Roughly a month into the orchestration element of my project and already, the first draft of the piece is almost completed.
From feeling totally out of my comfort zone, to now seeing the initial ‘end’ in sight has surprised me; I initially thought this was going to be an extremely difficult task that would take literally months, but as I got going, I realised what a wonderful ‘tool’ the orchestra was, and it’s breathed life into my piano piece in ways I didn’t realise it could.
Without getting too romantic or emotional about it, this has been quite an astonishing realisation, not only in terms of my application and relative ‘ease’ of doing the orchestration, but also in respect of my natural instinctiveness and intuition at feeling and hearing additional lines, harmony notes, etc. That’s not to say that what I have done so far is right; far from it! I fully anticipate to find numerous compositional howlers when I start reviewing this first draft. However, the blending of the instruments has for the most part been straightforward and I’ve known exactly what needed to happen where.
Give it another couple of days and this first draft will be complete, and I will have over 2 months clear before my next assignment is due on the 25 January 2016 to start revising sections and work more closely on refining, tidying up, or re-working areas.
I have also kept a running list of changes that I have made as I have gone along, changes that needed to happen to accommodate either the instruments I wrote for, or to allow smoother transitions between sections; these I will write up as a separate blog to track the compositional development.
Transition points within the piece between sections are the areas that I am most anxious about currently. I keep asking myself whether it really does sound like one piece of music, or simply a lot of smaller pieces stuck together.
And, of course, aside from the musical technicalities which are vast (!), I have further considerations around the presentation, the etiquette of the score layout; where do I put the page turns, the page breaks? What requirements do I need to consider to make the piece playable for the musicians?
My journey continues…