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January 19, 2016

Embarking on this odyssey. With trepidation, I had decided to take the next year to compose music for the harp; aware of my apprehension, that I didn’t feel fully on board (yes, pun); yet still excited and thrilled at the prospect of working with DHC and other harpists in a year of immersion. But my days of ease would be upset, and for the long haul of a year, not just a 10-week DHC webinar.  
Now what looms over me is this step I have taken. I have committed to a practice of harp composition; of working at it, at least 5 days a week; of writing about that experience; and of working with other musicians, and DHC.
I do not like committing, and have carved out an existence that endeavors to avoid as much commitment as possible. If I am asked to do something, I have to check my calendar at home. There, I can summon up plausible reasons why I won’t be able to get together, while asserting that I really wish I could. I have no cell phone, because I don’t want to be available by phone at all times, and I don’t have immediate access to a phone calendar, which would put me on the spot to answer.  
Journal entry from 1/3/16: Holidays over and though doing less than ever, its all still too much. A frenetic energy up to the day, and then the weariness, and general unwillingness to do anything.


Noel Nouvelet, arranged by Corkey Christman. The inspiration and influence for my composition Nouvelet Deja Vu: to be premiered in my next blog entry.





For the past 3 days I practiced a beautiful arrangement of Noel Nouvelet, by Corkey Christman. This is a piece that I have worked on for many past Christmases; I decided to use this tune and arrangement as the influence/template for my composition of the week. The tune is short, with two, 4-measure sections, and follows an AABBA form. My approach is to “invert” many of the notes, ideas, intervals, progressions and patterns. (Eg. The tune starts out with 2 eighth notes, moving from g to d. My melody uses eighth notes, too, but the first 2 notes are reversed, starting on d, and going to g). I am using the ideas of the Christman arrangement of Noel Nouvelet; the rhythm, particularly,  and many of the chords; although I am not “inverting” the  accompaniment as I am generally doing  for the melody. I am interested to see what my composition will sound and feel like, especially up against Christman’s arrangement.

I question whether this really is composing? I recently read several pages of Steal Like an Artist, which encourages building on the ideas of other artists, asserts that all art is influenced/copied in part from other artists, and exhorts that the artist should feel free to steal.
Each of the past 3 days I have enjoyed my endeavors, though it has started to consume me.

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