UIUC Fall 2020 Retrospective; Future Violin Projects

December 7, 2020, 4:37 PM · As we reach the end of the semester, it's been really great looking back at what I have done, especially, for this blog post, with the violin. (I will be working on updating my website, including a blog post there, with updates on compositions (like my finished String Quartet, entitled "isolation(replay)" - technically my third piece for String Quartet!), after writing this.) Actually, everything has basically been related to composing, but it's been music I've written specifically for classes that I probably will not put on my website, so I thought I would share some of it here.

I don't have any links to share, but in one of my classes, we have spent all semester exploring music and dance together with a number of projects. I was working on a retrospective for this class yesterday, and loved how they got more improvisatory as the semester went on, exploring graphic scores and a card game, and all things I played on my violin. Interpreting graphic scores is really fun, yielding varying results; and even doing improvisations that involve the musician trying NOT to follow the dancer created an interesting piece on its own.

I would like to share my second composition project from my post-1945 music class. You can view it here. It is called "Variable Waltzes - a musical dice game for violin(s)", which requires d12 dice - I used the set of Musician's Dice I have you can see in the video, as well as cards. I explain in the video the different steps (and will try and add a score to the video description if I can!), but it turns into a piece where a lot is randomly generated, like a game, and each rendition of the piece can be something different. It isn't quite as free as my graphic scores, as there is still traditional notation (12 different staves for each piece of which a random pattern is chosen), but it still fits the open-form genre. I lean into the game aspect of this piece as well - this form does remind me of how Nintendo called Zelda: Breath of the Wild "open-air" for an open-world game back in 2017. I even laid out the directions in the score like a rulebook or paper booklet you'd get in a board game or something. It was a really fun piece to write, especially putting together these elements outside of the score like the video yesterday.

That's all related to school, but I have one more thing to share. In getting inspired from insaneintherainmusic's new Sinnohvation (2020) album that is dropping on the 11th (including strings, I believe those are the only tracks for the vinyl record version, those he recorded with his band) - in CD form too! - I have been thinking of producing a CD album dedicated to the Animal Crossing series with my violin! This would be a project I could undertake in addition to other albums I want to do - perhaps I can put something together for my own music. The world of albums has been opened up to me this year, and it's really exciting. In addition, with StringPlayerGamer doing Twitch livestreams taking requests and playing covers from his channel, I've thought about putting on a Christmas violin livestream of my own on my YouTube channel! I will definitely share more information if this is happening on my blog - it will probably be on the 17th. I have been playing out of Paul Fehrenbach's Christmas Carols for Unaccompanied Violin book from 2014, which was on the violinist.com Holiday Gift Guide last year and I got for Christmas.

Anyways - sorry for a bit of a ramble today; I will post more information on the livestream either later this week or early next! I can also post my score to my violin game if you would like to try it out this holiday season. (Like the big video game holiday releases, haha!) I am excited to play the winter events in Animal Crossing: New Horizons (for Nintendo Switch) - hear some strings in the New Years music!


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