Whatever it may be. I think I’ve got the parts of the five-sharp thing down that I’ve done so far, and now it’s time to figure out where it’s headed next. I’m not sure. I’d like to change textures a bit, but the piece is quite fast, so despite there being about two and some pages to it, the whole thing can be played in under a minute. I’m not sure if it’s quite time for a textural change yet. I think that as I’m writing it, my sense of time is telescoping a bit, and I’m feeling like I’m further into the thing when a listener who wasn’t aware of the writing process (as none would be) would think the thing had only just backed out of the garage.
As I move on composing, I keep running into new things about it, new obstacles or new peculiarities that I need to keep in mind. This is one — I need to just get it into my ears and let it marinate there for a bit as I sleep and go about other things. And I need to keep in mind the fact that my closeness to a piece of music, and the fact that my interaction with it is much more protracted, will make me hear it differently. I think some composers have trouble with this — they think that if you hear something, you simply hear it, and that it will sound the same both to them and to someone who is hearing it for the first time. Sound is sound. Listen to someone speaking a language you don’t know, and that opinion unravels pretty quickly. It reminds me of the painters of the old French Impressionist stuff — how they managed to paint with arms that were maybe 27″ long and create paintings that were meant to be apprehended from fifteen feet away. To stand ten inches from something and somehow remain aware of how it looks from across the room is not easy.
And I’m still thinking that I’d like to go back to the six-flat elephant and continue on with it, making it a considerably longer piece of music. That one, I can go off on a tangent with complete justification; it’s more than long enough to tolerate it. I might do that after this five-sharp thing is out of my hair. If it works out, then I’ve honestly written An Epic™ and will be pleased with myself for it. If not, then I chop off what I’ve added and I still have a complete piece, plus maybe I can repurpose some of the new stuff. Win-win.