Wednesday 20 January 2016
For the past few weeks I have been working on a new piece for the Corsham Wind Band (CWB). The band use The Pound to rehearse every Friday night and I was interested in writing for them as part of my residency before they approached me in late 2015. I have been nervous about it though because my music for quite some years has been focused on small chamber ensembles so the prospect of a large wind band was quite daunting.
My initial ideas have come from listening to the band rehearse a couple of times and from playing the baby grand piano in the auditorium at The Pound in sessions either side of the Christmas break. Before Christmas I was totally unsure of my material and was struggling to grapple with the range of instruments and players (e.g. 9 clarinets!!). To overcome this I thought back to when I was at school and played in a similar sized wind band in Somerset and the sort of music that I would’ve enjoyed playing (I was a trumpeter). This has helped me to try to balance what I want to achieve musically with what I hope the players will enjoy playing. Of course, there is no real way of knowing whether the players will like it until it’s written but at least they’re on my mind during the composition process! I’m enjoying the challenge of writing for a talented school age ensemble as I’ve already said, it’s my first attempt!
Over the past couple of weeks my sketches have begun to come together. I have some bass lines, riffs and melodies that I’m still refining quite frequently to fit what I want to hear. The deadline is approaching (5 February) but I enjoy this middle stage of a piece when most of the ideas are still in my head, almost ready to be written down.