First, on Saturday, May 1, I went to the University of Maryland, College Park's Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center to see a production of Ned Rorem's Evidence of Things Not Seen. I was absolutely stunned. The piece itself is incredible- stunning music for four soloists- Soprano, Mezzo-Soprano, Tenor, and Baritone with piano. The poems Rorem picked for the song cycle are incredible, too. All in all, it's 36 songs (solos, duets, trios, and quartets), with poems written by 24 different poets (Whitman, Auden, Wordsworth, Paul Goodman, and many others).
The piece is broken into three movements: Part One: Beginnings, Part Two: Middles, and Part Three: Ends. It's an hour and 40 minutes of incredibly powerful music. The singers and pianists (they switched off every couple songs) were incredible. I was so moved.
I want to write songs again. The last song I wrote just because I wanted to and not for a class or anything was in 2007. I think I need to add a song cycle or at least a handful of songs to my list of things I want to compose soon.
Other inspiration: This morning, my web browser had, on its home page, a story about a young woman who wore the same little black dress every day for an entire year, but styled it differently every day. (Without going too much into detail, the dress could be worn backwards. It had buttons down the front -or back, depending on how you look at it. She wore different things underneath, and different accessories to make 365 strikingly different looking outfits.)
I also kind of want to do something every day, like little black dress girl and my friend Kyle with his Haiku-a-day that he wrote while he was in Hawaii.
My idea is to start a new piano piece and write one measure of it every day for a year. My plan is to write it all in 4/4 at about 80bpm, which would make the entire piece 18 minutes and 15 seconds long, assuming I don't change tempo at any point. I also think I'll break it into four movements, based on the seasons. I'll try and write a measure each day before I go to bed, reflecting on how I felt that day, what I was thinking about, the weather, or whatever else. I'm also planning to not look back at too much of the music before - perhaps only look at the past 5 measures each time - to make the composition more in the moment. When I'm finished with a movement I'll look back and made minor edits to make the whole thing more cohesive.
The summer solstice this year is on June 21- I'll start work on the new piece then!