The Forgotten Symphony Movement

This weekend I realized something bizarre: I’d forgotten I started to write a symphony some 5 years ago.

Not the sort of thing you’d think you could forget, eh?

It hadn’t crossed my mind in ages, but in emailing a friend about a local cover band’s show, I described the keyboardist as having tried to do “some weird baroque counterpoint shit” that didn’t jive well with the scuzzy hard rock vibe of the bands they were covering.

Then I couldn’t recall if I was accurate in my terminology – I haven’t had to look at, listen to, write, or think about counterpoint in damn near 15 years, so maybe I was wrong… so I checked a few YouTube videos (which confirmed that yep, what I heard that dude playing was absolutely counterpoint or at least counterpoint-influenced), which got me onto a YouTube binge of music theory and harmony videos and composition discussions, whereupon I suddenly remembered that I’d gotten the first movement of a symphony written and programmed in MIDI.

Then I couldn’t find the damn thing and while I had some vague recollection about it being moody and having a lot of timpani and percussion in it, I couldn’t specifically recall more than that, nor was it anywhere to be found on my iPod. I had a vague notion I might have once uploaded it to YouTube, but then again I uploaded all sorts of music I made to YouTube and later deleted the videos when I changed direction or whatever.

This morning I found the print of the rough mix of that first movement, a sonata allegro form, and slapped it into my iPod. I also discovered it was still there on YouTube, albeit unlisted.

I’d called it Huntswoman’s Reverie, and I seem to recall having played a version of it on CITR’s 24 Hours of Radio Art in January 2012 (I think I took the rough mix and then chopped/remixed it or something, don’t remember.)

It could use a little work, but all in all, not bad for a first attempt at writing this sort of thing… and infinitely more likeable than 95% of the shit I put out under the maQLu banner (certainly in terms of my current listening preferences). Too bad I didn’t come up with this back in the early 2000s when I took Music 107C Composition I at the UBC School of Music, maybe I would have gotten a better grade than a C+.

I also remember finding my composition notes for it a couple years back buried in a stack of papers on my desk. I moved them to another stack or drawer somewhere, so I’ll probably find those later this summer when we move.

I guess if inspiration hits me, I might finish the damn thing at last.

Or maybe I’ll just leave it as is and perhaps take some inspiration to get around to writing some new “art music” pieces.

In the meantime, I should send the link to my guitar teacher just to see the look of pure horror on his face. “No, damn it, I told you to write some rock ‘n’ roll riffs!”

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