I can hardly believe break is nearly over – only one week left!
I was happy with my grades last semester: Three A’s and a B+. The B+ was in Music History / Research. And I passed the exams for Theory III so the retread was a success. Onward!
I moved back to Riverside Drive just before last semester ended and am regrouping to move again next week. I found a room in a woman’s house on the south side – way up on a hill. She rents rooms to grad students. Nice room, not too big, share the bathroom with one other guy who has a regular 9 to 5 job (he just graduated in May). Everything is included for a very good price: heat, hot water, internet, cable, and – the deal closer – central air! Looking forward to it!
I’ve been composing up a storm, as usual:
- I finished my first piano sonata.
- I’ve set two Persian poems (Rumi, 1203-1276) to music – a third will be done, I haven’t selected the poem yet. One is set for flute, violin, soprano and piano; the instruments’ lines are very dense against a mesmerizing elongated soprano melody. It’s mesmerizing and trippy. The other is set for cello, marimba, soprano and piano; there are descending chromatic motifs for the cello, and it also supplies counterpoint for the soprano at cadences. The piano provides a foundational rhythm and tonal center and also mimics the cello lines when the cello is busy doing other things. These three songs will be for the New Music & New Voices course next semester – which is the upgraded version of what was composition seminar.
- I wrote “Vision” – a setting of Robert Penn Warren’s poem that starts “I shall build me a house”. It’s unaccompanied.
- I’ve finished revising two of the Shakespeare sonnets.
- I’ve started setting “Once more unto the breach” from Henry V, Act III, Scene 1. Bassoon, horn, cello and piano.
- I’ve started work on a piece for cello and percussion – for New Music & New Vocies class.
- And a new piano piece took over my brain yesterday – I think it’s a raphsody. We shall see…
In addition to “New Music & New Voices” I’ll be taking Graduate Composition II and Master Theory Review next semester. I’m looking forward to Theory Review for several reasons: 1) there are only three students in the class! 2) it’s all about form and structure 3) it should dovetail nicely into my work for the other two courses!
And I’ve gained a graduate assistanceship. $2,500 for the semester! The work will consist of being available to rent instruments to students, data entry for the music department’s semester audition/jury process, and perhaps managing a few recitals or recording some recitals. I’ll also be building a database to tie instrument database to the rental records and student IDs, along with the required reports.
So that’s what’s happening! Ciao.