Return of Arabian Nights

So I might win the worst blogger ever award. I never call, I never write, I never send flowers. But here we are again:

One of the key reasons I’ve been away is that March is government grant season, and as a grantwriter, that meant a solid month of working late, and a chunk of weekends too. But now that I’m out of that, (whew), I’m back to composing.

Things are moving forward with Harbor Opera for a second production of the score I wrote for the Arabian Nights – but this time with four saxophones instead of one, professional singers, a bigger budget, and enough time to plan the thing. We’re shooting for fall of 2010, so I’m feeling pretty comfortable about getting this done. It’s really good to know that piece is going to have a future. I worked really hard on it, and I’m really proud of a lot of the music; it would feel dreadful to leave it after one production.

The Seafarer film adaptation is progressing too. It’s really surprising how long these things take, coming from classical music. We shot last June, and now we’re re-doing the voice-over, then there’s fiddling with the colors, sound effects, and then the last little tweaks, of which there are surprisingly many. We’ve got a fantastic actress to do the new voice-over track, which is a big step, as we’ve been hung up on that for about 5 weeks.

And, seeing as, as Gaiman said, events are cowards which run in packs, I’m in Baltimore to hear Zach premiere the re-write of The Nominious Death of Z. Robert Herchen, which I wrote for him a couple years ago, and has been starving for a re-write ever since. This piece was an early attempt at acting instrumentalists and instrumental delivery of text line for me, and in the years since I’ve learned basically how to do that. So when I got back to the piece it was very easy, sort of a “oh, right, I know how to do this now”, experience. Like going back to elementary school and realizing how small all the chairs are, sort of.

And one more wolf for the pack of events: Sean Cunningham, a No Signal-er of old, is finishing his masters at McGill, coming back to New York, and planning a concert on June 19, including a premiere of a solo piece I wrote for him a good long while ago now. I’ve still got to make the ending possible for a human hand playing a violin, instead of just for four disembodied fingers obeying my every telekinetic whim, but no matter. (Actually, it’ll be fun to get to work with Sean, pick new pitches while looking at his hand on the instrument and seeing how far I can push him.)

And that’s what’s going on in my musical life. Hopefully we’ll have some news on the Lincoln 2nd Inaugural piece I’m writing for Greg Jukes and the gradual progress of Summer’s Twilight in the near future, but knowing me, even if there is news I won’t write about it till the 2010 mid-term elections.

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