Tuesday, January 01, 2013

2012 in retrospect part 2: the arts and vocation

If a reader only read this blog and wasn't paying very careful attention the reader might imagine this blog was about fewer topics than were actually discussed at various points.  2012 was a challenging year but, looking back on it, it was also a productive year.

One of my works for classical guitar got published in later January.

In February I got a small but fun paid commission to compose a chamber work for guitar and viol. The piece was performed in a church service over the summer. 

It's a little tough to remember but this year I think I completed my sonata for violin and guitar.  I also made some revisions to my older sonata for double-bass and guitar with some kind feedback from a couple of musicians I respect.  I completed a trio for violin, guitar and cello this year.  I kinda remember composing a giant sonata form for clarinet, bassoon and guitar, too.  Along with this productivity I completed a sonata for banjo in guitar in three movements and finally completed composing 24 preludes and fugues for solo guitar.  I also have finished at least good first drafts of what I hope are completed sonatas for trumpet and guitar as well as tuba and guitar respectively. 

It's a bit nerdy but some of my work got bibliographic reference in a doctoral dissertation on bassoon and guitar literature.  I had the pleasure of reading two dissertations on guitar and bassoon literature over the summer by a bassoonist and a guitarist respectively. 

As mentioned elsewhere I spent a single but busy week blogging about music by Ferdinand Rebay, which I hope to do again in 2013 as time and resources permit.

I also completed Batman: The Agony of Loss and the Madness of Desire for Mockingbird.  Essays on Justice League are slated for 2013. Since last year was the 20th anniversary of the groundbreaking, classic cartoon yours truly was not going to pass up an opportunity to do his best to commemorate the wonderful show.  My efforts convinced DZ to actually watch the episode "Baby Doll" and an associate of mine liked the essays enough to decide to go get the series, possibly at that point sight unseen.  I even had time to throw in "A Path Through Three Prisons" because Nolan's Batman trilogy wrapped up last year.  It was not that bad a year for the Bat where Wenatchee The Hatchet was concerned. 

So I wrote a lot of music and by a lot of music I mean a lot.  The contrapuntal cycle I completed should clock in at about 2 hours and that took about five years to complete.  If you work on things step by step and bit by bit then after a decade you can write about five hours' worth of stuff to the tune of a dozen chamber sonatas pairing the guitar with woodwinds, strings and brass; a complete set of 24 preludes and fugues for solo guitar; 12 studies in harmonics; three guitar sonatas; a couple of movements for string quartet; and a few assorted trios.  But on the blogoshere your blog might be known mainly for a narrow field of blogging activity that includes historical research into real estate acquisition.  Rest assured, dear readers, Wenatchee The Hatchet has at least a little bit more going on than "that". 

I've been advocating semi-offline for certain blogging friends to touch upon certain topics and in lieu of their having the occasion to do so (or making the occasion to do so on a blog) I may just have to blog a few things.  Yes, real estate history may make a comeback and other related topics will return.  We're not really done with blogging about the personality-test variants on prophets, priests and kings yet.  What might to normal interpreters of biblical texts sound like an opportunity to discuss Deuteronomy or roles fulfilled by Christ can turn into a kind of 21st century Please Understand Me for self-appointed pastoral dudes getting degrees at a would-be seminary of some kind.  More, significantly more, on this later in 2013.

But amidst all that stuff one must find other things to do that are fun.  Few things in life are more fun for yours truly than the work of composing music.  My idea of fun is discovering how to compose a stretto passage for a solo guitar fugue in which the subject is answered by its own retrograde.  I am not making that up (it's in my fugue in C major).  I wouldn't say I was on Cloud 9 when I wrote that but maybe I was on at least Cloud 6 or 7.  Right now the prospect of completing chamber sonatas pairing the guitar up with mandolin, alto flute, alto saxophone, euphonium, French horn, tenor trombone, and recorder all sound interesting to me.  We'll just have to see what 2013 brings.  Whatever comes in 2013 it is heartening to remember that 2012 was an artistically fruitful year.  It was full of music; it was full of ruminations on the agony of loss and the madness of desire; a path through three prisons; and it included some ruminations over at Internet Monk on musical styles.  Blogging as mere soap-boxing isn't as fun as blogging with and for others.  Let's say that if invited I wouldn't say no to an opportunity to blog at Mere Orthodoxy or to maybe collaborate with folks at Wartburg or even with MPT (let the reader understand).  But I'm particularly looking forward to more work for Mockingbird because while the fists of justice may love at arm's length, there's no end to protecting the world from better worlds.  If I time things right I might be able to unveil some of that in time for Man of Steel.

1 comment:

The Blog bites better than the Bullet. said...

Though I enjoy following your blog for the latest on certain mega-churches related to my current church's network, I truly enjoyed reading this the most so far. ;) Interested to hear more about the prophet-priest-king heresy whenever you are ready. Have a Happy New Year!