I’m back(ish)

It’s been a while since I last posted. I would say that I’ve been busy, but in fact, I’ve really just been laying low. Since I finished the new score, I’ve been pretty fried. I kind of feel like these entries should have something to do with music, and I just haven’t felt like thinking about music for a few days.

Over the weekend, AJ & I had a tasty brunch, during which we talked a little about the piece I’m about to start. It’s a wind ensemble commission for a consortium of college bands, and it’s being organized by a guy named Scott Weiss, who is the director of wind ensembles at Lamar University. Lamar is in Beaumont, Texas.

Scott wants a concert opening — something between 5-8 minutes long. I’ve been wanting to write a big, loud, vulgar polka. Fun, right? Thing is, it’s hard to write a 6-minute polka. That’s a lot of polka. So, it needs to be a polka and… I don’t know. My other wind piece, “Redline Tango,” is a fast, slightly-crunchy showpiece on the outside, and a weird little tango in the middle. But what to do with a polka?

When I told AJ that Lamar is in Texas, she suggested a western theme. Why not combine them? Why not have western-meets-polka? Country music uses a lot of two-step, which isn’t far removed from polka. But what could I call it?

“The Alamo Polka.”

(AJ suggested the political-wonk subtitle be, “You Forgot Poland!” The idea of tying Texas to Poland struck me as hilarious, but I’m not sure how many people would get the reference.)

Will that be the piece? I don’t know yet, but it’s a funny idea. The piece could start with a “call to arms,” and then gradually somehow transform from country music to polka. And then maybe back again?

I’ll brainstorm some more. (Rather, I’ll ask AJ for more help. I don’t know what I’d write without her. The past three pieces would be a whole lot different, ie, lame, that’s for sure.)

Tonight’s agenda: haircut, then dinner, then the presidential debate.


abacus says

The thing I'm most excited about in the Alamo Polka? Gunshot sound effects. Now, I know you could probably do it with something in percussion, but this is Texas, so I say - real guns!

Newman says

You dined at Johnny R.'s? Gastroenterologically it's probably best that I didn't go, but still, the Downtown Voting Block is sad we were disenfranchised...


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