Composer’s Log: Aug. 28, 2017

This week I’ve been continuing the same sequence I was working on last time, which transitions from Marie’s memories of Pierre back to the present moment on the shore with Irene.  I’ve been progressing mostly sequentially from Pierre’s death to Marie’s aria “I Take My Life in Measurements,” filling in accompaniments and adding to the vocal lines.

Last week, I posted an excerpt from the vocal line at the start of an aria where Marie uses learning to swim as a metaphor for surviving her grief after Pierre’s death.  I’ve since added in some piano accompaniment and made some tweaks to Marie’s line, as shown below.

I debated about bringing back the waves motive from earlier but decided instead to foreshadow something that comes a little later in the vocal line.  The bass notes of the piano feature a rocking minor second motive that is embedded in Marie’s singing of “rushing out, drawing in.”

I may still make further revisions, possibly developing the harmonies a bit further or adding some subtle layers, but I like the calmness of the piano part.  It seems to mirror the feeling of acceptance and peace in Marie’s words.

In addition to working on the vocal lines and accompaniment, I was also hoping to do some field recordings to include in an electroacoustic track for opera.  My plan was to go to a local beach and record the ambient sounds of the crowds. However, as those of you in the New England area know, we’ve been having beautiful, but somewhat unusually cool weather for August, and a number of the beaches on the CT shore have been closed because of bacteria levels.  So, the field recordings were put on hold – but I’ve been enjoying the weather, nonetheless!