Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Taking a Breather

OK. I managed to survive last week: Gigs on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday evenings, plus a second Thursday afternoon gig. Performing solo classical guitar for over 4 hours in a single day is exhausting. My fingertips were literally burning by the end of the night, and I had "nothing left" for Friday. It was tortuous. This week will return to some semblance of normalcy, but then Christmas season will begin, and that will be capped off with a wedding on New Year's Eve. Ugh. I guess I shouldn't complain, but it is interfering with some blogging I'd like to do.

Then, of course, I've been obsessed with my new axe. It may not seem like a big deal, but the pressure required to fret a course of two strings versus a single string leads to a much increased output of effort. No doubt but that this will lead to much more solid technique for me down the road, but playing the eleven-string is quite tiring at the moment. The courses being wider means buzzing against the flesh of neighboring fingers is more of a problem too, so my fretting accuracy should also improve with time as well. It's interesting, that's for sure.

In other news, I have had over seven-hundred people visit my FileShare Page to take a look/listen to my music! I'm fully expecting that the next time I go to a GFA event I'll hear someone playing some of my guitar pieces. LOL! To make it easier for visitors, I have re-named the files to make it easier to know what you are looking at and/or downloading, and I have also made the files more Windows-friendly by making sure the proper file extensions are apendeded to each one. This ought to eliminate any problems for the non-Mac crowd (Philistines!).

For the guitar pieces, there are:

1) Axial Studies (18 of them)

These are open string studies in a two voiced countrapuntal texture, with the open strings being the zero axes of the melodies, in Schillinger-speak. Since the zero axis can be the root, third, or fifth of a tonic major or minor triad, that makes six studies each for the E-Axis Studies, B-Axis Studies, and G-Axis studies, for the total of eighteen. They were inspired by the fugue from Bach's (?) (There seems to be some question of authorship here) Tocatta and Fugue in D minor, but they are not immitative.

2) Figuration Preludes (12 of them)

These are five-voice harmonic studies that progress around the circle of thirds starting in A minor and ending in B major. They employ the "c" finger, as I've always used my "c", and have some nice contemporary harmonies a la Pat Metheny and Leo Brouwer. I am currently writing the second set backwards around the circle from F major to E-flat minor, but have not posted them yet.

3) Irreducible Sonatina (Four movements)

This is a catch-all for some nice small pieces I have written over the years. There is a Sonatina in A minor, a Menuetto in B minor, a Sonatina in C major, and Six Variations in A minor.

4) Sonata Zero (Three movements, soon to be four)

This is the set I blogged on earlier and includes a Sonata in A minor, a Scherzo in B minor, and the Fugue in A minor. It requires a slow piece in C, and I'm tossing ideas around for that right now.

5) Lineal Studies (Three so far)

These are Schillinger patterned root progression studies which cannot be played on the guitar any other way than linearly due to range considerations. They're kind of weird, but cool. No fingerings in them yet though, so you're on your own there if you want to play them.

Then, there are some miscelaneous non-guitar pieces:

1) A fugue for Wind Trio. This is the fugue with the serial subject I blogged about.

2) A fugue for String Quartet. This is the homage to Bach's Art of Fugue and Musical Offering style.

3) A five-voice perpetual canon for String Choir. I blogged about this earlier as well.

4) A fugato for orchestra, which exists as a sketch for string choir currently.

5) An orchestrated version of the string quartet fugue.

As I've said before, feel free to use these as you wish, but if you are going to perform them for money or publish them in any form, please contact me and we'll work something out. It's an "honor system" thing (Someone - I can't remember who - published one of my Axial Studies in a method book once, and all I asked for was a credit).

When this season is behind me I'm going fly fishing next spring. Sorry if I insense anyone, but I'm not a "catch-and-realease" fisherman, I'm a "catch-and-EAT" fisherman!

Bet you can't guess what my favorite fly is called (Yes, I tie my own).

Yup. It's called "A Redhead", natch.


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