100 Days – Day 9

I think I’ve reached that point in the creative process where there now remains no actual composition to do. All of the creative stuff – the coming up with ideas bit – is, I think, done.

Now for the hard part.

By my reckoning, the piece, Amra Choluim Chille, is about 70% done. What’s left to do feels like a hell of a lot more than 30% of the music though. I have 7 movements – 2 in the middle that are finished (in first draft) and 5 that are very skeletal in nature.

Movement 1
This movement has the most text left to actually set of any movement – 3 of 8 lines remain un set. However, as they refer to later movements, I was waiting to finish up those movements before I come back to complete this movement, which I envision being the last thing I will do.

Movement 2
All of this text is set. There are, however, 4 lines which I am going to change, because of material in Movement 6 that I only wrote this week, and am finalising now.

Movement 3
This was the first movement I composed, and is finished. The orchestration could be refined, but it’s basically finished in first draft.

Movement 4
This movement is quite short – only 6 lines, which are quite similar, so it was a very simple movement to write. I consider it to be the only movement that is totally finished and will be unchanged in the final product, except for small details.

Movement 5
This movement is quite complicated. I wrote the whole first half in Copenhagen last October, and the whole second half last night. However, while the concept of the first half will be the same, the rhythm and notes are going to change – not a lot, but enough for it to be a good 3 days work, I’d say. The vocal parts will probably stay the exact same, but the string writing needs to become more epic.

Movement 6
I have set all of the text in this movement this week, and written a lot of the accompanying parts (see day 5). The last 3-5 lines need the most work, and I need to write the ending, but as it will be exactly the same (more or less) as the beginning, that won’t take long.

Movement 7
I wrote the ending of this movement (and of the whole piece) way back sometime last year – maybe even this time last year, but have been playing around with the rest of it for a long time. I had come up with music for the beginning, but then when I was backstage waiting to start the 1st of the Amsterdam shows of INO’s The Second Violinist, I heard a piccolo player playing a little warm-up motif, which I have turned into a big 5 part passacaglia texture. I’ve retained the original opening material for the second half, and actually it all works a lot better. I still need to work out 5 lines or so of this movement, but they fit into a very distinct and clear harmonic structure, so it will be labour intensive, but not much hard work.