Evolution of the string quartet and fat sausages

sausagesToday’s work on the quartet was influenced by seeing images of children drawing. Flowers and plants poking out of grass, big letters, random looking scrawls. And the colours – those bright crayon ones. Up and down, quickly represented by a scrawl of blue for sky, a scrawl of green for grassy ground. They were still photos, but you could see the movement and speed and fluency of it all in the untroubled faces, the happy smiles.

I had yesterday evening mapped out the first movement of the quartet, or at least as much of it as I could be bothered to do, that late at night. What I had thought of as the slow movement (the section I derived from Poulenc’s harmonies), turned into an introduction to a fast movement. Just about three minutes long. This “slow movement” had ended with a long drawn out oscillation between two chords which could have been a dying fade away (O bad, bad, bad, cliche), but – suddenly – I saw that you could segue into something fast from there. And so, as in a gay bar, I quickly dropped one possibility, for another. Heh-heh.

We like segue………mmmm………oh yes we do. Anyway, as I started to work this morning, I had the childrens’ drawings in mind and that inspired me. As I sometimes do, I just took a pencil and “scrawled notes”. But quickly it became “organized” of course. I thought of ten different ways to develop material and also wrote a four-part fiddle dance (sort of) to provide subject material. Well, I needed something lighter after that dreary introduction. In my hands, the civilised Poulenc had become wintry and miserable.

We like tunes and dances………mmmm………oh yes we do.

However, that will just give me an endless stream of notes, pretty formless – like those long slabs of material in the movements of Le Marteau. Well Messiaen does that too and after a while you start to think “hello, I’ve had enough of that”.

Probably some people (people lacking my rigid self-discipline, I mean) start at such moments to think about sausages dipped in mustard. Or of licking around the base of chocolate liquors, prior to crunching on them and letting the alcohol trickle down their throats.

I agree with Pope Benedict that the public has become dreadfully hedonistic. It is distasteful, but there we are. On the other hand, I do enjoy a nice fat sausage now and again, and I feel that a German pope should show a bit of understanding here.

Anyway, I diverge……I don’t want a long unchanging slab of music, so…………em?…………er?…………

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *