The Man Who Was Thursday - for violin and viola (and my musical British accent)

April 7, 2017, 9:31 PM · I just finished my violin/viola duo called "The Man Who Was Thursday" this evening, and I'm pretty proud of it! (I wrote it for my violinist friend who wanted a piece to play with a violist.) It was nice after a term of orchestration (and my last piece, a chamber work for oboe, English horn, clarinet, bass clarinet, percussion, and string trio entitled "The Forest of Quelk√≠sthiden ") to write for two instruments I know very well! The piece follows G.K. Chesterton's nonsensical story "The Man Who Was Thursday," and I used the fact that it takes place in London to my advantage. So in a way, I'm musically speaking with a British accent in this piece, one might say! There are two main motifs in the piece: one for Syme, the main character; and one for Sunday, which develops as he goes from an evil menace to something a little more agreeable. There are a couple dialogues between the two instruments to represent conversations between two characters at different points in the story. However, the section I just composed this afternoon really shows my British accent! In the penultimate scene in the book, the six adventurers are chasing Sunday through London, and I depicted a few of the mentioned attractions. Big Ben is obviously the tune, but hidden amongst viola arpeggios. The Royal Albert Hall is done with 3-bars from Vaughan-Williams' "A Lark Ascending," which I quoted. Finally, the London Eye is done through glissandi in contrary motion in both parts, making a circle both on the page but sounding like one, as well. The final section has bird song, inspired by the colors I saw outside at about 7pm tonight as the sun set. It was a great way to finish the project! Just wanted to share this with you. I am also during this term going to hopefully be writing a few film scores (!), so I will be sure to explain more about those as I start them.

[SATURDAY.} Just wanted to add (since I don't think I'll write a seperate entry about this) that tonight I'm going to hear the QSCO (and two choirs) play Bach's "St. Matthew's Passion," which was composed in 1727 - I have a 1905 edition of the score (condensed orchestra and choir parts) to look at while I listen. It will be fun hearing a full Baroque work, especially that of Bach, and to think about how the violins in particular will be played in a different style to that of today. Should be fun!


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