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Monday, 2 March 2009

Music video of the Day Joyful Flourish

This is a very recent little piece of mine. I call it A Joyful Flourish and I wrote the outer sections in January, and the jaunty little central tune a week or so ago. I wanted to send a congregation off with a smile on their faces.

The organ I am using belongs to my dear friend Michael Kidd. We have spent many happy - and serious - hours in his Organ Room working chiefly on preparing music that he has written, to be published. The good news is that animus publishing has already published four volumes of his pieces under the general title Portrait of Michael Kidd, and individual pieces have been published separately. One other volume is still to come out, three pieces with a sea connection, called Tintagel, Just a Thought, and Spindrift. 

Just a little behind-the-scenes revelation about preparing these last three.

When I first played Michael's original Tintagel, I thought there were ideas there, but that they needed two things - more elaboration, and better linking of the sections. I set to work and added a moving lower part to the opening section which depicts the waves below Tintagel. Then I had the idea of putting that section into the minor first, so that it could come through into a sunny major a little later. Michael and I disagreed at first, and we both compromised, so now there is less minor than I had thought, but it is still there doing its job. The second place I thought needed attention was where Michael suddenly recalls the legendary glory days of Tintagel with a Handel-like march in D major/G major - the piece as a whole is in C major. It was too sudden and unconnected for my ear. My simple solution was to hold down the C on the pedal, and bring the first chord of D in above it. That made the transition sufficiently startling without the feeling of a complete break and new start.

If you would care to hear a midi of the piece, you should be able to get it here. Being in midi format it sounds tinny, but it should show you what I have been talking about. I think the piece has finally turned out very well.

The third piece in the book coming out is called Spindrift, and is made from two sea-shanty style tunes of Michael's set in an ABA form. Michael asked me if I could include snatches from real sea shanties, so I had a few happy hours at home seeing what would fit. Michael was delighted at the result, and I think that the audience - the first public performance is being given by Adrian Self, Michael's publisher, next month - will have a chuckle as they recognise these well-known fragments of tune.

The very slow 'Just a Thought' didn't start off with any sea connection, but it just so happened that I played it to my son and asked him for his reaction. He said it reminded him of boats lying at anchor, moving slowly and gently. I suggested to Michael that we could rename the piece to suggest that, but after some thought he disagreed, but it's to go between the sea pieces and people can make what mental pictures they like.

Anyway, that's just a bit of rather technical stuff about what Michael and I get up to.

Here's my little piece. I mayself hadn't quite got my fingers around the faster bit, so please excuse the fluffs.

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