Museday Tuesdays 2011

Thickset: (adj.) Having a solid, stocky form or body; stout.

My Composition (0:30 MP3)

This tune is written for a couple recorders backed by an organ and harpsichord, and supported by the stodgy mud of baritone saxophones. It's in A Flat Minor because that's what you'd get if a thickset person fell down a mineshaft.

Usurious: (adj.) charging illegal or exorbitant rates of interest for the use of money

My Composition (0:30 MP3)

I'm still fumbling through Finale 2011, although it finally works with the new Asus Xonar DX sound card I purchased. This composition is a little bare, since my classic approach for learning newer versions of software is to try it the old way and then give up if the old way has moved. This rapidly accelerating fragment is for a woodwind quintet and percussion.

Trumpery: (adj.) of little or no value; trifling, worthless; rubbishy; trashy.

My Composition (0:30 MP3)

This excerpt is for string quartet, accordion, and marimba. In spite of my best efforts to do something away from the key of C, this one scampered back to familiar territory as soon as it could.

Plenteous: (adj.) copious; abundant

My Composition (0:30 MP3)

This excerpt is written for a hodge podge of instruments, coupled with big fat-bottomed chords placed too low for clarity. When I was in high school, I used to think that writing with quintuplets was retarded, but they're starting to grow on me now.

Asunder: (adj.) apart or widely separated

My Composition (0:30 MP3)

This excerpt is for piano, celeste and a mix of percussion and woodwinds. It gets a little unfocused towards the end -- I had planned make the rhythmic elements more discombobulated and asunder, but didn't have quite enough time before the hour was up to polish it. Plus, there were Cornish game hens in the oven to be eaten.

Slinky: (adj.) Characterized by or proceeding with slinking or stealthy movements.

My Composition (0:30 MP3)

Although I tried to write something stealthy, the end result seems to be more about the toy of the same name. This excerpt's written for bass, percussion, and a thin section of woodwinds. The three-quarter time probably came about because I've been listening to too many Buddy Rich arrangements recently.

Coequal: (adj.) equal with another or each other in rank, ability, extent, etc.

My Composition (0:30 MP3)

This excerpt is written for a variety of paired instruments. The definition of the word, coequal, didn't trigger any inspiration, but the onomatopoeia of the word itself became the guiding motive, first introduced by harpsichord and glockenspiel.

Superannuated: (adj.) Retired because of age or infirmity.

My Composition (0:30 MP3)

This excerpt is written for a string quartet with miscellaneous accompaniment, and almost takes on the vibe of a drinking song. This transition was unexpected when I started writing.

Iodized: (adj.) to treat, impregnate, or affect with iodine or an iodide.

My Composition (0:30 MP3)

I almost passed this random word by until the use of "impregnate" in the definition got stuck in my mind. This excerpt, then, would probably be better titled as "Salt Baby".

Emollient: (adj.) having the power of softening or relaxing, as a medicinal substance; soothing, especially to the skin: emollient lotions for the face.

My Composition (0:30 MP3)

This excerpt is written for a smattering of strings and woodwinds, horns and a percussionist. I envisioned a hot, dry sandy beach with cool breeze blowing across it.

Mercurial: (adj.) changeable; volatile; fickle; flighty; erratic

My Composition (0:30 MP3)

This is a vibraphone solo with a little bass and harp accompaniment (the instruments not the beers). There are also two bassoons required, making this piece impossible to perform in the real world.

Leonine: (adj.) characteristic of a lion

My Composition (0:30 MP3)

This excerpt is written for a typical subset of brass and woodwinds, and is reminiscent of a running lion on a nature show, rather than a crowned lion in a cartoon.

Jouncing: (adj.) moving joltingly, or roughly up and down

My Composition (0:30 MP3)

I wrote this one with no particular instrumentation in mind, but it could probably be easily adapted for a small jazz combo with a full set of chromatically tuned timpani.

Scurfy : (adj.) Resembling, producing, or covered in a flaky or scaly substance

My Composition (0:28 MP3)

I decided to change tack this week and stay away from the woodwind and brass samples, sticking only with patches that were obviously popular in the 80s.

Slouchy: (adj.) Having a drooping or careless posture

My Composition (0:27 MP3)

I was not very inspired by this random word, and it took a good bit of time dicking around with diminished chords to start writing anything. I started with the recorder and the sitar, and moved on to the bass trombone, which is definitely a fairly slouchy instrument.

Felonious: (adj.) wicked; base; villainous

My Composition (0:30 MP3)

I started with a church organ patch here, because sadly, the first thing that came to mind for this random word was a "felonious monk". Such a monk would probably try to play it cool, but not be very successful at it.

Fusty: (adj.) having a stale smell; moldy; musty

My Composition (0:30 MP3)

For this excerpt, I envisioned a breathy, static feeling. It's written for flutey and mallety patches as well as an 80s computery patch called "Calculating..." that I stumbled across.

Whelked: (adj.) ridged like the shell of a snail

My Composition (0:30 MP3)

This excerpt is written for guitar, bass, brass, and harpsichord, with a piccolo echoing a few lines. The "snail" concept didn't play much into my inspiration, although I immediately gravitated towards 7/8 time for some reason.

Museday Tuesday Wrap-up

Iodized (1:46 MP3)

This short piece is an extended version of the Museday fragment written on August 9, 2011.

I was actually hoping that people wouldn't vote for this one. The brain dead rock stylings of the fragment were an immediate limitation, and the six note motive had already become annoying before I even attempted to spin it into something grander. I quickly realized that I would have to approach this from another angle, and started with the string introduction, which is built up from filler material in the original fragment. I also stretched incredularity by squeezing a I-IV-V bari sax solo between choruses. The concluding section started out more heavy metal, in my best Saliva impersonation, but gradually smoothed out into something more palatable as I gave it repeated listenings and realized it clashed too much with the beginning.

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