Recall this post from way back in January of 2008?! My golly, I’ve been working on this project for so long, but it is so worth it! Yes, I am talking about the glorious completion of my Masters Thesis composition: Leviathan of the Ancient Deep! It’s been a long and stressful road (it’s difficult to twist and/or defend your original ideas when creating a work for academia and the expectations inherent within such a structure…), but I’ve learned so much, and now, I have a work of which I am extremely proud!
It is approximately 25 minutes long, and three movements:
- I. Seekers of the Legend There go the ships: [there] is that Leviathan, [whom] thou hast made to play therein.
- II. Sighting Canst thou draw out Leviathan with an hook?… None is so fierce that dare stir him up… Upon earth there is not his like, who is made without fear… He is a king over all the children of pride.
- III. The Hunt In that day the LORD with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish Leviathan…that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that [is] in the sea.
You can read the program notes here!
And I did manage to record this with some of my friends, though I admit, all did not go as I had hoped, but went very well within the circumstances handed to us. I was so consumed with finishing the orchestra’s parts – right up until the first day of our meeting together, and in fact I had begun to wonder if there would really be a third movement at all! – that I had had NO time at all to practice my own solo part, which, I’ve discovered, is very difficult, albeit extremely FUN to play!! I wished I had had three months to hash it out and come up with reliable fingerings. But, no, I sight-read it! Not bad anyway, not great either… 🙂
The poor orchestra as well only had a week to throw this together. We met once to read through it and returned a week later to record. But you know what, these musicians are fabulous people, because they were all willing to do this entirely for free – either because they like me, or because they were just so curious about the strange instrumentation of electronic and acoustic instruments in a “classical” concerto. Or maybe both, one can hope.
So, it was quite an experience! I received so many wonderful compliments from those who’ve heard and played it! (One fellow even mentioned something to the effect of “work of this caliber is not often revealed the first time around, as it is here”… Wow!) However, because of our time and financial restraints (I didn’t want to abuse their gracious generosity!), this whole endeavor has only left me wanting more. Wanting to hear this work in reality the way I’ve heard it in my head. I’ve gotten a taste of it (all that was necessary for the faculty to get the idea behind my writing it), but I can’t wait for the opportunity to come along for it to be taken on by a “real” group, with many rehearsals, and me listening from the outside to make objective observations about it… And to have it displayed in a fine and carefully thought-out performance so that more can experience it!