December 4, 2017

The new piano (Korg G1 Air) arrived! Randy put it together for me on Saturday morning. Its sound is much richer and more resonant than my old piano, and there are more choices and features, which will be fun to explore in the coming days.

My latest piece, “Angels Lament,” is finished.  I thought it might be interesting to share some aspects of the composition process with you.  NOTE: If you want to jump ahead and hear the whole thing, go to the very end of this blog or click on my “Piano Music” page.

As I mentioned in my blog on November 11, I began this piece with one small set of notes.  Literally four beats repeated once.  The progression just captured me and I kept playing the notes over and over.  It all started with this:

First few notes

Then I fleshed out that initial theme with what became the first movement.  I call this movement “Exhortation” because its music made me think of angel trumpets blaring, pleading with us to heed the warning bells clanging loudly and urgently all around us.  Calling us to action.  Calling us to wake up and repent our perilous fall from grace.

Exhortation

Then I started work on the second movement.  I thought of the tinkling sound of angel voices, their flapping wings, more and more joining the chorus, imploring God to help us.  The name for this movement became “Invocation.”  A prayer for divine intervention on our behalf.

Invocation

Finally, the third movement.  I wanted to integrate the “voices” of the first two movements.  My hope was that the final movement would be a reconciliation.  All would be well.  Divine victory would prevail.  But, the actual music doesn’t seem to reflect that wish. It took me awhile to identify a name for this movement. Then the word “Capitulation” popped into my mind. To capitulate is to surrender.  To cease resistance.  To give in to more powerful forces. Who capitulates?  The angels?  We, the people? To what do we capitulate? Our highest nature or our basest instincts? The ending is more somber than I wanted it to be.  It is slightly dissonant, discordant, and unresolved, yet it also feels like a perfect resolution! What it conveys remains a mystery to me.

Capitulation

OKAY!  So here is the full composition.  Would love your feedback, impressions, etc.

Angels Lament

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