Voting has opened for the Hallow-e'en competition. There are 32 entries, and mine is Going Guising in the second group. Please vote (for me) here; there are links to all the music and scores, and also the results.
Two pieces of electronic music Danse et sarabande have been chosen to be part of a project to add music to the philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy reading from 58 indices sur le corps.
The words mention the soul dancing, and the rhythm of the words seemed a bit like a sarabande to me, so I looked for inspiration from the Baroque period. The specific piece I used was the 25th of Bach's Goldberg Variaions. This is the slow, chromatic heart of the variations. It is not actually a sarabande (but variation 26 is).
I have finished the one-minute piece for Hallow-e'en. It's called Going Guising, and my partner Barry has painted two pictures for the project. One is my (TheGuiser) avatar (the skull) and the other is the album artwork (the moon). In a couple of days, you can vote for your favourite Scary Hallow-e'en music.
Guising had become a tradition for children in Scotland by the end of the 19th century. Originally they dressed as spirits of the dead and carried lanterns made out of scooped out turnips to get cakes, fruit or money from the houses they visited. Burns wrote a long poem about Hallow-e'en that describes the old traditions.
Last year I sent a piece in for a Halloween competition called Scary. The call was for one-minute pieces for Hallow-e'en using computer-generated instruments. There was a public vote. I came 17th, but got many hundreds of votes, so some people listened to the piece. It was called Worms shall eat thee up (click to listen). To see the score, click on the flat cap (the whole thing has a slight Yorkshire theme).
I am doing it again this year.
As there were no practical limits, I went to town with the orchestra last year: double woodwind plus cor anglais and double bassoon, full brass (very high horn parts), lots of percussion, two harps, organ and strings. It is all very impractical, but essentially it could be played. Other pieces last year were not playable, so I think this year I will stick to actual (synthetic) instruments, without consideration for the practicalities of human players. It will also be much Scarier.
I have a new temporary blog for Scary 2015; I am The Guiser.
Below is the text of a press notice for the concert when Stephen Porter will play my piece Leise flehen die Lieder (The songs beckon softly) on 24 October at Symphony Space, Leonard Nimoy Thalia, 2537 Broadway, New York.
A blog about my music