I was able to attend the second rehearsal of Tranquility and Order, David Raphael Scott's composition for SATB choir, viola and percussion today.
The piece is based on sections of my poem Rust en Orde/Tranquility and Order and will be about twelve minutes long.
As I slid into a seat in the lecture hall of the Canadian Mennonite University, David slipped me a bound copy of the score and pointed to the appropriate bar of music.
I spent the better part of an hour listening to the conductor hum-sing portions of the score to the assembled Winnipeg Singers, who sipped diet cola and sucked on water bottles in between bursts of sound...and couldn't keep myself from beaming.
The idea that two dozen practicing artists were working on interpreting words I wrote was heady enough to keep me grinning so hard it hurt throughout the forty-five minutes of the rehearsal. I had to keep my chin down in order to keep from injuring any of the singers with the high-beam intensity of my pleasure.
At that moment, it didn't matter in the least that the source text had recently been slipped into my mailbox by our mail carrier, with a rejection note from the editors of Grain slipped between the leaves that read: "I don't think this piece will work in Grain but I admire its long poem impulse. It wants a more extended treatment doesn't it?"
Speaking of a more extended treatment, I will probably be attending another rehearsal this week. Seeing the choir's progress on the piece will likely be as instructive - and as interesting - as receiving David's emails while he was composing the piece.
Tranquility and Order will have its premiere a week from today as a part of the WSO's New Music Festival. Do come out, will you?
* * *
15th Annual Centara International New Music Festival
FROM THE DARK REACHES
Sunday, February 12, 8:00 pm
Westminster United Church (Maryland and Westminster)
Yuri Klaz, conductor
Ivan Monighetti, cello
Dan Scholz, viola
David Moroz, piano
Gwen Hoebig, violin
Yuri Hooker, cello
R. Murray Schafer: 9th String Quartet
Krzysztof Penderecki: Divertimento
David R. Scott: Tranquility and Order
T. Patrick Carrabré: From the Dark Reaches
David Raphael Scott (b. 1962) has been writing music for over 20 years.
His earliest creative efforts‹best described as a blend of world and
classical music styles‹were produced using a primitive arrangement of
discarded tape recorders.
David has written over forty pieces of contemporary classical instrumental
and vocal music. Recently, his compositional method has become more
and more analogous to the techniques found in painting, where a blank
space is given implied structure by a horizon line and vanishing points,
with detail added to this background in myriad layers. In his compositions,
David therefore attempts to engage the listener on a number of different
levels simultaneously. The surface of the music (the melodic ideas and
gestures) is often saturated with colour, while the underlying structure
(the harmony and counterpoint) is always implied.
He is a graduate of the Universities of Manitoba and Alberta, and holds a
Doctorate in Composition from the University of British Columbia.