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New Band Commission, part 7

Friday, January 7, 2022 (morning)

Snow day! I decided to spend the extra time off working on the second movement. I got a cute little melody for the opening inspired by old school Mario games. I thought it would be fun to have a complete mood change to start this movement, after the first one ends so seriously—it will really feel like escaping into another world. Unfortunately, the trumpets are going to have a wait a little while longer for their moment, because the tune I have really wants to live in the clarinets, with some flute and percussion. I can’t go too long without giving the trumpets something fun, though, and I used up a lot of time letting the first movement spin out, so I’m thinking this movement might move very quickly from one idea to another, like skipping through several levels of a video game. It adds a lot of difficulty to the piece to do this, because essentially the movement becomes a medley of completely different styles, orchestrations and rhythms. I’ll really need to keep an eye on how I can get the right vibe without making it too difficult.

I decided that with the tempo marking of each section, I’ll give a title that evokes a certain style of video game. I tried some online video game name generators (for fun, try this one, which is hysterically bad: but I think I might let the students end up naming these.

Friday, January 7, 2022 (evening)

I spent most of the day working on the video game stuff, but after a while it felt like I just kept playing the same four bars over and over without being able to figure out where it would go next, so I decided to stop and make some dinner. Of course, as soon as I started cooking the rest of the music came to me. (I should remember that trick!) I ended up getting three “levels” mostly composed, and the beginning of the fourth. This is the one that’s going to ramp up in energy until the “train” motive comes back, which eventually will get us to the final movement. It’s going to be more like the modern video game music, which is basically like a film score. It’s almost midnight, so I’m going to call it a day and work on it more tomorrow!

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