Tuesday, June 30, 2009

deciding on the next pieces

I am working on incidental music for a play/ballet project, but that is coming along fairly well. The performance is tentatively set for November and I need to meet with the writer and choreographer before I can really proceed.

Other than that, since I finished Pachamama the other day, I'm coming off a round of requested pieces. This leaves me free to do whatever I want, although I must say that it's a little more exciting to write specifically for someone else.

I have a list of projects I want to start, and I am trying to prioritize them. I will be applying for PhDs this fall (for hopefully the last time - 3rd time is a charm, right?), and I feel like I need some things to beef up the portfolio. My past few pieces have all been very interesting to write, as I have been experimenting with a lot of different ideas, but I feel that I need a new piece with a little more weight. Also, I am interested in some multi-media type programs, specifically at Brown and Washington, so I feel that I need something a little more, well, multi-media.

So here are my ideas:

A big piano and electronics piece - 20 minutes in length. For digital piano, acutally, using MIDI information to trigger things. For the electronic part, I could do this in Max/MSP but I could also switch over to its free spinoff PureData. I'm actually leaning towards ChucK, because it would be a little more impressive if I learned a new programming language...

Percussion + electronics and video piece. This would actually be an aggressive revision of a previous piece, Dead Broad on Broad Street. Thinking around 15 minutes. Caleb Herron, who I wrote for in the first place, is excited about this, so I do have a performer lined up. Lot of logistical hurdles in putting it together, though.

An orchestra piece. Another revision here, of a brass quintet titled "Epiphanies." Something I've been interested in doing. Indiana University requires that one of your portfolio pieces be an orchestral piece. So I will need to do this if I want to go to IU. But maybe that's a sign that IU is too conservative for me!

Piezo flowers installation. I made piezo flowers for a previous installation, but they were the sensors. I really liked how they looked and would like to turn them into speakers, playing algorithmically generated ambient music. Ultimately I would want to program small chips so that I could make a bunch of these flower pots and have them throughout a room. That would take learning a lot more programming. However, I could at least to a prototype with an Arduino.

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