For those who are following my progress for THE BOOK OF I project, I’ve finally cleaned up the score for The Elusive Everyman and Her Majesty and I’ve got a lot of progress going forward writing the next and final large track, titled, I Am Water — for string orchestra, synthesizer, tubular bells, and suspended cymbal!
Just completed! — Introducing Theme #6 to THE BOOK OF I epic soundtrack, “The Elusive Everyman and Her Majesty” !
This track represents one part of the two-fold heart of the main character’s ultimate saga, in my musical interpretation of it. Essentially, this track is comprised of an increasing hodge-podge of melodic fragments — ripped violently from the original works in which they are first found (from “I Know What Death Sounds Like,” “Faces in Foam,” and The Everyman and Her Majesty themes at the beginning of this present track) — that swirl into an angry and frustrating mass of sound and angular textures, up until the very end, when they merge together into The Whiteness of Teaston’s mind. My next track will strive to illuminate musically the flip-side of Teaston’s disjointed thoughts, and the ways in which he attempts to come to terms with his schizophrenia….
Technique-wise, I assembled these fragments by first labeling them both alphabetically and numerically, then, taking seven of Teaston’s own chaotic fragments of thought from random places in the book (“Ever will I?”; “Can I?”; “Consumption”; “Hello Blood”; “The Cliff, Thanks”; “And the Water”; “Even My Face”), I used the letters and syllables of these phrase-lets to “spell” out and overlay the musical phrases.
How many of the phrases from these earlier tracks can you recognize, rushing and overtaking Teaston’s poor troubled mind?
I’m always pleasantly surprised when a composition has such a life of its own that it can dictate to me when it’s ready to be finished, and when remaining themes reveal themselves to be ripe for a separate and new work. 🙂
Introducing Faces in Foam, theme #5 in THE BOOK OF I Project!
This is certainly a complex work, on so many levels! Musically, it calls for string orchestra; solo violin (played “Ethnically,” no less); percussion (timpani, suspended and crash cymbals, tambourine); AND… a boy soprano… singing in Latin… <3
He (in emulating the innocent and forgotten Lucio, the “little death”) sings toward the end (in the demo recording you’ll simply hear a piano plunking out the chant-like melody…. Very soon, though, that’ll be a voice…); he sings from the Alma Redemptoris Mater, a text originally written around the 1000s AD for the Catholic Advent and Epiphany mass:
Alma Redemptoris Mater, quae pervia caeli
Porta manes, et stella maris, succurre cadenti,
Surgere qui curat, populo: peccatorum miserere.
Sweet Mother of the Redeemer, the passage to the heavens,
The gate of the spirits of the dead, and the star of the sea, aid the falling.
Mother of Him who cares for the people, have pity on us sinners.
This abridged set of quotes below, taken from Jorge Armenteros‘ “The Book of I,” aptly describes what I was going for in this work:
The woman sits at the edge of the cliff looking out to the sea…a daughter of North Africa perhaps. Her cheeks reflect olive light. She looks at me, carving her face in my memory…the step towards the rocky edge…I listen to the lines forming her face…I return to the melody still dancing in the air…
Lucio…had a delicate face…sharp angles, oblong eyes, and a classic Greek nose. I saw his face before the rocks disfigured him…he has the face of the forgotten… I try to paint him… I take a Renaissance approach, depicting him in a diaphanous light, like an angel…
I know those faces are…around me… They joined the sea because they had no other choice. Their faces are washed of past concerns. …If I…attempt to render them as ex-living people in my canvas, the white foam is quick to reclaim them. That is why all my canvases turn white–the frothy sea swallows them.
I really love how this installment has turned out! It is so driving and passionate and diverse…. It will be truly a delight getting to hear this performed live!
As I mentioned above, I had also started ideas for the next theme, which I call the “Everyman Theme”… I’d originally conceived it as a part of this present work. But, after much reconsideration — and the naturally beautiful unfolding of the end of “Faces in Foam” — I discovered, rather, that this theme will introduce my next installment fantastically well–it’s the perfect entrance for the next work!
I am thus eager to get off-and-running on Theme #6, titled: The Elusive Everyman and Her Majesty….. Stay tuned for more! This album (the composition portion of it, anyway) is fast nearing completion!!!!
Come enjoy an evening of chamber music for the violin and piano at the Hillcrest Bretheren Homes in La Verne, CA! Featuring Sarah Wallin Huff on violin accompanied by the beautiful and talented Ayla Draper on piano! We’ll be performing some original compositions of Sarah’s as well as long-time favorites by the Classical masters. FREE event! (Find the Facebook Event page here!)
Woke up this morning to a sudden burst of inspiration for another of my themes for THE BOOK OF I! “Solitude’s Hypocrisy” for solo violin and classical guitar… It’s utterly captivating to work on– maybe I’ll complete it by the end of today! 🙂
“The ever-shifting world throws me into a lonely corner when I need someone. And when I crave solitude, my skull lets everybody into my mind.” –Teaston (written by Jorge Armenteros)
Woohoo!! We’re beginning talks to hammer out specific details on the recording and production side of my soundtrack for THE BOOK OF I project; it’s looking to be a blast of an opportunity!… Which means I have a “drop dead” deadline now to complete the writing of everything…. A solid two more months to finish composing approx 30-45 minutes more of music…no prob!…. 😛
Enjoy this video from the live performance of my work, “Sweet Camila,” from The Book of I Musical Response soundtrack, to be released with the novel and accompanying artwork later this year!
Sunday, February 23rd, at 12pm sharp, I will be joined by the fabulous talents of Irene Shiao on violin, Cecille Asuncion on viola, and David Mason on cello in the debut live performance of my original string quartet from “The Book of I” soundtrack, Sweet Camila. We’ll be performing in Thayer Hall, at the Colburn School of the Arts in Los Angeles. Further information can be found here.
Later next month, the McKinley String Quartet is expected to record this work for the upcoming album. Stay tuned… You’ll be able to purchase the novel by Jorge Armenteros — and its accompanying artwork by Liselott Johnsson with my original soundtrack — later this year!
My next Book of I theme, titled “Sweet Camila,” is on its way forward! I’m making great headway with this charming string quartet! I can’t wait to record it live! 😉