Museday Tuesdays 2009
  1. The composition can be for any instrumentation. It can have an actual score or be a pure synthesized realization that might not be possible to perform in the real world.
  2. It must not be longer than thirty seconds.
  3. It does not necessarily have to have a start, middle, and end -- it can just be a fragment of something grander.
  4. It should be composed in thirty minutes or less. If time runs out, I post whatever I managed to finish, be it good, indifferent, or makeup on a corpse.
  5. The title of the piece must be a word from a random word generator, although this word doesn't necessarily have to be incorporated in the piece.

Portentous: (adj.) Ominously significant or indicative

My Composition (0:30 MP3)

This excerpt is written for a smattering of woodwinds and plucky things. The word "ominous" stood out in the definition, and also evoked the word "undercurrent" in my brain. Unfortunately, I ran out of time before I could effectively work with the build at the end, but I envision it rolling directly into an explicit brass crescendo.

Adulterous: (adj.) characterized by or involved in adultery; illicit

My Composition (0:30 MP3)

I initially envisioned lurid lovers dancing to a spicy Latin cha-cha, but as a I wrote, it turned into a hybrid of a samba and a bossa nova instead. I opted to skip the repeat of the A section because B(U) sections are more fun to compose. This little excerpt feels a bit simpler than normal, although the trumpet melody is definitely something I'd write.

Reptant: (adj.) Creeping or crawling.

My Composition (0:30 MP3)

The problem with the random word generator that I use is that if I ask it for an unsually uncommon adjective, it just spits out biology definitions. I think this one is related to reptiles. I started with the initial motive played by a bassoon, since it is the scaliest instrument outside of an All-District audition, and the rest just fell into place.

Oleaginous: (adj.) Unctuous; fawning; smarmy.

My Composition (0:28 MP3)

I kept being interrupted by post-workday work while composing this one, so I didn't get to smooth out the kinks as much as I would have liked -- I envisioned a short, pudgy, used-car salesman type with a forced levity, who waddles around spouting perfectly agreeable answers that are just a little bit off. Listening to it this morning, the only memorable aspect of it is that the vibraphone lick in the middle somehow sounds like it should be on Wheel of Fortune.

Pellucid: (adj.) Transparent or translucent; allowing the passage of light

My Composition (0:29 MP3)

This Museday fragment is written mostly for woodwinds -- the opening motive was written immediately after choosing the word, and it spun out from there. All of my songs eventually become Latin.

Supernatant: (adj.) Floating on or above the surface

My Composition (0:30 MP3)

I seem to have an attraction towards paired flutes at the moment -- this is the second Museday in a row that has called out for that texture. I think this fragment could be expanded much more, but didn't think it should be any faster than it is, so the thirty-second limit was the main constraint here.

Idyllic: (adj.) Charmingly simple or rustic

My Composition (0:32 MP3)

I wanted to try something more melodic since so many of my musedays end up over vamps. This one's written for strings, horns, and glockenpsiel, with the melodic line on a bowed glass patch. I hear shades of the soundtrack from Dances with Wolves when I listen to it, although that was not an intentional design.

Coquettish: (adj.) Lightheartedly flirtateous

My Composition (0:30 MP3)

This title initially made me think of something in the style of Count Basie's Cute, so I started with a standard jazz ensemble format, swapping in a vibraphone instead of a guitar. The final result is a bit more boisterous than coy, but it was a fun diversion to write!

Contumelious: (adj.) Characterized by contemptuous or humiliating words or treatment

My Composition (0:30 MP3)

I'm pretty sure that the Random Word Generator I use is tired of being my muse, and has resorted to making up words and then sticking them in This fragment is written for guitars, drums, and an amplified zither, and has three almost-schizophrenic sections, the last of which is apparently my audition attempt to write music for a new Disney Kids show.

Distrait: (adj.) inattentive because of distracting worries; absent-minded.

My Composition (0:30 MP3)

This one is just written for a random assortment of electronic sounds, mixing a few organ patches with strings and percussion. I like it more now than I did when I was halfway through it.

Bellicose: (adj.) Aggressively hostile; belligerent; pugnacious.

My Composition (0:27 MP3)

This piece is written for brass quintet without the trombone and a choir of jazz scat singers. I was trying to go for something militaristic but also slightly comical, March of the Rat Terriers, perhaps?

Bombastic: (adj.) High-flown; inflated; pretentious

My Composition (0:29 MP3)

I seem to have triplet sixteenth notes on the brain, although that's the only thing this Museday has in common with last week's. The excerpt is written for brass, percussion, sitar, and miscellaneous instrument patches.

Subaudible: (adj.) Barely within the range of hearing; lacking definition

My Composition (0:30 MP3)

I used a mix of instruments smack dab in the middle of the bass clef to evoke a feeling rather than a melodic line. It's a good wash of sound, although it might have come out better had I picked a time signature with less motion, perhaps 11/4.

Tenebrous: (adj.) Gloomy, dark, obscure.

My Composition (0:30 MP3)

I pictured this word as "cloudy with spider webs", and though I tried to make it stand apart, it does share a few qualities from the Tenebrae theme of the old computer game, Ultima 8. This one's not written for a particular instrumentation -- I just used whichever patches happened to sound good at the time.

Vigilante: (adj.) Done violently and summarily, without recourse to lawful procedures

My Composition (0:30 MP3)

This evoked a western cowboyish theme in my mind, something like any one of James Curnow's band fanfares. In spite of the crappy trumpet patch, and the fact that the counter melody kept trying to become the theme from that high-school standard, Emperata Overture, this one was fun to write.

Museday Tuesday Wrap-up

Supernatant (1:57 MP3)

This short piece is an extended version of the Museday fragment written on June 2, 2009.

The piece is written for woodwinds, strings, and some rangly-jangly percussion effects. I wrote it over the course of a week, generally spending about two hours at a time on it. Even though I had to end it to fit in the two-minute bubble, I feel like there are plenty more ideas to expand upon in this fragment, and it seems a little reminiscent of my Master's Thesis.

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