1961, Bridget Riley "Movement in Squares"

1961, Bridget Riley “Movement in Squares”

My last partner pointed out that I serve music as if it were a goddess. And he added that if you worship a god, he/she should look after you in return. This thought has stayed with me for several years.

It reoccurs to me this morning as I make a neat copy of the duo I wrote yesterday evening (“Future” – number seven of the eight songs I am working on). This duo is for mezzo and tenor, singing in thirds. It interests me how when you combine high tenor with a mezzo singing just a third above, you get the illusion that the mezzo notes are actually beneath the tenor ones. Curious – an aural equivalent of one of those eye popping moments in Bridget Riley. Incidentally, as I love her work so much, along with that of her style compatriots, I wonder why I have written so much neo-romantic music. Yet more to think about…

Anyway, why I was put in mind of the goddess issue is because the songs I have been writing (I did the texts as well) deal directly, for the first time, with my own biography. I am sure that other works I have composed treat this obliquely, but that is not the same thing. Here I include actual sentences that were said by me or by others. And each situation is one that I know from my own story. So, it occurs to me this morning that here, finally, there is chance of some reward. That I can say what happened in my life. Not that it matters to anyone, not that it adds anything new to what we know. But that it is a joy to say it.

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