page 2 (end)

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My “legacy” site (doaskdotell.com) holding all the music mp3’s has migrated to a new server recently,  I’ll copy the new files to it soon.  Right now, they’re private (in the cloud).

(Posted: Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016 at 12:45 PM EST)

Donald Trump! Footage of a protest outside his hotel today in Washington DC

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The protest (of Donald Trump’s election)  was from high school students in DC schools.  Many were white  (probably 50%) and “upscale”.  Some people were there to chant and demonstrate but others were there to film “The Hunger Games 4” with Trump as President Snow.

There were lots of chants like “Not my president”, “No justice no peace.

There is another rally at George Washington University.  It’s likely I’ll recognize people in that crowd from the LGBT community, Town and Cobalt.

The president-elect should realize that some younger adults who have tweeted very explicit language about his election are people whom he would have respected personally and who would have survived “The Boardroom” had they been on the Apprentice.  I doubt that many of his hires from that show approve of all of his behavior.

Cell phone videos

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Cannon Power shot videos

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10 People start to climb into the windows or “swing from the chandeliers” as if getting detention!  People did this one time at a middle school when I worked as a sub, contributing to my being banned from the school for not having classroom management.

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12  Again, kids in the window

13  An “upper income” teen climbs the Ben Franklin scuplture

 

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Some more stills”

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Then I went into the Trump Hotel lobby (the “enemy’s lair”)

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(First Posted: 4 PM EST Tuesday, November 15, 2016)

A drive through “Trump” country in Pennsylvania

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I drove yesterday through the countryside NW of Gettysburg, on 394 and 234, and on many named Pennsylvania roads without any route numbers and not on the maps.   There were many roads with no businesses, no signs directing me how to get out of a maze.  I could have passed into the afterlife this way.  I crossed gaps in the “Blue Ridge” three times, finally come out near Catalonia State Park near US 30, east of Chambersburg.

There was a “Gun Shop Road” near one of the ridge tops.  Reminds me of the 2001 movie “Bill’s Gun Shop“.

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Everywhere I saw Trump and Pence signs, and no Clinton signs.  People said to me, they weren’t interested in politics, they just wanted to be left alone.

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(Posted: Monday, Nov. 14, 2016 at 11:30 AM EST)

 

AGLA 35th Anniversary Dinner in Arlington VA clips

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Here are some clips from the Arlington Gay and Lesbian Alliance 35th anniversary celebration at the Hyatt Regency in Crystal City in Arlington VA.

1   Opening speaker suggests that sometimes appearing in drag is necessary and morally cleansing

2   T.J. Flavell talks about progress of gay rights in northern VA since 1981

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5  (Democratic VA state senator Ebbin)

6 A transgender assistant Secretary of Defense regarding energy procurement

7  Gavin Grimm, teenage plaintiff in Virginia public school bathroom case before the Supreme Court (4 parts) — ACLU link on litigation.

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(Posted: Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016 at 2:45 PM EST)

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Exurban northern VA — the lake and river country; women’s suffrage exhibit

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I visited Burke Lake park in southern Fairfax VA.

I found some ducks quite willing to be photographed up close.  These are wild animals that seem to be OK with people.

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Later I found an exhibit in Occoquan Park on the Women’s Suffrage movement in the U.S. starting in Woodrow Wilson’s administration.  Women were put into detention and work camps that looked like military bases.

(Posted: Friday, November 11, 2016 at 9:45 AM EDT)

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Donald Trump may have (inadvertently) already necessitated a change in my novel opening: Russia really could “invade” Finland in real life

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I have started re-editing my novel “Angel’s Brother”.   I hope to have it ready for a third-party editor and later publication in early 2017 (but not before the Inauguration, sorry).

It’s disturbing how I find issues, like in logical sequencing of the action as “Randy” (40) follows Sal (21) back to a taxi from the grounds at Auschwitz in the opening chapter.

But there’s no immediate cliffhanging crisis (or skyscraper-hanging, which opens “Vertigo”, before settling down into talk).

But by Chapter 4, Randy (an ex-military CIA agent who works a regular job as a high school history teacher, even with AP students, which Sal had been) has run a gauntlet of a treasure hunt, visiting a porn shop in St. Petersburg, Russia (even looking at gay porn, which isn’t supposed be allowed in Vladimir Putin’s fiefdom anymore), a step on a Howdy-Doody style treasure hunt that sends him to in a rent car to northwestern Russia, near Lake Lagoda.

He meets an old codger who looks after a secret weapons cache, supposedly hidden among the old radioactive waste that Russia keeps.  This is the kind of stuff that the Nuclear Threat Initiative wants to collar up.

Randy picks up a small device that will be transferred back to the U.S., and eventually be useful in a bizarre psychic education center in West Texas that is supposedly part of a Homeland Security capacity.  But then the Russians see him, and chase him across the border into Finland.

The idea is provocative now because Vladimir Putin is making noise about wanting to take the Baltics back.  Karelia had once belonged to Finland but is now part of Russia (it’s also the subject of a Sibelius suite).  If an incident like this really happened, then the West would have to respond, although Finland is not (yet) part of NATO. Wiki.  This would be a gravely serious matter, although there are questions as to how president-elect Donald Trump will handle relations with Putin regarding Putin’s aggression.

The novel as written doesn’t yet do much with the potential crisis with Russia that it would cause, so I will work on this.

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When a file (from my DADT-2 book) was hacked in April 2002 (on an old legacy site), the overlay looked like jibberish related to the NW-Russia – Finland area.

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Update: Dec. 6, 2016

There is a news story about a gun attack at a town in southeast Finland very near the Russian border, Imatra, in the Karelia area. This is certainly interesting, Guardian link is here .

By Tatu KosonenOwn work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

(Posted: Wednesday, November 9, 2016 at 11:45 PM EST)